California Gov. Jerry Brown visited City College Oct. 18 to address Proposition 30 and rally students to vote in the Nov. 6 election.
Brown spoke on the importance of stopping statewide budget cuts on education. Darrell Steinberg, California Senate president Pro Tem; Taylor Valmores, City College Student Senate president; Brice Harris, incoming chancellor of California Community Colleges and former chancellor of the Los Rios Community Colleges District; and Jeff Freitas, secretary-treasurer of the California Federation of Teachers, joined the press conference in urging City College students to vote for Proposition 30.
“The state has been cutting community college courses,” said Brown. “That’s bad. Education has to be No. 1, but when the whole pot of money gets smaller then everything gets cut. The idea of Proposition 30 is to put some more money into the state coffers so we can pay for schools, and colleges and University of California. This is a crucial opportunity.”
The event took place on Thursday in the Art Court Theatre Courtyard with an approximate turnout of 500 students, faculty, staff and community members, according to City College campus police. Those in attendance included students from other Los Rios campuses, like American River College and local media like KCRA.
Steinberg kicked off the rally by getting students excited to vote.
“You know in Ohio today, you got President Obama standing with Bruce Springsteen,” said Steinberg. “That rally has nothing on this rally here today. It is so great to see so many young people out here today. Your vote matters and you’re going to make a difference in our great state.”
City College’s Valmores was introduced during the rally by Steinberg and spoke confidently on the importance of voting. He said he was shocked during recent Student Associated Council voter registration drives to find out how many students told him they wouldn’t go out and vote.
“In my time here [at City College] I have seen first-hand how important community college is,” said Valmores. “It is much harder to be a student these days. We need to rally behind a revenue solution that helps prevent more cuts and supports education; Proposition 30 is that solution.”
Students attended the event for many reasons including a chance to get extra credit, to see the governor, and to find out more information on making a choice on Proposition 30.
Cosmetology major, Anduli Smith said she was interested in hearing “[Brown’s] yes on 30 promises to fulfill.”
Other students weren’t in favor of the proposition.
“Even though community colleges get money, sales taxes go up,” said Kathleen Reiley in response to the negative side of Proposition 30 passing.
In regards to opposition of Proposition 30, which says that the revenue generated by the tax hikes included in Proposition 30 is not guaranteed to be used for education, Steinberg said that isn’t the case.
“Education is not only mandatory in the budget; it’s of the highest priority,” said Steinberg in an exclusive interview with the Express. “It’s the majority of what we invest. The opposition is a bit of a ridiculous argument. We have an obligation to stop cuts in education.”
Brown agreed on the topic of the opposition.
“[The money is] going to community colleges, don’t believe these other guys,” Brown told the Express. “Proposition 30 is not about me, it’s about us. It’s about our future.”
According to analysts, community colleges will lose $6 billion statewide if Proposition 30 fails. Steinberg emphasized the impact of Proposition 30 on City College.
“It’s really important that we’re here at Sacramento City College,” said Steinberg. “Our community colleges in California are the gateway for opportunity. It’s the place where we train the majority of our nurses and firefighters. We have made enough cuts to the community colleges.”
For more on the event and Proposition 30, see the upcoming print edition of the Express, which will be on newsstands around the City College campus on Oct. 23 and online Oct. 25.
More information on Proposition 30 is available at www.voterguide.sos.ca.gov/propositions/30/.
Additonal reporting by Wendy Aguilar || Arts & Entertainment Editor || firstname.lastname@example.org