San Ramon students among finalists in Baker's video contest

Online voting for winner open through Dec. 17

Two San Ramon students are among the finalists in a contest in which State Assemblywoman Catharine Baker (R-San Ramon) challenged high school students across her district to make a video proposing a bill idea to address a problem in California that requires a legislative solution.

James Zeng of California High and Steven Yuan of Dougherty Valley High joined Alexander Lee of Pleasanton's Foothill High to submit one of the videos selected as the three finalists in Baker's "There Ought To Be A Law" competition.

Ahana Sen and Devika Oak, each of The Quarry Lane School, created the other two finalists. All three videos are available on Baker's YouTube page for the public to view and vote on; voting remains open until Dec. 17.

The winner will have the chance to join Baker at the State Capitol to introduce their bill for the State Assembly in committee and receive special recognition from the Assembly.

"We received many terrific submissions. I continue to be impressed with the thoughtful and dedicated efforts put forward by so many of our students," Baker said. "All of the submissions show merit, and only after careful consideration have we narrowed it down to three submissions."

In all, the contest received 48 entries. Students were required to submit a 2- to 5-minute video as well as an optional essay.

In their submission, students had to address why the state government should solve their problem rather than the local or federal government, the private sector or nonprofits, and they had to explain how the proposed legislation would be funded. The bill idea didn't need to create a new program or regulation; the concept could repeal, replace or modify existing law.

Baker's staff reviewed all submissions and reduced the list down to the finalists.

In their videos, Sen called for privatization of California highways, Oak urged Bay Area public transportation assistance and the trio encouraged legislation to support more psychologists and mental health counselors in schools.

The three "There Ought To Be A Law" finalists can be viewed by clicking the playlist tab on the "Catharine Baker" YouTube page. Click the "like" button to vote for the best, and the video with the most "likes" by Dec. 17 will win.

"I am very grateful for the hard work of so many students in the 16th District. I will be honored to carry any of these measures in the Assembly, and look forward to seeing the results of the contest," Baker added.

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