Senator Mimi Walters Discusses the Importance of Communities with Grade 3 Students
By Stephen Barbee, Lower School Instructional Assistant
Throughout the year, grade 3 students have been learning what it is that makes up a California community. From learning and understanding the different geographic regions of the state, the different ethnic groups that inhabited the land, what it takes to build a community, the balance that every community must have between its community needs, business involvement, and need to preserve historical buildings, landmarks and natural preserves. Also, we have discussed the importance of public virtue and the role of the citizens within the community. During these discussions we have been able to touch on how to participate in the classroom, at school, within the community and in civic life.
On Friday, May 18, we had the honor of having California State Senator Mimi Walters speak with us on the importance of communities, community government and how they work together. Senator Walters touched on the triumphs and setbacks she experienced throughout her political career and how these setbacks never stopped her from striving for her goals. She was able to talk to the students on how bills are formed, passed by a majority and vetoed. She talked about her day-to-day schedule and dealings and was able to help reiterate how government and communities had to work together to create a thriving community. The students then had a question and answer portion in which they were able to find out how Senator Walters started her political career: first, as a junior and senior at Dana Hills High School in the student government; and years later becoming involved in her community, volunteering at the school’s holiday festival. She felt that it was her calling to make a difference in her community though political representation. Senator Walters commented on how being able to talk to students and members of her community was one of the highlights of her job. She touched on the fact that three of her children are also involved in school politics and it is important to be a positive force within your community. Senator Walters also went into detail about being the mayor of Laguna Niguel and the issues she dealt with on a city level.
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Students lastly asked her about her plans for the future when her first term ends as state senator. Senator Walters hopes to run for a second term and later on possibly representing her community in politics on a national level. Lastly, with her birthday falling four days before her visit, the entire third grade ended her visit with an enthusiastic rendition of “Happy Birthday.” She left, but not before she told the students that she looked forward to their visit to Sacramento next year.
Senator Walters has been a servant to her community for quite some time having served as mayor and councilwoman for the City of Laguna Niguel from 1996-2004. She then represented the 73rd District in the California State Assembly from 2004-2008. Moving from the State Assembly, in 2008 she ran and won the State Senate seat for the 33rd District, which includes cities in Northern, Central and Southern Orange County.