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April 5th, 2010

For More Information, Contact:
Melissa Figueroa (916) 651-4011
Keith Weissglass (650) 688-6384


PALO ALTO – The award-winning local documentary $100 a Day will be screened at back-to-back community events this month: at Stanford Law School on April 21st and at the Santa Cruz Police Department on April 22nd. Both screenings are free and open to the public.

Rick Walker, a resident of East Palo Alto and the film’s subject will participate in a panel discussion following the film, along with filmmaker Gwen Essegian and California State Senator Joe Simitian (D-Palo Alto).
$100 a Day tells the story of a wrongly-convicted man’s struggle for justice. Entitled to one hundred dollars for every day of the 12 years he spent wrongly imprisoned, Walker’s attempt to receive compensation was caught up in the partisan battle over the 2003 state budget. 

The film depicts the last minute struggle to pass legislation authored by State Senator Joe Simitian (D-Palo Alto) – then serving in the State Assembly – and to prevent Walker from being wronged a second time.

The Stanford event is co-sponsored by numerous campus organizations: the Levin Center for Public Service and Public Interest Law, the Haas Center for Public Service, the Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society, the Program on Human Rights, Stanford in Government, the Criminal Law Society, the American Constitution Society, and the Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Society.

The panel discussion will be moderated by Juliet Brodie, Professor and Director of Stanford Community Law Clinic in East Palo Alto. “$100 A Day is an inspiring film for anyone who needs an antidote to the cynicism about public service and law that characterizes our time,” says Brodie. “As a law teacher I encourage my students to watch the film to see the power that one voice can have to persuade others to do the right thing.”

The Santa Cruz screening is sponsored by the ACLU Santa Cruz Chapter and the League of Women Voters of Santa Cruz County in conjunction with the Resource Center for Nonviolence, Santa Cruz County Democratic Central Committee, and the Democratic Women’s Club of Santa Cruz County. Santa Cruz Vice Mayor Ryan Coonerty will moderate the discussion panel.

Santa Cruz Mayor and ACLU Board Member Mike Rotkin said the film is “a powerful story about the challenges of achieving social justice in the legislative arena.”  And, said Rotkin, “the panel discussion represents a unique opportunity to hear the perspectives of someone wrongly incarcerated, a legislator who tried to help and a filmmaker who told the story.”

$100 a Day was produced by Santa Cruz-based filmmakers Gwen Essegian and Mark Ligon under the auspices of the Midpeninsula Community Media Center in Palo Alto.
“We were struck by how Rick’s story touched on so many things that matter to all of us: the flaws in our justice system, California’s partisan political deadlock, and the prospect of hope and change,” said Essegian.

The film was awarded “Best Documentary Short” at the 2009 Sacramento Film & Music Festival and “Most Socially Engaging” film at the Eugene International Film Festival; and recently aired on PBS (KQED and KTEH).


Screening and panel discussion of the local documentary $100 a Day

Wednesday, April 21st, 5:00-7:00 p.m.
Stanford Law School, Room 280B
Crown Quadrangle
559 Nathan Abbott Way
Stanford, CA 94305-8610
Parking: structure is located at Campus Drive East and Arguello Mall (map)

Thursday, April 22nd, 7:00-9:00 p.m.
Santa Cruz Police Department
155 Center Street
Santa Cruz, CA 95060

For more information, call Simitian’s district office at (650) 688-6384, (408) 277-9460, or (831) 425-0401.



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