Students learning about politics in California’s capital city will soon hear from a man with some firsthand experience: former Assemblyman Roger Dickinson.
A year removed from losing an extraordinarily expensive Senate contest to fellow Democrat Richard Pan, Dickinson has announced an arrangement that will have him talking politics and policy with various undergraduate and graduate courses as a “practitioner-in-residence” at California State University, Sacramento.
“Sac State is the capital’s university,” said Dickinson, who represented Sacramento in the Assembly and on the Sacramento County board of supervisors, so he hopes to “encourage people to think about Sac State as the place they would want to go to school if they’re interested in public policy and government.”
Topics could include specific policies – Dickinson said he has considered case studies of this year’s bruising battle over climate change bills or about “the relationship between higher education and the political system” – and overarching questions about civic engagement and why voter turnout rates have cratered in California. Dickinson faulted the rhetoric ricocheting around races in which outside groups spend millions, citing the recent battle between Rep. Ami Bera, D-Elk Grove, and Republican Doug Ose.
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“If all you get are messages about how horrible the people running for office are,” Dickinson said, “why would you bother voting?”
Dickinson will be paid $15,200 for a year of part-time work, the university said.