Marchers Embark Following Successful Kickoff

Faculty, Staff, Students, Friends, and Community Members turned out in force on both March 4th and March 5th in support of continued funding for public education.

March 4th activities began with “Teach-outs” and “Teach-ins” at virtually every campus of both the SDCCD and the GCCCD. Faculty, Students, Staff, Board of Trustee Members, Chancellors, and College Presidents all spoke about the need to fund public education and to re-order this State’s priorities. Here’s what one student commented to Grossmont College event organizer Gregg Robinson:

Dear Professor Robinson,

Although I cannot speak for everyone, it is safe to assume that every student that was present in that rally was moved. Please continue this dedication to your profession, and to your students because it truly makes a difference. The dedication you; and every faculty and board member demonstrated out there today was awe inspiring, and a moment I will never forget. The conviction delivered from every individual speech given by professors, board members, and students alike was very emotional; it was near impossible to hold back tears. Now more than ever, it gives me great pleasure to call myself a Grossmont College Student. Ultimately, the most important thing I would like to say is thank you.

Jose Borja

Jose’s comments truly reflect the feelings felt throughout both districts. Following these extremely successful site events, approximately 2,000 students, classified staff, faculty, and community members met at Balboa Park for a rally, followed by a march through the streets of San Diego to the Governor’s office.

Click here to view photos of the rally/march. (photo credits: Michael Golden)

On March 5th, over 150 students, classified staff members, faculty, and community members took buses from San Diego to Los Angeles, and then on to Bakersfield where they launched seven committed activists on a 48-day, 260-mile March for California’s Future.

The group of core marchers includes four teachers and a community college faculty member who are members of the California Federation of Teachers, and a probation officer and a firefighter. They are pounding a path marked 45 years ago when Cesar Chavez walked through the Central Valley to Sacramento to draw attention to the plight of farmworkers. This time, the focus is on the plight of all Californians, who are feeling the effects of legislative policies that are cutting public services to the core.

The core group of marchers will link with other supporters all along the way hundreds of firefighters, educators, nurses, in-home-care workers, students and police officers who will help carry the message that California is at a crossroads and must act to address a $20 billion deficit and a damaged mechanism to raise revenues to maintain services.

Click here to view photos of the day’s events. (photo credits: Michael Golden)

The march will provide opportunities to register voters, hold teach-ins and town hall meetings, and educate more of the public and legislators about how Californians can reclaim prosperity. The CFT has set up a special Web site to allow the public to follow along during the march.

A primary activity will be collecting signatures to put a majority budget measure on the November ballot. California is one of three states that require a two-thirds legislative supermajority to pass a state budget. This requirement has led to severe dysfunction year after year as a small minority of lawmakers hold the budget process hostage to ends not supported by the majority. The CFT is part of a coalition that is working to change the two-thirds requirement to a simple majority of 50 percent plus one. For more info, and to download petitions for signature gathering, click here.

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