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CNPA Capitol Conference in Sacramento was encouraging and inspirational

The California News Publishers Association’s Capitol Conference in Sacramento on Feb. 5 was truly inspiring day, full of meeting newspaper editors and publishers in addition to hearing from several top state politicians.

“In this transition, voices like yours, doing the work you are doing… is more important than ever,” said Lt. Governor Elini Kounalakis.

CVHS journalists were the only high school students to attend and it was was an amazing experience. It was intimidating to be the only young adults at the conference but all the politicians were extremely kind and grateful we attended. Various speakers gave valuable speeches. My personal favorite was when the Board of Equalization (BOE) came to the stage. The BOE serves the public through fair, effective, and efficient tax administration.

This was the first year when a huge stepping stone was reached. The first African American woman, Malia Cohen, and the very first Latino man, Tony Vasquez, joined the BOE after winning election last year.

Fiona Ma, the first Asian American woman to be the treasurer, also gave an entertaining and compelling speech. While in her childhood, Ma’s parents did not want her to run for office, yet she still persevered to succeed in politics.

Kounalakis was captivating when she took the stage! She was too a reporter for her high school newspaper.

“The ability to have high quality, verifiable, true, information get to our communities is essential for a healthy democracy,” said Kounalakis.

Kounalakis is Greek American and has always believed in free media. Her plan is to promote higher public education, ensure more access to schools, and bring awareness to environmental issues.

“Without good, reliable policies, we will fall into chaos,” said Kounalakis.

This conference was super encouraging and inspirational to attend. I am beyond excited that more women are getting involved in politics and I believe it is great for our society.