Our Best Summer is Yet to Be: Working for a More Equitable California
McCarthy Fellows in Sacramento Professor
For several years now, I have taught at the University of San Francisco. Like everyone else, when summer approaches, I reflect back on earlier special times at the beach or touring National Parks. This year, looking ahead, I’m thrilled to be working with the Leo T. McCarthy Center‘s McCarthy Fellows in Sacramento program, and expect it to be the best one yet.
The Fellows have chosen to spend their summer around the halls of power, learning how to shape the structures and systems that frame our state’s policy making processes, honing their abilities for critical analysis, and immersing themselves in the unique political culture of our state Capitol. Who needs the beach when we can work for a more equitable, inclusive, and vibrant California?
My first year in Sacramento was a very special one. Through the Capital Fellows Program, I was an Executive Fellow in The Governor’s Office. It was the foundation of much of what I’ve accomplished. I bonded with my “fellow Fellows” and still rely on the mentor I had there for advice.
Now, as an instructor, my primary goal is to offer coaching to students that will strengthen their ability to critically access information and participate in a political world. I structure our discussions so that we not only dissect the theory and methodology of the scholarly work before us, but also connect course material to our everyday lives.
This summer I expect that we might be humbled by how daunting and complex many problems are and even frustrated by the inadequacies of the political process. In the end, my goal for the Fellows is that they will acquire the knowledge and confidence to be a part of the solution and most importantly that they will feel empowered to participate in the political arena.
I am continually inspired by how deeply the USF students and faculty feel our motto, Change the World From Here. Nowhere is this more obvious than at the Leo T. McCarthy Center for Public Service and the Common Good and our Fellows. And I know that we will create that change in our individual way this year.
Peter Wright, serves as the Executive Director of the University of California Student Association. He previously held positions at the California School Boards Association and in the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office.
Peter’s academic specialty is politics and policy – especially education. He is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of California, Santa Barbara and his research focuses on how school boards engage their communities and how this translates into governing decisions. He is particularly interested in how community engagement does or does not account for voices that have traditionally been marginalized.
Peter received a Master of Public Administration degree from the University of Southern California and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Occidental College. He recently served as a President of Oxy’s Alumni Association and as a Trustee of the College.