Sacramento, California - Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia (D-Coachella) welcomed eleven Imperial County high school students to the California Capitol and proudly presented them during this afternoon’s assembly session. These youth are currently participating in Comité Cívico del Valle’s Youth Environmental Health Internship.
“It was my pleasure to welcome Comité Cívico del Valle’s Youth Environmental Health interns to the capitol. They were able to experience the legislative process in action and embark upon a full day of environmental health advocacy and policy discussions,” said Assemblymember Garcia. “The program has helped build up these young leaders and serves as an introduction to environmental justice principles and air pollution monitoring. I was very impressed by the passion and professionalism of these youth as they expressed their experience growing up in Imperial County and the unique set of air quality and environmental issues impacting the local region as well as our community’s overall health.”
“Legislative advocacy is an integral part of the internship curriculum,” stated Luis Olmedo, Executive Director of Comité Cívico del Valle. “This was the first time most of the students had ever been on an airplane. I am very grateful to Assemblymember Garcia for his constant support, his championship of environmental health policies and his efforts to make this capitol visit a memorable trip for these students.”
Comité Cívico del Valle is a nonprofit organization that strives to improve the lives of disadvantaged areas through a wide range of approaches including civic education, outreach, research, citizen science and crowdsourcing. This locally based organization has received statewide acclaim for their innovative community-led air monitoring network.
In addition to receiving a shout out before the entire assembly chamber, Assemblymember Garcia also arranged various meetings for the youth including one with Speaker Anthony Rendon (D-Lakewood).
“I was really excited to be given this opportunity. This experience has encouraged me to come back home to the valley and help my community. We have a voice, we are capable of enacting change if we speak up and take action,” shared Cecilia Arellano, Junior at Calexico High School whose participation in this program has prompted her to explore future career pathways. “The internship has helped me develop a deeper understanding of local health and environmental issues as well the full scope of careers and jobs to pursue with an environmental major.”