facebook.edu: Campaigning for Higher Education

When I came to Cal, I purged my closet of all things red, of course in solidarity with thousands of Cal students before me turning up their noses at the Stanford Stink.  But I’m sure over the last year people reading this have rallied with me in that hated color, forgetting the pettiness of rivalship, and repping a different sort of solidarity.  Over the last year, many of us have yelled, marched, and advocated for a cause few of us can ignore.  On March 22, my red shirt again blended in with th...
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January Endorsements

On January 28, 2010, the Cal Berkeley Democrats endorsed four bills, ballot initiatives, and policy positions regarding both state and federal government. Members voted unanimously to support AB 656, the California Democracy Act, an end to the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. AB 656 would place a 9.9% “severance” fee on oil companies, which drill in our lands and profit from our resources. Currently, California is the only oil-pro...
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Confirm Abel Maldonado

Following John Garamendi's election to Congress, Governor Schwarzenegger has nominated State Senator Abel Maldonado for the post of Lieutenant Governor. However, the appointment is still subject to confirmation, and it's unclear whether Democrats will play along. From a purely political perspective, they should. First, as far as Sacramento Republicans go, Maldonado isn't that bad. He is the most likely Republican to cross party lines, and he believes (at least rhetorically) that some of o...
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The High Cost of Minority Rule

What’s wrong with California? Many of us ponder this question with alarming regularity. Unfortunately, our concerns are well-founded. This summer, we saw our state fall over the fiscal precipice. We issued IOUs for the first time in years, damaging both our credit rating and our pride. We made drastic cuts to services, including K-12 education and our own university. We saw our political system paralyzed by gridlock, with its leading figures mired in childish bickering. Our state’s dysfun...
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Working People in Poverty at the University of California

The University of California employs thousands of people to keep the business of educating California's young people running smoothly. These people work every day to keep the ten campuses that make up the UC system clean and safe. They are also responsible for feeding students, faculty, administrators and campus visitors. These people work hard every day as employees of the best public university system in the world. And far too many of them live in poverty. 96% of UC service workers qualify ...
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We’re Not the Only State with a Budget Crisis…

...but we are the only state held hostage by minority rule that refuses to consider any measure to raise some revenue in order to close the budget gap and thereby prevent teachers from being laid off, health services from being cut, criminals from being released early and parks from closing (as well as myriad other problems associated with drastically cutting spending in the midst of a recession). I bring this up, of course, because last night the news from Michigan indicated that their stat...
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Walkout Advocacy Letters

At our meeting last Thursday, almost 100 Cal Dems signed letters urging their representatives to protect higher education in California. You can view a copy of our letter here. We told Sacramento to look for new revenues--including tobacco and oil severance fees--before squeezing students, faculty, and the future of our state. Our message was clear: we would rather have affordable education than affordable cigarettes. This was a great first step, but it won't be our last. Education is...
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Good Days in California

Thursday was a great day in California. Love Honor Cherish submitted ballot language to repeal Prop 8, George Lakoff filed an initiative to end the 2/3rd rule, and 5,000 students rallied in Berkeley to defend the UC. Wednesday, too, was phenomenal. In the lead up to the walkout, a panel of professors, including Peter Glazer, Kevin Padian, Ananya Roy, Catherine Cole, and Robert Reich, discussed the importance of public education and why it must be preserved. Our Marketing Coordinator, Joshua A...
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California: Democrats and Taxes

Note: These views don't reflect those of Cal Dems. Cal Dems is neutral in the primary. At a candidate's forum last Wednesday, [unofficial] gubenatorial hopeful Jerry Brown said: "We are not in the revenue-raising business...I think there are some other candidates who will do that. … Talk to the people. I don't see their appetite for more taxes, at this point." I have several problems with that statement. First, it's colossally unwise. Brown can't predict the future; he shouldn't limit ...
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California: Taxes vs. Spending

For many people, the economy is issues one, two, and three. This is understandable, as national unemployment sits at 9.7% . California is even worse at 12.2%, the highest ever recorded. During California's budget battle, some argued that given our economic doldrums, we couldn't afford to raise taxes. Doing so, they claimed, would have reduced incomes and driven businesses away. As a result, they advocated an all-cuts budget. However, their approach ignored the facts and was grossly misgui...
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