SACRAMENTO (CBS/AP) — Oscar winner Richard Dreyfuss told California lawmakers he hopes the American public will once again view politics as a noble calling.

The 66-year-old actor best known for “Jaws” and “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” was honored Thursday by California lawmakers for his work promoting civics education in public schools through The Dreyfuss Initiative.

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Dreyfuss said it wasn’t too long ago that politicians were held in high regard. He says that has not been the case lately but he hopes to turn that around through his initiative as soon as possible.

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Republican Sen. Mark Wyland of Escondido presented Dreyfuss with the resolution. Wyland said it’s important to remind the public about the importance of the nation’s fragile system of government or risk losing it.

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