April 03, 2009

Media Advisory -- Youth Government Day

Sheila Simon, a member of the Governor’s Reform Commission and daughter of the late U.S. Sen. Paul Simon, is the keynote speaker for the ninth annual Youth Government Day -- sponsored by SIUC’s Paul Simon Public Policy Institute -- on Saturday, April 4. The day-long leadership event is at the Springfield Hilton Hotel Grand Ballrooms.

Reporters and photographers are welcome to cover any and all events of this year’s Youth Government Day.

Veteran political journalist David A. Yepsen will preside over his first event as institute director, and will offer opening remarks. A nationally recognized political analyst, Yepsen covered every Iowa presidential caucus campaign since 1976. He began his new duties April 1.

More than 300 high school and community college students and teachers from across Illinois will attend.

In addition to serving on the Illinois Reform Commission, organized by Gov. Pat Quinn to provide recommendations for cleaning up state government, Simon is an associate clinical professor at the SIU School of Law. She has been with the law school since 1998 when she started as a staff attorney in the law school’s Domestic Violence Clinic.

She earned her law degree in 1987 from Georgetown University Law Center. Prior to working at the law school, Simon worked in private practice, and for four years was an assistant state’s attorney in Jackson County. Simon also served on the Carbondale City Council for four years.

The event, which features a special emphasis on ethics in government, is designed to inspire students to explore careers in government, public policy politics and related fields.

The schedule is:

  • 9 a.m. -- Welcoming remarks, David A. Yepsen, director, Paul Simon Public Policy Institute.
  • 9:15 a.m. -- Panel discussion: “Illinois Politics: The Best of Times, The Worst of Times.” Moderated by Linda Baker, University professor, Paul Simon Public Policy Institute. The panelists feature Cindi Canary, executive director, Illinois Campaign for Political Reform. The organization is a statewide, non-partisan, education and advocacy organization founded by Paul Simon and then-Illinois Lt. Gov. Bob Kustra; state Sen. Toi Hutchison, D-Chicago Heights, selected to fill the remaining term of former Illinois Sen. Majority Leader Debbie Halvorson following her election to Congress in November, and state Rep. Jim Watson, R-Jacksonville.
  • 10:45 a.m. – Tours of the Illinois State Capitol.
  • Noon -- Lunch
  • 1 p.m. – Keynote speaker, Sheila Simon, member of the Illinois Reform Commission.
  • 2 p.m. -- Closing remarks, and complimentary independent tours of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum.

For more information, contact Matt Baughman, associate director of the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute, at 618/201-0082, or visit http://www.paulsimoninstitute.siuc.edu.