Youth & Government

Training & Elections I

Nov. 9th - 11th, 2019
Fresno, CA

Training & Elections II

Jan. 18th - 20th, 2020
Fresno, CA

Model Legislature

Feb. 12th - 17th, 2020
Sacramento, CA


First Meeting:

August 27, 2019, 6:00 p.m at San Pablo Y.

What is Youth & Government?

The California YMCA Model Legislature & Court is a state wide youth educational program involving more than 3,000 high school students. Students are involved in a hands on experience that
teaches all aspects of California State government. During the program, students travel to two 3 day conferences in Fresno, CA for training and elections. Then delegates will spend 5 days in
Sacramento in the capitol chambers during the Model Legislature & Court program. During the program every student will have the opportunity to:

  • Write a legislative bill
  • Vote in state elections
  • Debate both state and national issues
  • Argue a court case in front of a real judge
  • Run for state and local offices
  • Meet students from all over California
  • Write articles for the Youth & Government online magazine
  • Learn parliamentary procedure

Meetings are held at The Family YMCA of the Desert, 43-930 San Pablo Avenue, Palm Desert

Students will act as:
  • Pages
  • Lobbyists
  • Trial Attorneys
  • Assembly Members
  • State Board of Education
  • .
  • Senators
  • Court Justices
  • Media Reporters
  • Political Party Members
  • National Issues Commissioners


“Democracy Must Be Learned By Each Generation”


The mission of the California YMCA Youth & Government program is to ensure that leadership, democracy, and the YMCA core values of Honesty, Caring, Respect and Responsibility are to be learned by each generation.

The foundation for this has been, and will continue to be, the preparation and participation in the Model Legislature/Court.

We will develop programs that expand, extend, and enhance this purpose being ever mindful that our program will involve youth that reflect the diverse ethnic, socioeconomic, geographic, and cultural populace of California.


Training & Elections I November 9-11, 2019

Fresno Convention Center, Fresno CA
This conference provides an overview of the YMCA Model
Legislature & Court for delegates, with specific training in debate and parliamentary procedure. Delegates also attend sessions on values, ethics, and peer pressure. All delegates participate in
elections for leadership officers for the program.

Training & Elections II January 18-20, 2020

Fresno Convention Center, Fresno CA
At this conference, all 3,000 delegates and advisors from around the state meet for the final time before the Model Legislature & Court. Students are trained on their specific role for the ML/C. The remainder of officers are elected. By the end of this conference, delegates will have knowledge of their role and job description for the Sacramento conference.

Model Legislature & Court February 13-17, 2020

Hyatt Regency and State Capital, Sacramento, CA
The Model Legislature & Court is a 5 day program that encompasses most aspects of state government.
Delegates use the actual state legislative and judicial chambers. Youth & Government is the only youth program allowed to use the actual capitol chambers. Students will debate the bills they’ve
written, argue court cases, and take a hands on approach to running this year’s model Government.


1. Attendance at all scheduled meetings.
2. Participation in all delegation fundraising events.
3. Code of Conduct read and signed by delegate and parent.
4. Meet all program and payment deadlines.
5. Attendance at all Youth & Government conferences.
6. Attendance at all sessions at conferences.
7. Demonstrate the character values of Caring, Honesty, Respect and Responsibility.

Failure to adhere to these requirements can result in disqualification from


Each year Youth & Government provides over $100,000 in scholarships to students from California. In addition, the Family YMCA of the Desert provides fund raising and assistance opportunities for students who qualify. If you need more information on scholarships, please ask an advisor. Our goal is to not let the cost of the program stop any student from participating.


Youth & Government is a costly program to administer. Included in the delegate fee are program fees for both Training & Election conferences, charter buses to all conferences, meals at training conferences, airfare to Sacramento, hotel at Hyatt Sacramento, delegation sweatshirt, insurance and administration costs. The delegate fee is $1300. The delegate fee will be paid in monthly payments.


Due to the high cost and early deadlines with registrations and bookings, we are unable to refund any money paid out back to the participant. Therefore, a strong commitment to the program is imperative.


Youth & Government is organized and administered by a team of volunteer advisors. This group works year round to make this program possible. All advisors are trained and complete a background check. We have a delegate to advisor ratio of 10-1.


All delegates, advisors and staff agree to follow a “Code of Conduct”. Both delegate and parent must read and sign the “Code of Conduct” before they will be allowed to attend any of the conferences. Anyone found in violation of any rule in the code of conduct will be immediately expelled from the program at parents’ expense.


The Conferences held in Fresno will be at the Fresno Convention Center All advisors and delegates will stay in near by hotels.
At the Sacramento conference delegates will stay at the Hyatt Regency or Sheraton Grand Sacramento. Delegates will share rooms with up to 3 other students from their delegation.


In case of an emergency and you need to contact a delegate please call:
YMCA of the Desert 760-341-9622
Hyatt Regency Hotel 916-443-1234
Sheraton Grand 916-446-3614
YMCA Youth & Government 650-522-9622


Cell phones are a major distraction from the program for both the user and those around them. For this reason we ask all delegates not to use cell phones during any Youth & Government meeting or conference sessions.


During the Model Legislature and Court in Sacramento all participants must follow a strictly enforced dress code. This dress code involves being in business dress from 7am to 10pm.


Suits, sport coat and tie, nice pants fitted at the waist, sweater or suit vest( must be worn with tie) dress shoes


Suits, hose with all dresses,skirts, and pants, professional shirts and sweaters, skirts: should be no more than 2 inches above the knee, dress shoes

Shoes are always an issue, dress shoes must be worn at all times! Make sure you bring a comfortable pair of dress shoes.


At both Training & Election conferences meals will be provided. A basic vegetarian menu is provided. Any other special diets will need to be taken care of by the delegate. There are delegations that sell food on site for students to purchase. The delegation does stop for breakfast and dinner on the drive up and back, but these meals are not provided in the fees. In Sacramento, only one meal is provided. Delegates will need to bring money for all meals.


Transportation to the conferences will be by charter bus from the YMCA.


To help every delegate experience all aspects and prepare for the program, delegates are involved in special events. Schedule is subject to change.

PARENTS NIGHT September 17, 2019

All delegates MUST have at least 1 parent attend Parents night.
Parents will hear testimonials, listen to debate, meet with youth and adult leadership, get an overview of the program and have the opportunity to ask questions. We have a lot of information to convey to parents so attendance by at least one (1) parent is mandatory.

BILL HEARING NIGHT November 6, 2019

Palm Desert City Council Chambers
Delegates will write two pieces of legislation. At bill hearing night delegates will present and argue theses bills in front of a panel made up of teachers, local officials, YMCA board members and other community members. After debate the panel will offer an evaluation of the bills and presentations.


Delegates will choose a role to act out in Sacramento. These roles include:


Students debate bills they’ve written in committee groups and on the house floors.

National Issues Commissioner:

Each delegate writes their own proposal on a national/ international issue. Proposals are presented to other commissioners then ranked.

Trial Attorney:

Attorneys will be given facts of an actual case. They will write opening and closing statements, and prepare witnesses. Finally, they will present their case.


Students will lobby for certain bills in committees. Then they will draw up and try to pass initiatives.

Appellate Court:

Delegates will take previously ruled on court cases through the appeals process. Students can act as either attorneys or justices.


The ML/C has both print and broadcast media. Members of the media team report happenings of the program through a daily newspaper and news show.

Legislative Analyst:

Analysts create a nonbiased report on the fiscal impact and pros and cons to the state. This report is then presented to committees and Legislative houses.

Board of Education: Board members identify and debate issues facing education. Then they write recommendations which are given to the actual State Superintendent of Schools.

Constitutional Convention:

Students will research and rewrite the constitution of California.

Department of Finance:

Groups of delegates will be given the challenge of creating a budget the governor will sign.