Secretary of State Padilla addresses College Debate 2016

California Secretary of State Alex Padilla addressed student delegates attending Dominican University of California’s College Debate 2016 on June 2 in Guzman Lecture Hall.

College Debate 2016 is a first-of-its kind, national initiative created by Dominican, a Voter Education Partner of the Commission on Presidential Debates. College Debate 2016 will draw on technology and social media to generate discussion of issues important to students, and to bring those issues to the attention of the moderators of the Presidential Debates in the fall.

Secretary Padilla was sworn in as California Secretary of State on January 5, 2015. In 2015, Secretary Padilla sponsored the New Motor Voter Act. This landmark new law eventually will register to vote every eligible California citizen who goes to a DMV office to get a driver’s license or renew one, potentially adding millions to California’s voter rolls. Secretary Padilla also launched “Honor Veterans. Vote.” This program provides Californians an opportunity to dedicate their vote in honor of a family member or friend who has served or is actively serving in the military.

Secretary Padilla's parents emigrated from Mexico and raised their family in the working class community of Pacoima, California. He attended local public schools and went on to graduate from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with a bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering.  In 1999, at the age of 26, Secretary Padilla was elected to the Los Angeles City Council to represent the same east San Fernando Valley community where he grew up. In 2001, his colleagues elected him to the first of three terms as Council President, becoming the youngest member and the first Latino to serve in this capacity. Padilla served in the California State Senate from 2006-2014.

College Debate 2016

Delegates from colleges and universities throughout the United States are attending a June 1-3 training session on the Dominican campus to learn how to organize issue-focused events on their home campuses. Over the summer, delegates will facilitate discussions with fellow students on campus and through social media to encourage students to share their perspectives on important issues.

Student delegates will return to Dominican in September to attend the 2016 College Convention.  This event will provide a forum for focused discussion on national youth issues. The culminating event, a moderated Town Hall meeting, will be live-streamed to delegates’ home campuses.

The final product will be a memo to the moderators of the 2016 Presidential Debates that will contain specific questions for the presidential candidates.


May 11, 2016