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LEGISLATIVE AFFAIRS COMMISSION

About

Our staff is primarily responsible for conducting lobby visits with legislators and public officials to advocate for issues that affect students in addition to phone banking and holding town halls. We also work intensively with the Organizing Commission to create and carry out comprehensive campaigns for federal, statewide, and local affairs. The Legislative Affairs Commission essentially advocates for students off campus and is the reminder for officials that higher education accessibility and affordability is their priority.

Feel free to contact us with any questions or concerns!

Legislative Director: legislativeaffairs@asuci.uci.edu || Office Hours: Tuesdays, 2:00-3:00 pm || Zoom

Legislative Aide: legislativeaffairs@asuci.uci.edu 

Local Affairs Coordinator: localaffairs@asuci.uci.edu  

State Affairs Coordinator: stateaffairs@asuci.uci.edu 

Federal Affairs Coordinator: federalaffairs@asuci.uci.edu

Legislative Affairs Director & Aide: 

The Legislative Director is responsible for coordinating with legislative staff members in scheduling and conducting lobby visits with the state legislature, reviewing legislation, and leading the efforts in preparing UCI students to lobby in the annual Student Lobbying Conference and UC Hill Day. This person is informed of the events and actions occurring in the UC Student Association Board of Directors meetings. They work closely with the Organizing Director to carry out joint legislative and organize campaigns under statewide and national affairs. The Legislative Director will work closely with the UC Student Association (UCSA) on policy initiatives regarding our advocacy.

Local Coordinator:

The Local Legislative Affairs Coordinator will serve to advocate for the student body at the local level. This includes lobbying the Irvine City Council, engaging in community organizations on and off campus, and increasing the transparency between students and the UCI administration. Issues that will be worked on will primarily center around basic needs security, police accountability, and voter engagement. This year, we plan to work side by side with UCI Decide to get students to vote for the Midterm elections in November. As well as, we plan to host or go to town halls in order to get students more involved with the local government here in Irvine. We want also are aiming to visit the representatives that represent our students in district and develop a better relationship or know between them and our students. Long term goal is to get students to grow their knowledge of what the local government can do for them and get them more knowledgeable about what their role is as a citizen is within the local structure.

State Coordinator:

The State staff will serve to advocate for the student body at the state level. Advocacy efforts primarily center on our state legislators, UC Office of the President (UCOP), and the UC Regents. We work in partnership with the University of California Student Association (UCSA) who provide support in Sacramento as well as AFSCME (the largest trade union in the US). Legislation supported in the 2017 – 2018 year include helping the undocumented community (SB 54, AB 540), basic needs security (SB 307), and college affordability (AB 1178). State staff also help to prepare students to lobby in Sacramento during UCSA’s Student Lobby Conference (SLC). Time will primarily be spent hosting town halls, phone banking, and participating in lobby visits both in-district and at the state capitol.

Legislative Director

Bilen Michael (She/Hers)
Hi! My name is Bilen Michael and I am so honored to serve as your Legislative Director for the 2021-2022 school year. I am a rising senior majoring in Political Science and Social Policy & Public Service with a minor in Economics. Awareness and Advocacy are integral to progress, I plan to organize our initiatives to effectually develop both surrounding the priorities of our UCI student body and community. You can expect eye-opening townhalls, transparency surrounding stakeholder and legislator meetings, alongside policies written by students for students. Most importantly, I hope to be an approachable and available contact for students to share matters they’re passionate about. So, please do not hesitate to contact me and share issues you’re passionate about, I would love to find ways we can utilize our commission to advocate for it.

Legislative Aide

Lauren Melvin (She/Hers)
Hello! My name is Lauren Melvin and I am a second-year political science and business economics double major. Last year I served as a staffer in the Legislative Affairs Commission and I am so excited to be your Legislative Aide for the 2021-2022 school year! In the upcoming school year, I will be sure to listen to the wants of our student body and advocate on everyone’s behalf! Additionally, I hope to give our campus community the opportunity to participate in advocacy whether it be through a town hall, Student Lobby Conference, or any other event our commission will partake in this year! I am so excited to serve the student body this year. Please feel free to contact me if you ever have any questions or concerns!

Local Affairs Coordinator

Zachary Griggy (He/Him)
Howdy! My name is Zachary Griggy and I’m honored to be nominated to serve as your Local Affairs Coordinator for the 2021-2022 school year. I also have the honor of representing the School of Social Sciences in the ASUCI Senate.

I’m a third-year political science and urban studies double major. I hail from Marin County in the San Francisco Bay Area, where I gained an appreciation for the important role of local government in bettering people’s lives. I am also passionate about redistricting and ensuring all communities are represented in the political process. Before attending UCI, I helped shape the district lines used to elect school board trustees for two of Marin County’s largest school districts.

I served as a Legislative Affairs Staffer in the Office of the External Vice President during the 2020-2021 school year, where I worked to advocate for students at the state and local level. This year, as your Local Affairs Coordinator, my top priorities include protecting UCI’s voting power in the decennial redistricting process, pushing for more housing near UCI in Irvine’s general plan, and spearheading the office’s effort to expand and district the Irvine City Council.

State Affairs Coordinator

Jack Ryan (He/Him)
Hi! I’m Jack Ryan and I am honored to serve as your State Affairs Coordinator this year. Growing up I was always dissatisfied with politics, the way that a government supposedly for the people seemed to be for profit. Partisanship has also created a deep rift between the people, we bicker over choices that should be common sense, while the politically and monetarily affluent get to call all the shots. After witnessing the passage of Prop 22, a blatant corporate strongarm that acted against the interest of the working class Californian, I really wanted to make some changes statewide. Luckily, I happen to be in a position where I can kinda make that happen. Some of my goals for the year involve advocacy for both the student body and the working class. In the wake of COVID, I want to make sure that emergency provisions are in place to prevent Californians from slipping through the cracks like we saw this past year. I look forward to advocating on your behalf to the state and making sure that the voice of the people paying the tuition, is louder than the people profiting off it.

Federal Affairs Coordinator

Hunter Mackenzie (He/Him)
I’m Hunter MacKenzie, I’m a 3rd year political science major. My pronouns are he/him/his. I am a problem solver, and I always try to put advocacy into action, and turn words into work. I primarily want to work in reducing the excessive and ever increasing cost of attending, not just UCI, but all 4 year universities, while also making the entry into the workforce for students a much easier and more rewarding experience. To increase the financial well-being and assist in closing the wealth gap for all people, starting at the university level, is my overall goal.