The Opportunity For All Agenda
Free College for All
Imagine a San Diego where every person knew she or he could attend college without money standing in the way. Where everyone graduates without debt and with the freedom to build the life they’re told is waiting for them after college. Such a future isn’t some faraway dream. It’s within our reach.
States such as New York and Rhode Island have guaranteed free community college to their residents. Some California community college districts, including Santa Barbara, are covering the cost of tuition, fees, and required books and supplies. There is no reason we cannot do the same in San Diego.
Everyday, I lead and work with a team of dedicated individuals who are tackling huge challenges – the criminal justice system, transportation, and even an election system meant to disenfranchise.
I know how to level the playing field and will be relentless about getting the job done for the San Diego Community College District. From day one as a Trustee, I will fight with all of my energy and ability to ensure every San Diegan has the freedom to grow up in a community where cost is never seen as a barrier to college.
More Full-Time Professors & Counselors
The impact of an over dependence on adjunct faculty at San Diego community colleges isn’t just felt by professors and their families, it is felt by our students.
Fact: There are community college teachers and counselors who start their work day in Chula Vista and spend the second half of the day in the City of San Diego. Some travel much further, working campuses as far as Los Angeles County. Each campus requires full-time preparation, full-time attention, and full-time dedication. But more often than not, despite their hard work, these committed and selfless educators can barely make ends meet. They deserve better. So do our students.
When a professor has to leave right after class so they can make it to their next campus, students are not given an opportunity to engage with the teacher personally after the lesson, which can make a significant difference in a student reaching their goals. When a counselor has to mentally juggle multiple community college systems, it becomes more difficult to provide the roadmap and support students need to navigate the maze of higher education.
San Diego Community College District has taken important steps to address this issue and I am committed to furthering these efforts. Through local and statewide advocacy, we can make even more headway.
Meeting Basic Needs for Students & Professors
In 2011, in the midst of law school, I was homeless. For weeks, I searched for a safe location to park my car and sleep in order to get a full night’s rest for school each morning. One night in late-November, I was startled by flashing blue and red lights and the sound of police intercoms. I lied in my backseat convinced the police were there to remove me from the car. I had no idea what my penalty would be – maybe a ticket? maybe a night in jail? I didn’t know, but I was certain it wouldn’t be good. Luckily, the police pulled over another car, but I spent the remainder of my night shaken up by the immense lack of security I felt.
The next day, I wasn’t at my academic best. Nor was I at my academic best for the remainder of the semester. I was exhausted by the time finals rolled around, putting my scholarship and chances of remaining in law school in jeopardy.
My experience with homelessness gave me a first hand perspective on the impact of not having basic needs met. That’s why it is my mission to build bridges from the San Diego Community College District to our local government and non-profit community to do all we can to connect students with the essentials they need to fulfill their potential. Our campuses can and should be hubs for the programs and services that keep students housed, healthy, fed, and with a way to get to school and work. As a proven coalition builder with deep experience identifying potential allies, establishing and maintaining partnerships, and taking projects to the finish line, I will make sure this becomes a reality.
Are you ready?
I’m going to fight with everything I have for a future where we all have a fair chance to fulfill our dreams. We can only succeed with your help.