Sea View Elementary Students Testify Before Assembly Committee

Sacramento, California - This morning, Sea View Elementary fifth-grade students Freedom Payne and Samantha Lambarena testified before the State Assembly Committee on Water, Parks & Wildlife in support of a bill they helped author, AB 2364 with State Assemblymember V. Manuel Pérez, to declare the California red-legged frog an official state symbol. 

The bill passed the committee on a vote of 8-0.

“It was exciting to testify, we really liked it,” said Samantha and Freedom. “We were a little nervous at first, but then once we started talking it was fine.  The hearing went a lot faster than we thought it would. The whole experience was great.”

Pérez waived his committee presentation to enable the students to have more time to make their statements.

“Samantha and Freedom did an excellent job this morning,” said Pérez. “They prepared a strong statement which they each took turns reading.  They made a good case for the bill, explaining the frog’s significance to California history, culture, and ecology. It’s a proud day for all of us.”

Late last year, Pérez was contacted by Sea View Elementary students, asking him to author a bill declaring the threatened California red-legged frog as the official state amphibian, to join other existing state symbols such as the grizzly bear (state mammal), sequoia (state tree), and California golden poppy (state flower).  A former educator, Pérez was very impressed with their enthusiasm for the legislative process and directed his team to build on the students’ work, leading to the introduction of AB 2364.

Accompanying the students on the trip were their parents, their teacher, Ms. Virginia Haddad, school principal Dr. Timothy Steele, and school district superintendent Dr. Darryl Adams.  Also testifying at the hearing was Dr. Kerry Kriger, founder of Save the Frogs.

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