What is Planned Parenthood's Teen Capitol Day?
Every year Planned Parenthood brings a group of teens, staff and activists to the Capitol to meet with legislators and discuss current issues affecting reproductive health care. Participants will also have the opportunity to attend a health education fair and workshops on creating change and taking action. This fun and educational event gives teens an up-close view of how we can all make a difference when we stand up for what we believe in!
This year’s Capitol Day took place on Wednesday, April 3, 2013 in Sacramento, California. Applications for Capitol Day are no longer being accepted but check back in February 2014 for information about next year’s Capitol Day.
Teen Capitol Day is a great opportunity for teens to learn more about their state government. Planned Parenthood provides travel scholarships for all teens selected. All participants must also attend a local Lobbying Training before the event and a local Debriefing Dinner after the event. Participants will also be required to write a one-page reflective essay about their experience.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What exactly will we be doing at this event?
Capitol Day consists of:
- Lobbying (meeting as a group with elected officials to express our views on bills and issues that we want them to take action on. Don’t worry. We’ll train you.)
- An educational fair, a rally, and workshops on various topics.
2. How will I get to and from Sacramento?
All students selected for Teen Capitol Day will be given a choice to fly out of San Diego or Ontario based on which airport is closest to them. Transportation to and from the airport will be the responsibility of each student. Students will be supervised by Planned Parenthood staff at all times and will return to their respective airports by 7pm. For a full list of flight information, contact Luis Montero at (619) 881-4520 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
3. Do I have to do anything before or after Capitol Day?
Yes! Teen Capitol Day itself is just one day, but you have to attend a training prior to the event. Afterward, you have to write a one-page reflective essay about your experience, and attend our debriefing dinner where we’ll share our experiences. These are all mandatory parts of the program, and you must be able to attend the training and debrief and write the essay to qualify as a participant.
4. What kind of issues will we be lobbying on?
This is a pro-choice lobby day, and the issues we’ll be discussing will involve reproductive health and education. We won’t know exactly what the issues are until closer to the day because it depends on what’s going on legislatively that we might support or oppose. Examples of issues we’ve addressed in the past include increasing access to birth control and emergency contraception, providing comprehensive sexuality education in schools, as well as increasing access to abortion care. We’ll go over this year’s issues at the training.
5. What if I’ve never done anything like this before, or I’m not an expert on political stuff or these kind of issues, or I don’t know if I’d be comfortable talking to elected officials?
Don’t worry about it! One of the reasons for doing something like this is to learn something new! We’ll train you beforehand about general political stuff and about the specific issues we’ll be dealing with that day. Plus, you’ll be with a group for all lobbying meetings, and there will always be someone in your group who has done this before.
6. What if I don’t live in San Diego, Riverside, or Imperial County?
Visit http://www.ppactionca.org/ for contact information for your local Planned Parenthood. Contact them about the possibility of attending Capitol Day with their group!
7. What if I’m not a teen?
This program is for teenagers in San Diego, Riverside, and Imperial counties. If you’re not a teen but you want to take action to support reproductive health and education, we have plenty of ways you can get involved! Check out our college activism program (VOX), our neighborhood outreach program, more volunteer opportunities, or sign up now for our campaign rapid response team, and we’ll stay in touch with you about ways you can take action throughout the year!
8. Who can I contact with more questions?
Contact Luis Montero at (619) 881-4520 or email@example.com.