Gov. Jerry Brown stopped at UC Santa Cruz, where he rallied students to vote in the upcoming election, and to vote “Yes” on Proposition 30.
This measure is a proposed tax increase to cover the rising cost of education, and prevent trigger cuts of $6 billion in 2012–13 from taking effect. The governor is on a tour of several state campuses to rally support for his measure, which will be voted on Nov. 6.
Around 300 students, faculty and other onlookers attended the event, held in Quarry Plaza and sponsored by the Student Alliance of North American Indians (SANAI). There were multiple people holding signs, most that read “Yes on 30” and some that read “Yes on 30, No on 32.”
Brown himself held a sign that read “Yes on 30” during parts of his speech. He said it was up to voters to increase taxes and create billions of dollars, or the schools in California will lose billions of dollars.
“It’s a stark choice,” Brown said. “There is no middle way. There is no compromise.”
Brown emphasized the impact that young voters would have on Prop 30.
Lydia Renteria, member of SANAI said it was important to her organization to get people to vote, because it is a cause that is vital to her community.
“After this [event] it’s just getting people to vote,” Renteria said. “We’re just trying our best to get people to vote.”
affect students today. Several speakers from SANAI and other campus organizations like the African-Black Student Union spoke at the rally about their personal experiences with student debt and worries about their economic stability in the future.
Melody Aguilar was one such student, who gave a speech in which she said, “now is not the time to be selfish. As a student, I personally cannot afford Proposition 30 failing. I just can’t. I have an eight-year-old brother who also deserves access to higher education.”
Aguilar stressed the importance of speaking out before the election.
“Now is the time to be vocal, and to be passionate about Proposition 30 because it recognizes the value of an educated public,” she said.
However, there were several students who were undecided in the crowd. This included Brandon Vi, undergraduate student at UCSC, who came to the rally to hear what the governor had to say about the benefits of Prop 30.
“If you were to talk to me right now about Prop 30, I would have to flip a coin,” Vi said.
“I know Prop 30 will in a way help fix higher education right now, but what I’m more curious about is how it will fix education in the long-term. That’s one of my main concerns about Prop 30.”
Vi went on to state that he wishes there were long term solutions built into the measure, like “future [incentives] to balance the budget and actually spend less” in Congress. If he could add anything to the discussion surrounding Prop 30, he said it would be to tell Gov. Brown that this proposal was insufficient, and that he should also balance the budget and stop needless spending at the state level.
Greg Careaga, University Library’s Head of Research, Outreach and Instruction, said he thought Proposition 30 was an incomplete solution to the budget and economic crises as well.
“This is a long-term problem,” he said. “Proposition 30 is part of the solution, but it really depends on other decisions by the governor and the legislature and decisions outside the state that are going to affect the rate at which the economy recovers — housing market, imports … I think it’s the best plan that we have.”
Careaga said he was in support of Proposition 30 because it might help alleviate some budget cuts at the libraries on campus.
“The library is looking at budget cuts regardless of whether measure 30 passes or fails, but the magnitude of the budget cuts are likely to be greater if Proposition 30 doesn’t pass,” Careaga said.
Although the proposition means more taxes, Careaga said it is a good idea.
“On some level I think it’s a bitter pill, but it’s a bitter pill for everybody,” he said. “That’s kind of the hallmark of good legislation is that it doesn’t favor one constituency over another. Everybody has to make a sacrifice for the common good.”