On stage

Graduation: An Ending and a Beginning

Captured moments from our graduation ceremony. The night was filled with heartfelt speeches, celebratory toasts, and bittersweet farewells. This is not the end!

One way

False Dichotomies

by Aidan Lukomnik

During my year at CORO I’ve earned the nickname “Grey Brain,” because I hate false dichotomies. It is almost impossible for me to think in “either-or” scenarios, and I end up seeing nuance and subtlety where others see one choice.

What is a dichotomy? According to Merriam Webster’s dictionary a dichotomy is “a division into two especially mutually exclusive or contradictory groups or entities.” Essentially it’s a situation which forces a choice between two ideas.There are many examples of dichotomies. For example: black or white, day or night, logic vs. emotion, and good or bad. As you can see, dichotomies usually use an “either, or” statement or a “vs” statement. They set up situations in which you can only choose one option and not the other.

Why are dichotomies important? Dichotomies are important mainly because (more…)

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Finally a Citizen! How CORO taught me the meaning of citizenship

by Ezekiel Gorrocino Santillan

On the morning of Wednesday, May 20, 2015, I entered the Paramount Theater in Oakland to take my Naturalization Oath and become a citizen of the United States. As I was sitting there, listening to the government representatives speak about the importance of this ceremony, of the many people with different backgrounds coming together for a common objective, encouraging us to register to vote and to participate in our Democracy, explaining why civic engagement is important for a fully functioning society, I thought: “I’ve heard this before.”

The official continued his speech, now with a warning about the difficult challenges our society faces and how everyone—those of us becoming citizens and our friends and family present in that room—will have the responsibility of making hard choices that will decide where the country heads in the future. He followed by saying we all need to come together to figure out the best solutions that will benefit our society. And then it hit me. These were all messages I’d been hearing from CORO for the last nine months.

One of the main reasons I was first attracted to CORO was (more…)

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Agriculture Week: An Adventure

From almonds to cattle ranches, the CORO Fellows did a deep dive into agriculture in the Central Valley.  It was an amazing trip with so many highlights! See some of our favorite pictures below.

Capitol Building

Conversations at the Capitol: Trust and Relationships

by Aidan Lukomnik

[Editor’s note: names changed to protect those involved]

Sitting in a dark bar one evening, I sipped my old fashioned. Surrounding me revelers danced to the live band. A California State Senate staffer, who I had connected with the day before, sat to my right. The lights at the bar were dimmed around us, as we mimicked football coaches, whispering to one another only when we knew no one could read our lips. We weren’t there to talk policy or politics, but rather about the relationships that are formed in the Capitol.

In that bar filled with shadows,my contact and I sat discussing. Examining what it entailed to work for the most powerful policy makers in California, what it felt like to influence 38 million people in every sentence one wrote, and what relationships meant in the Capitol.  During my short time in Sacramento, I had repeatedly heard that trust was a must. If you lied in the Capitol your reputation was harmed, and the only thing that kept you going in this business was your reputation. If no one trusted you, (more…)