A highlight of the two-day conference was the D4D Legislative Hearing. In February, groups of students from Periclean colleges and universities who wished to participate in the hearing submitted original letters to an elected official to Project Pericles addressing a variety of public policy issues. Project Pericles received 58 letters from 27 Periclean colleges and universities. A committee of judges with significant legislative experience selected five finalist letters to participate in the Legislative Hearing.
At the hearing, the five finalist teams (Allegheny College, Carleton College, Hendrix College, Macalester College, and Swarthmore College) presented their letters to a legislative committee and an audience of students, faculty, Project Pericles Board and National Board of Advisor members as well as government, education, foundation, and community leaders. The legislative committee included former U.S. Senators Nancy Kassebaum Baker and Harris L. Wofford; former U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Constance Berry Newman; and former Mayor of Baltimore, Maryland Kurt L. Schmoke. Following each presentation, the legislative committee asked each team questions pertaining to the issues presented in their letters.
At the end of the event, the legislators selected Carleton College juniors Anna Fure-Slocum and Nick Welna as the winning team. Addressed to U.S. Congressman John Kline, Anna and Nick's letter outlines their vision for meeting the needs and interests of students through the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education (ESEA) Act, with an emphasis on greater student input and influence in the classroom. They received a $3,000 award from Project Pericles to develop an advocacy and education campaign to move their issue forward. A copy of their letter is below.
(L-R) Legislative Hearing winner Nick Welna, Carleton College; former U.S. Senator Nancy Kassebaum Baker; Project Pericles Founder and Chair Eugene M. Lang; former Mayor of Baltimore Kurt L. Schmoke; former U.S. Senator Harris L. Wofford; former U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Constance Berry Newman; Legislative Hearing winner Anna Fure-Slocum, Carleton College
"A Letter to U.S. Congressman John Kline on the Elementary and Secondary Education Act," By Anna Fure-Slocum and Nick Welna - Carleton College
The four semifinalist teams received a $500 award also to be used to develop an advocacy and education campaign to move their issue forward. Copies of their letters are below.
"A Letter to State Senator Mary Jo White on the Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards Act," By Brian Anderson and Mingyuan Song - Allegheny College
"A Letter to State Representative Elliott Naishtat on the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact," By Nick Bemberg and Jacob Porter - Hendrix College
"A Letter to State Senator Richard J. Cohen on the Mental Health Model Curriculum Creation," By Rosie Glenn-Finer and Rachel Lochner - Macalester College
"A Letter to U.S. Congresswoman Allyson Schwartz on Implementing a National Financial Literacy Program," By Ariel Finegold and Tyler Hanson - Swarthmore College