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February 28, 2002

For More Information, Contact:
Kristina Loquist at (916) 651- 4011


SACRAMENTO – Assemblyman Joe Simitian (D-Palo Alto) hosted two Sequoia Union High School District students as part of the Groundhog Job Shadow Day Program on February 22, 2002.

“I think it’s important to show students what a career in public service is like,” Simitian said.  “Most folks aren’t very familiar with the day-to-day activities of members of the Legislature, and I enjoy the opportunity to show young people what a day in the life of an Assemblyman is like.”

Brittany Bendix from Menlo-Atherton High School and Ellie Moradi from Woodside High School started off the day observing Simitian as he was interviewed on “Peninsula This Week,” a half-hour cable television show focused on issues of interest to Peninsula residents.  Next, they toured Simitian’s district office and talked with staff and volunteers.  They completed their job shadowing by attending a public policy luncheon and discussion for 60 local elected officials and city managers, where Simitian presented an overview of state budget issues and answered questions.

“I had never met a state official before, and I appreciated the chance to meet and talk with my Assemblyman,” said Bendix.  “What I liked about the day was the variety of activities.  Being an Assemblyman definitely does not mean you sit at a desk all day long.  You are constantly on the go, interacting with different groups of people and staying on top of the local issues.”

Bendix and Moradi are both high school seniors who plan to attend college in the fall.  They have been active in student government at their schools.

The Groundhog Job Shadow Day Program is a national initiative that places high school students in different workplaces, where they “shadow” professionals during a normal day on the job.  Students engage in early career exploration that leads to better-informed career choices. 

“Having students shadow me is fun, of course, but I think it also helps make me a better policymaker,” said Simitian.  “Every time I talk with students, I gain a deeper understanding of the current issues our kids and schools are facing.  There’s always a new insight.”

Simitian is a former school board member, past-President of a County School Boards Association, and public schools attorney who represented school districts around the State.  He currently serves as the Chair of Assembly Budget Subcommittee on Education Finance.



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