Vasconcellos Institute for Democracy in Action

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VIDA's Public Policy School

Are you passionate about law, policy, and social justice?
Do you want to learn public policy advocacy skills?

Application & Requirements

Public Policy School


Click link for:






November 26th

@ 5 pm

  • You must be enrolled in, intending to enroll in, or have completed the Leadership and Social Change Certificate Program*
  • Have successfully completed Poli 17/ICS 27or be enrolled in this course during winter quarter*
  • Be 18 years or older
  • Commit to attending workshop events and completing the training

*requirement may be waived in rare, difficult circumstances.

About the Program

Learn to Be a Public Policy Advocate

Join the Vasconcellos Institute for Democracy in Action (VIDA) and the Department of Political Science for a series of workshops to learn how law and policy is made and changed.


Ten students who have attended workshops and have successfully completed Poli 17/ICS 27 or are enrolled in it during the Winter 2017 Quarter may apply to train as a student public policy advocate and lobby the halls of government in Sacramento and the region.

A group of 10 De Anza Public Policy students taking a photo in front of the capital building on a sunny day

Winter 2017: Plan an Advocacy Campaign

  • Apply to be one of 10 students who will go to Sacramento and Washington, D.C. — all expenses paid — to advocate for the issues you care most about.
  • Learn how to craft messaging, build coalitions, and lobby effectively to make change.
  • Receive small group and individual mentorship and training from Bob Stockwell and Jim Nguyen, instructors in Political Science.

Need More Information?

If you have any questions, please contact us!

Jim Nguyen

Political Science Instructor and Co-Facilitator of Public Policy School


Robert Stockwell

Political Science Instructor and Co-Facilitator of Public Policy School

(408) 864-8382


 VIDA and the Political Science Department created PPS to teach students about the policymaking process, to train them in public advocacy, and to empower them to advance community interests. Students put their public policy advocacy skills to work locally, at the state level, and at the federal level with trips to Sacramento and Washington, D.C. All travel, housing, and meal expenses are covered by PPS.

Public Policy School


Don't like the law?
Learn how to change it!


Nothing counts but pressure, pressure, more pressure, and still more pressure through broad organized aggressive mass action."


— A. Phillip Randolph, Labor and Civil Rights Organizer

Students at Sacramento Capitol

 Highlights from Previous Cohorts


 2014-2015 Public Policy School Concludes Successful Year with Trips to Sacramento and Washington, D.C.!

Eleven Public Policy students led by Co-Facilitators Bob Stockwell and Jim Nguyen from the Political Science Department conducted conference and legislative visits in both Sacramento (state issues) and Washington, DC (federal).

Students attended legislative and policy conferences, networked with students and faculty from other colleges and actively fought for policy changes to increase support and funding to community colleges in California and across the country.

The students learned campaign, organization, advocacy, persuasive speech and communication skills, while successfully spreading the message of community college needs on behalf of other students.

Many thanks to the students and facilitators for another strong year. We look forward to next year's class and program!

Some images from our recent trip to Washington, D.C.:



eshoo meeting





Building: East Cottage

Director: Cynthia Kaufman
Phone: 408.864.8739

Program Coordinator: Angelica Esquivel
Phone: 408.864.8993

Student Staff:


Last Updated: 10/30/17