Welcome to the Presidential Cabinet at Harvard Model Congress San Francisco 2019! My name is Maria Mendoza and I will be serving as your chair at the conference I am a senior from West New York, NJ studying Government and Latino Studies. In my free time, I love going to museums, cooking, and traveling (especially with HMC!). I chaired the Presidential Cabinet committee at HMCSF my freshman year, and I’m very excited to be returning to Presidential Cabinet for my fourth and final HMCSF with all of you.
The Cabinet is a fast-paced committee, where we move swiftly between discussions of presidential policy, sessions of rapid crisis management, and debates over the bills brought to us by Congress. Given the multifaceted nature of our work in Presidential Cabinet, it will be nearly impossible for you to prepare for every single discussion we’re going to have––a better use of your time would be learning the responsibilities of your assigned role, familiarizing yourself with the presidential views described within the briefings online, and coming into all committee sessions with a willingness to learn and speak up.
This year, the Presidential Cabinet will address one of the most pressing policy issues facing government officials at every level today: immigration reform. This issue area affects nearly all positions in the Presidential Cabinet in some way. Your job will be to look beyond the Trump administration’s rhetoric and stated proposals and address the facts. For your cabinet position, think about how immigration and types of potential reform influence your department. Consider where the administration should target its reform efforts. And finally, always remember that officials––even executives––hardly ever make policy in a vacuum. Reform efforts that go beyond enforcement will require Congressional approval, all actions will be closely monitored by Courts, and public opinion is crucial as reelection looms.
I hope you are all excited to develop as thinkers and speakers at HMCSF 2019. I hope to be a resource for you as you think through your arguments and plan your speeches, so please do not hesitate to be in touch with me if you want to share your goals for the weekend in advance.