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Lobbying For California’s 2.3 Million Community College Students With A $0 Budget

For months they juggled classes, schoolwork and exams with testimony, endless meetings and midnight trips to Sacramento — all on their own dime. It was the most successful year yet for the amateur lobbyists of the Student Senate for California Community Colleges, owing largely to the sacrifices and sheer stamina of its recent leaders.

As the legislative session came to a close this week, five of the seven bills the students championed were on their way to the governor’s desk or awaiting his signature, including one that would require two-year schools to give their homeless students access to showers on campus.

What makes that track record so remarkable is the size of the Student Senate’s legislative affairs operating budget: $0.