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Monday, September 9, 2002

For More Information, Contact:
Kristina Loquist at (650) 688-6384


SACRAMENTO – Assemblyman Joe Simitian (D-Palo Alto) announced today his second annual “There Oughta Be a Law” contest.  Beginning Monday, September 9th, Simitian will be accepting entries – ideas for new legislation – from his constituents in the 21st Assembly District.

“Some of the best ideas I hear for new legislation come directly from the folks who live and work in the 21st Assembly District,” said Simitian.  “If you’ve ever had a great idea for a new law, or if you’ve ever thought to yourself, ‘You know, there oughta be a law about that,’ then I hope you’ll participate in this contest.”

Early next year, Simitian will declare at least one contest winner and will introduce the legislative proposal as a bill in the 2003 legislative session.  The winner(s) will be invited to the State Capitol to have lunch with Simitian and will have an opportunity to testify on behalf of their respective bill at a formal hearing.  Each winner will also receive a California State flag that has been flown over the Capitol. 

Last year’s contest had three winners – Andrea Leiderman of Mountain View, Lauren Ward of Cupertino, and Acterra of Palo Alto. All three bills passed out of the Legislature. One has already been signed into law by the Governor; and the other two are on the Governor’s desk awaiting his signature.

Andrea Leiderman, one of last year’s winners, praises the contest as “a great example of democracy in action.  Last year I entered Assemblyman Simitian’s contest thinking I never had a chance of seeing my idea become law. Here we are less than a year later, and my bill is sitting on the Governor’s desk. It’s nice to know one person can still make a difference. I encourage others to share their ideas for new laws with Assemblyman Simitian.”

Last year Simitian followed up the “There Oughta Be a Law” Contest, with “This One’s Gotta Go,” where folks were encouraged to submit ideas for laws that either weren’t working or had outlived their usefulness. This year, Simitian will combine the two contests.  Folks are also encouraged to submit ideas for laws they would like to see eliminated.

To request an entry form or more information about the contest, please call Simitian’s district office at (650) 688-6384. Completed entries are due by 5:00 p.m, Friday, October 18th.