tv [untitled] July 25, 2013 2:30pm-3:01pm PDT
community and gain their own empowerment to be who they want to be suffer. >> thank you. they might not have that respect. thank you. >> thank you. next speaker, please. (applause) good afternoon, supervisors. thank you so much for calling this hearing. my name is shanell williams and i'm student trustee for city college of san francisco. i also represent the student center for california community colleges and their communications officer which represents the 2.4 million students in the community college system in california. so, i just want to say that city college of san francisco is amazing institution. it's been serving our community for 77 years without sanction, without, you know, it's given so much to awful us. no matter what accjc says about our college, we know that it will be a devastating, devastating loss to have this
institution close and displace 90,000 students. you know ccsf was once the largest community college in the nation and now we've seen declining enrollment, about 15% decline enrollment and [speaker not understood]. without the college i wouldn't be able to pursue my educational goal. i'm a former foster youth. i grew upright here in san francisco, was very active in my community and came back to city college to now pursue my degree and my future and, you know, i don't know any other guidance program like the one at city college in the state. it would be devastating for me to lose the opportunity that that program provides. i mean, it provides a safety net for me as a student, to be able to get my books, to get housing assistance, to get transportation assistance, and that's just one of the programs that ccsf has to offer. i mean, this school is a gem. i mean, we are the model school for the nation. thank you. (applause)
>> thank you. good afternoon, supervisors. my name is [speaker not understood] simmons and i am the [speaker not understood] president of downtown campus. i am here on behalf of almost 10,000 students and also on behalf of the 85,000 students. i would like to speak about our students who are immigrants who need city college so much. as a native speaker for esl, for low-income people, for people that struggle in jobs and [speaker not understood] courses to better their lives and better their jobs, and for us city college is like mother of all. it's like mother that is raising children of the world and this is how we see and how
we feel about city college. it's one of unique schools that exists. we love city college. we are passionate about it. it only provides affordable education, but high-quality education, that we have the best teachers, the best programs, and without city college we have no future, our students would have no fewerth. ~ future. and we are asking for your help to support this school, supporting the [speaker not understood] life. thank you. >> thank you very much. (applause) >> our next speaker is our sheriff, sheriff mirkarimi. if you're in the room, i did not see you. i apologize. i think you may have been in here. i would have called you sooner. >> thank you. supervisors, it's a pleasure to be before you. ross mirkarimi, city and county of san francisco. city college and the san
francisco sheriff's department and our jails deserve a robust relationship. and i was stunned that in last december we reached out to city college in partnering on a $500,000 grant that city college had declined to participate with us on. it squandered the $500,000 opportunity. and the reason why that we reached out, and we're going to continue to assert that this relationship really be memorialized and implemented is that we have the first charter high school in the united states in our jail system thanks to my predecessor, mike hennessy. we have one of the most educated jail populations, in-custody populations because of how effective it is in providing a ged, diploma, or high school certificate. but if there is no pathway beyond the high school for people who are incarcerated or formerly incarcerated, we're stuck. and considering that the san francisco sheriff's department books approximately about
35,000 or 40,000 people per year, even though our daily jail population is one of the lowest in the united states per capita, it is my worry that if we're talking about public safety and crime prevention that what is not mainstream in this discussion is the relationship to city college and the criminal justice system. we need city college to be built into the jail system and we need our programs to be affiliated with city college outside the jail system. and when the sheriff and/or anybody tries to nurture relationships, i think it's really critical that we don't squander those opportunities so that we foster what i think is on all of our minds, and that is how cost prohibitive san francisco is becoming. but think about those that struggle just to maintain access to city college, what it's like exponentially for people who are formerly incarcerated that then want to go to the next step. they're not going to be able to afford sf state most likely or the private universities. so, the only access they'll have is city college. and if we remain true in our
commitment and our goal that we really want to do everything we can to tackle recidivism, then city college in my opinion is the strategy where that next step has frankly been denied so far. so, i look forward to working with certainly the city college community, the board of supervisors, and i think it's time the criminal justice system be more vocal in this discussion of us vigorously defend and vigorously bolster city college stations in san francisco. thank you. >> thank you. (applause) >> thank you, sheriff mirkarimi. hi, my name is [speaker not understood] wallace, i'm an esl teacher at the [speaker not understood] city college three blocks away at eddy street. malia cohen, thank you for sponsoring this. i was one of the teachers that came to speak with you in your office in march and we really, really appreciate the unanimous resolution that the board of supervisors passed in support of ccsf.
i was a student at city college in the '80s. i did my student teaching there as a masters student at s.f. state. i'll be working with two students from the masters program in the tsaw program at sf state. so, that's important. they are really fearful of what could happen in the next year with the special trustee because we feel like civic center campus might be vulnerable to being closed and i would really like to advocate that we need to keep the vic i can center campus open. i was speaking with edgar torres who is the chair of latino studies department and he noted that as the mission becomes more gentrified, a lot of immigrants are moving to the tenderloin ~ and we really need to be able to serve that population. i also just want to make the point that over the last year the faculty and staff at ccsf formed 14 different work groups to address every recommendation that the accjc cited us on and we put in a lot of hours to try
and meet their recommendations. so, it's been a huge slap in the face that we are at this point now. we think it's very unjust and undeserved and thank you very much for your support today. (applause) >> thank you. next speaker. hi, supervisors. thank you, supervisor cohen, for holding this hearing and supervisor avalos. my name is dennis [speaker not understood]. by the way, i went to city college three years, 1957 to 1960. and then later in the middle of my printing trades career, i decided i wanted to see if i could do something else so i went back to study physiology which was available to me. but that's not what i'm here for. i think you guys know because you've heard it all, that this is a political fight not an education fight. it's a political fight to hold onto this ability to have this kind of capacity to offer. what really is the only working class institution in san
francisco that serves more than 90,000 adults here, and many of them are working full time or half time. so, the question to you is because i can't figure it out, is who can change this decision? who do we put pressure on, aside from [speaker not understood] and meetings and hearings which are all going to be very important to educate people, who makes the decision to reverse this? it's a self-appealing committee that is -- i read about it. it's not a credible body. it's not somebody that you can talk to. so, who is the target of the political pressure? i don't know, but i hope when you guys get involved because i think it's going to take you guys to do this as well as a whole lot of the rest of us. i hope you can figure out exactly who we target because it's only a year. and i heard the statement today it's going to take a very long time to do this evaluation process. there isn't that much time. so, what do we do in the year and how do we do it?
because if times goes on and thing linger and there's no target, the year will pass and they will make the decision and they just may downsize the college because that may be what they're doing using threat of closure as leverage. leverage closure to scare the crap out of people. >> thank you. next speaker. (applause) hi, thank you for you all for your stamina. what you do for city college and what you do every day. it is a phenomenal amount of energy you put into. this my name is tracy wheeler. i left a very high pressure job about 10 years ago and took 10 classes at city college that shifted me out of corporate marketing. i worked for the gap, and into mission marketing advocacy for -- [speaker not understood] i worked with southern exposure for 7 years and i now work for
bennington college helping them negotiate some of the same forces, different, but very similar forces that are massing on the horizon of higher education. this is, as everybody said, i really big battle. it's a battle for our values. i think it could potentially be the conversation for san francisco right now, not just about city college, but also about who we are as a city, what our values are and what we believe in. i think any city that gets called the snobbiest city in the country, which we he just were by travel and leisure, a city that get tarred by the same brush that silicon valley is. with google, all the things going on, we really need to talk about not just what city college offers, but what it means as an institution of diversity, of accessibility, of welcome in a city at a time when the counter narrative is that we're closing down, we're
not accessible, and we're not interested in anybody who is not rich. so, please, please, i hope that we can all work together and take this very seriously. thank you. >> thank you. (applause) >> are there any other members of the public who would like to comment? if so, please come forward. and seeing no one else come forward, we can close public comment. >> all right. public comment is closed. [gavel] >> well, thank you, everyone, for being here and for providing your input and your stamina as well for this hearing. it's been about three hours, i think, maybe more. this has been a learning process for me. i've spent the past year looking at how come there's all these different points of view that aren't seeming to geling together and to* give me a right sense to weigh in on the issue. in fact since it's under my jurisdiction. but i thought that when the
board of trustees ~ were suspended that we needed to provide some kind of public space for people to come together. i've had real concerns. i actually throwing up the fact or the idea that the accrediting commission is completely unaccountable, that it doesn't have any linkage to state public education institutions except that it can rule over some of them at the local level, has been a scary thought and one that i think needs further investigation. i haven't read aft's or cft's report. i'm going to look at that. i think it's important to, you know, question that, but i also think at the same time it's important that there is a strong process that is going to work towards keeping the college open, keeping accreditation together. i do think there is significant resources as reported by archy mendoza, the mayor's education director that the mayor's office is involved at some level. i do think that the mayor's office needs to have a public
space to be able to share its work and also a place where the public can exhort the mayor's office to be accountable to the community. i'm happy to hear assembly member tom ammiano's office is active >> citith level. i think we need to hear from congressional leaders as well as what is happening at the federal level as well. the issue could go to the federal level about who has accountable -- the accjc could be accountable to. there were comments we'll hear about that as well. it was before the hearing i met with students from smac and coleman advocates. someone actually concerning me over the past years, how come there's students and faculty that don't seem to be on the same page on a lot of things. the students who came and spoke really spoke with a lot of emotion about how they feel their voice hasn't been heard. that's something i think cannot be denied. and one of the things i hope to
come out of this hearing would be how there could be some way to get people to the other end of work so their voices can be heard from the other side. i think the students need to have sense that the school is making headway and not just hearing their voices, but implementing their ideas into action that come from them. it is something that -- the only way they're going to actually feel there is actual meaningful change that is happening. this process doesn't lead to some changes being made, there is the opportunity to have their voices implemented. i'd like to see that happen. my office is -- works on a myriad of issues here at city hall, but i am willing to devote some of my staff and interns' time to be able to, you know, hear from community groups, from labor groups, from people who are administrators and faculty at the college, perhaps even the trustee and
others to sort out what's going on and have a stronger point of view. i'm willing to work towards building greater unity within the city to make sure that we can actually make valid changes and keep this college together. and, so, i offer that, you know, in the coming months to do that. and, you know, people can contact me directly by e-mail. my office phone, telephone lines, personally, my staff will be working directly with raquel [speaker not understood]. and calling my office and e-mailing her would be a way to go as well. i'm also on facebook. so, with that, if there are -- i think supervisor tang has comments as well. but i do really appreciate people coming here and i want to make sure that we are playing a role to support the efforts to save and improve city college. >> all right. well, i just wanted to really thank supervisor avalos for your leadership on this issue and of course thank you to all
the people who came out and spoke. we really enjoyed listening about the diversity of opinions you have and experiences that you've had through city college. certainly i even have peers to this day who decided to go back to city college to take extra courses. so, we truly do know how important it is to maintain this incredible institution. and i know that all of the members on the board of supervisors don't want to see it closed. i think that regardless of whatever your opinion is on the accrediting commission that improvements that have been recommended to city college will help in the long run. a lot of people spoke about not only just maintaining city college, but making sure it thrives in the future. i think that the improvements that will be made and that have already been made would not only help the students who are currently there, the people who are currently working there, but people who in the future will decide to go to city college. so, i know that all the members of the board and especially supervisor avalos who will work very hard to make sure city college can remain a viable institution in the future, so, thank you everyone for coming out.
>> if we could perhaps continue this to the call of the chair. >> perfect, okay. let's go ahead and close out public comment. i don't know if i -- okay. public comment is closed. [gavel] >> there's been a motion to file to the call of the chair and it's been seconded and it's been unanimous. this motion is accepted and filed. is there anything else you wanted to say? >> just to continue -- >> i'm sorry, continued to the call of the chair. >> thank you. >> it's been a long day, folks. okay, thank you, everyone, for coming out. and i thank you for caring. (applause) >> madam clerk, are there any other matters before this body? >> that concludes our business for the day. >> thank you, this body is adjourned. [gavel] >> thank you. [adjourned]
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