HCA Legislative Essay Contest 2020

The Houston Chinese Alliance is pleased to announce the 2020 annual legislative essay contest. The best essays will be published on this website for anyone to view to honor the participants. Participants’ efforts may count as service hours.

Participant Requirements :

Greater Houston area school students with Chinese heritage from Grades K to 12.

Varsity Level (Grade 9 to 12)

Essay Topic : Mayor Sylvester Turner signed Executive Order No. 1-68 on Sep 28 2020, authorizing the City of Houston to join Harris County’s Cite and Release Program. The following Class A and B misdemeanors are eligible for tickets instead of jail time:

  • Possession of a controlled substance, if the controlled substance is four ounces or less.
  • Criminal Mischief, if the amount of pecuniary loss is $100 or more but less than $750.
  • Graffiti, if the amount of pecuniary loss is $100 or more but less than $2500.
  • Theft, if the value of the property stolen is $100 or more but less than $750.
  • Theft of Service, if the value of the service stolen is $100 or more but less than $750.
  • Contraband in a Correctional Facility, if the offense is a Class B misdemeanor.
  • Driving with an invalid license.

Do you support or oppose this Executive Order? Please do your own research and write an essay to support your opinion.

Essay requirements : 500-800 words (not including title and references)

Awards : Monetary awards for top Varsity Level essays (for both sides of the argument) will be
offered:

  • $300 for 1st place
  • $200 for 2nd place
  • $100 for 3rd place

Booster Level (Grade K to 8)

Essay Topic : Should social media platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter, should have the right to delete posts.

Do you agree or disagree with this statement? Please do your own research and write an essay to support your opinion.

Essay requirements : less than 500 words (not including title and references)

Awards : $20 for each winning participant (top 3 on both sides)

Essay format requirement for both levels :

  • Essay Language : English
  • File Type : Your essay should be submitted as a word .doc or .docx file.
  • Font : Please use Times New Roman font, 12 pt font size.
  • Spacing : Double spaced.
  • References : Your essay must include a list of at least three references which you consulted. These references can be from printed or online sources.
  • Style Guide: You may use either the MLA, Chicago or APA style manual for citations and reference formatting.
  • Do: Please fill out the application form and sign the waiver by yourself and your legal guardian, and make sure to send it back with the essay.
  • Don’t: Please do NOT type in your name within the essay, or in any other way convey or imply your personal identity in the essay, as all essays will be rated anonymously.

Judging criteria for both levels :

  • 30% writing skills and grammar
  • 35% arguments
  • 35% research and supporting data

Please email your essay and application form to : hcatx2014@gmail.com

Download application form : HCA_Legislative Essay Contest_2020_E Form

Deadline for submission : February 28th, 2021 (Results of the contest will be announced in April 2021)

Reading material: How A Bill Becomes A Law In Texas (https://house.texas.gov/about-us/bill/)