By Karissa Willette
Last Tuesday night the buzz of summer filled the room as junior high students gathered at the Laguna Niguel Civic Center for an evening with their local legislators at the city, county and state levels. These students participated in the Laguna Niguel Junior Civic club, a group that meets once a month during the school semester and gives students the opportunity to learn about civics and local government in their community. To commemorate their graduation from this engaging group, City Council Member Elaine Gennaway hosted an evening in which students heard from Board of Equalization Vice Chair Diane Harkey, Orange County Sheriff Sandra Hutchens, Orange County Supervisor Lisa Barlett, and Capistrano Unified School District Trustee Martha McNicholas.
Each speaker shared about the duties of their position, highlighted their involvement in the community and stressed the importance of being engaged citizens in their city. Vice Chair Harkey explained the role of the California State Board of Equalization by illustrating what a tax is, how and when restaurants charge tax on food items, and how important it is to take advantage of the resources offered by state agencies. Vice Chair Harkey also told students that the best way to become a civic leader is to “Get a job!” Vice Chair Harkey shared how she spent over thirty years in corporate financing before running for Dana Point City Council. She stressed that before getting elected to any office at any level it is crucial to develop a strong work ethic and the ability to engage and work with others, regardless of whatever field of work is chosen. “That’s how you truly gain understanding about what people want and what they need in representation,” she said in closing.
How do you get a job? Take advantage of our internship opportunities! Our Interns Get Jobs! Last year our team placed seven young people into paying jobs after their internship with Vice Chair Diane Harkey’s Office at the State Board of Equalization. We have open spots in Orange County, San Diego, Riverside, and Sacramento. Our interns work with professional staff at all levels to assist District 4 taxpayers. Interested applicants can apply by emailing a cover letter and resume to Clare Michal.
BOE Vice Chair Diane Harkey speaks to students at the Laguna Niguel Junior Civic Club
Fellow guest speaker Orange County Sheriff Sandra Hutchens chats with BOE Vice Chair Harkey before the event
Capistrano Unified School District Trustee Martha McNicholas, Laguna Niguel City Councilmember Fred Minagar and BOE Vice Chair Diane Harkey