Our longest running program, Capitol Focus is a three day journey into the world of California politics. Participants get a first-hand look at how government works. Along the way, they:
- Build skills
- Meet influential people
- Make new friends
- Have fun!
- Motivate others to participate in civic affairs
- Drive informed discussions, and
- Promote consensus among adults with divergent perspectives.
- Participating youth from each community are required to make a presentation about one or more issues they have studied
- Participating educators, to prepare a lesson plan
- Each team will submit a vision for increasing classroom, community and state level civic education and engagement opportunities for youth in their area.
From the start, interactive activities get our participants thinking and acting. They learn the language of politics and quickly put it to use by interviewing experts who hold a wide range of views on the current issues. Working individually and in collaboration, our participants think through contrasting perspectives and get to express their support for, or opposition of, real legislation currently under debate by lawmakers.
Our presence in Sacramento and our lasting relationships with the players in state politics allow us to offer a unique experience to youth. We have access to a rich pool of supporters who lend their expertise to our programs. Capitol Focus gives young people a chance to see, up close, how politics and public policy work. We aim to foster life-long enthusiasm for the democratic process and to give youth an opportunity to visualize their own possibilities in this world.
Next Generation Capitol Focus is among a new array of programs launched to celebrate our 30th anniversary. It was developed in partnership with the Leo McCarthy Center for Public Service and the Common Good at the University of San Francisco. Costs to participating communities will be covered by long-standing Capitol Focus sponsors: Chevron, California Teachers Association, State Farm, Sempra Energy, and Apple.
A statewide advisory committee representing government, education, business and professional associations will advise the project and participating communities.
Next Generation Capitol Focus
New Program Description
In celebration of our 30th anniversary, we will be launching the program with a twist! This year, from April 25 - 27, eight California communities will be selected to send 6 youth and adults from their school or community-based organization.
Next Generation Capitol Focus is a new version of our longstanding flagship program. It responds to the array of urgent issues facing California that require a deeply informed and engaged citizenry to overcome political and economic barriers impeding our progress. The premise of this new program is that youth can be powerful catalysts for change-making. Youth have the power to:
Therefore, instead of selecting individual youth to participate, this year we have recruited youth / adult teams with raised expectations.
Next Generation Capitol Focus will mobilize youth, local adults and new partners to increase opportunities for youth to develop knowledge and skills while contributing to our future.
Our goal is to seed and sustain new opportunities for youth-driven consideration of issues and challenges facing our State.
How to Apply
“This program gave me hands-on experience to address issues in my life. I encourage you to attend!” -Capitol Focus participant