By the end of the conference, our California FIRST teams were ready to put their practice into action and had meetings with the following Senators and Representatives:
- United States Senator Alex Padilla – California
- United States Senator Dianne Feinstein – California
- United States Representative Sara Jacobs, 53rd District – California
- United States Representative Darrell Issa, 50th District – California
- United States Representative Mike Levin, 49th District – California
During their meetings with these Congress Members and their staff, teams urged lawmakers to increase funding for grants used for STEM engagement activities, including raising funding for grants in Title IV-A of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) to the authorized level of $1.6 billion and supporting the NSF grants in the United States Innovation and Competition Act (USICA).
Team Spyder member, Brendan Aeria said, “Participating in the National Advocacy Conference has made a huge impact on me, because it has taught me a lot that I would have never known about our government, and how I can be active and push for policies that I believe in, such as robotics funding. I gained a lot of confidence in my everyday conversations and especially with future public speaking by advocating to elected officials and their staff.
By the end of the conference, team members gained valuable real-life skills and saw first-hand how advocating as a group can create great impact.
Robotics California Advocacy Coalition begins.
On July 20, 2022, California robotics teams that attended the NAC 2022 gathered together via Zoom across the state to organize unified robotics and STEAM advocacy efforts with MSET Fish and Team Spyder leading the way with five founding members of this coalition, namely FRC 649, FRC/VEX 1138, FRC/FTC 1622, FRC 6165 & FTC 12675.
They will be working with local and California government through policy legislation, to influence, and advocate to legislature in the state Senate and Assembly. If you are interested in becoming a part of the Robotics California Advocacy Coalition and upcoming events, indicate your interest via their sign up form.