“The Junior State chapter is the most fundamental part of the organization. The vast majority of a student’s involvement in JSA takes place at the chapter level.”
The Senate is an important aspect of JSA and is crucial to the success of the Southern California Junior State. Its duties consist of confirming cabinet members, enforcing legislation, conducting cabinet oversight, interpreting the constitution, amending the constitution, holding officials accountable, operating the Fair Elections Committee, and approving legislation for Winter Congress.
Yet even with all this influence and responsibility, many people are still unfamiliar with the senate. It's a no brainer that this needs to change, while current efforts in combating this senatorial apathy have had an effect, they have failed to produce the substantive results that our state needs. I plan to combat this confusion by:
An aspect of the Lieutenant Governor's job is to moderate the senate. As Vice Mayor I have worked to make my regional cabinet accountable. As Lieutenant Governor I would continue execute this duty by hosting weekly Senate calls with the notion of reviewing the constitution, discussing proposed legislation, and setting weekly goals. As Lieutenant Governor, I plan to keep all cabinet members accountable for their work, or lack thereof.
In order to for our State to run as smoothly as possible, members must realize that trivializing their position reduces the efficiency of the entire state- and actions will be taken in order to ensure that cabinet members have the utmost respect for their positions.
Additionally, the role of the Lieutenant Governor has been misperceived in past years. As Lieutenant Governor, I would oversee the senate; however, I am not their administrator. It is you- the people- who determine the agenda of the Senators. As Lieutenant Governor, I will instill this idea within the senate, and ensure that Senators are truly following the voice of the people.
Fair Elections Committee (FEC) and Election Reform
Voting at Spring State is one of the most memorable experiences a JSAer can have. I want to ensure that everyone’s voting experience is both fair and fun. In the past, JSA's voter system has been plagued by voter fraud and peer pressure. To combat this, I would reform the voting process at Spring State by having FEC members uptake the role of tallying votes from chapters. By having FEC members tally votes instead of chapter presidents, we have individuals who principally have little to no bias in the outcome of the election.
By initiating this change in voting, it would also open the way for more people to become involved with FEC as well as garnering the same results, minimizing any biases.
Currently, the FECs chain of command is poorly defined, with the FEC Head Chair sitting as the distinguished leader of the FEC and senators sitting as regional chairs. Unfortunately, to the common JSAer, this isn’t well known. A distinctive chain of command that defines all areas the FEC needs to be defined, in order to understand the areas the FEC upholds- including campaign materials and the ability to respectfully challenge the FEC. Having a clear chain of command would enable candidates to challenge any unfavorable ruling set by the FEC, much like our nation's appeals system. This would help ensure that all candidates are given equal and fair treatment.
Throughout the Junior State nation, legislation is passed by each of the State's own unique legislative bodies. As your Lieutenant Governor I would work to establish connections throughout the other states (and their legislative bodies) and act as a liaison between the legislative branches of all states. I will ensure that exceptional ideas spread throughout our nation. This would give JSAers across the nation the fairest and efficient organization.
As good as the convention department is, its primary focus is to serve the Southern California state by planning the overnight conventions and the state sponsored one days. This needs to change, it's time that cabinet work with the people and for the people. As your Lieutenant Governor I would work to have the convention department get involved on the chapter level by encouraging the convention department to contact and aid chapter presidents in planning chapter one days. Specifically, the Convention Department would ensure that the chapter one day has a proper agenda, meal options, and a facebook page. It would be the goal of the convention department to ensure that all events, not just state ones, are publicized in state emails and that the respective chapter presidents are referred to the Debate and Fundraising Department for additional assistance.
For too long has the state fundraising department and chapter fundraising initiatives been separate. We need to make fundraising a group effort, not a cabinet assignment. As Lieutenant Governor I will extend an open invitation and encourage tax paid members to take part in our state fundraising initiatives. For instance, sending out merch order links to chapter presidents with the intention of the chapter president presenting and taking orders from their chapter. Now, imagine that one delegate from each of the 89 chapters that attended winter congress joined our crowd funding efforts on Stay Classy. If each of these delegates raised $10 we would be looking at an additional $890 that would go to the state scholarship fund.
It’s time for the fundraising department to expand to the chapter level and work for the Southern California chapters. As your Lieutenant Governor, I would ensure that the fundraising department is there to offer assistance to any chapters wishing to have a fundraiser of any kind.
Acting as the liaison between chapter and cabinet, the chapter affairs department is crucial for success the state. As Lieutenant Governor I would work to enhance the utility of this department, specifically the chapter coordinators. This is important because Chapter Coordinators are the main connection between chapter and cabinet: often educating their chapter presidents on the many facets of JSA. By ensuring that the Chapter Coordinators are well versed in our state's legislative process and are informed on the duties of all of our state's departments, they become better prepared to give referrals within cabinet and help further inform their chapters on things such as proposed bills, the duties of Assembly Representative, passed legislation and the importance of paying taxes.
I believe that communication is a two way street and that good communication is exercised when all parties convey ideas to one another. That I why I will have chapter coordinators receive feedback regarding the structure of our organization, conventions, national debates, etc. On top of this, the Chapter Coordinators should converse with chapter delegates and inform delegates about SoCal’s fundraising initiatives, one day's, fight apathy, and much more. It is important that we put ourselves in the position to communicate with every member of the Junior State.
Part of what makes the Junior State of America so great is its debates. Together, we are able discuss a wide range of topics with very different people; whether it's gun control, personal liberties, the environment, or the constitution. JSA has always been a place for people to share and challenge their ideas in a respectful environment. These debates have helped me and many others learn about our government and have redefined the way we view our world. I want to make sure the debate department is there for you. Whether it’s a meeting or a one day, I will ensure that the debate department will be an accessible resource to help improve the quality of debates on all levels of JSA.