(Santa Cruz, CA) – University of California, Santa Cruz students, faculty, and staff launched an aggressive online campaign Thursday, urging legislators to “Stand up for California” and keep the doors to higher education open to Central Coast students by supporting Gov. Jerry Brown’s budget plan.
Following a rally on campus, students, faculty and staff set up mobile action stations that allowed ralliers to immediately email Senator Anthony Cannella (R-Ceres) and other Central Coast legislators urging them to protect the UC system from more cuts by maintaining existing revenues. Students also departed to hand-deliver messages from the campus community to Senator Cannella’s Salinas office.
“I came here from Brazil eight years ago because I knew the UC represented a beacon of opportunity that’s recognized throughout the world, said Shirley Lavareda, a junior at UC Santa Cruz. “That beacon of opportunity shouldn’t be extinguished by more destructive budget cuts, that’s why I’m joining other students, faculty and staff to urge Senator Cannella to stand up for California.”
After $1 billion in cuts made to the UC and California State University systems earlier this year, Governor Brown’s budget plan maintains current revenues so California won’t have to make even deeper cuts to education that is so critical to our future.
“My parents knew that education was the only way for our family to get out of the fields and on the path to the American Dream of a middle-class life, said Melissa Garcia, UCSC student. “We’re here today to ask Senator Cannella to stand up for students from Hollister, Salinas, Livingston and other towns in his district for whom college is the only way out of the cycle of poverty.”
A state budget that doesn’t maintain existing revenues — the approach some valley legislators prefer — would mean $10 billion more in cuts, and hundreds of thousands of qualified young people turned away from California’s public colleges and universities.
“The dream of higher education was passed down by my family who instilled in me a work ethic and an appreciation for education because they wanted a better future for the next generation,” said Sandino Gomez, UC Santa Cruz Alumni. “If we don’t maintain the revenues the Governor is proposing, I worry that California will have squandered the precious gift of a world-class university system that has been passed down from generation to generation.”
UC Santa Cruz students and educators are among families, seniors, parents, business owners and others who have put aside their differences to support Governor Brown’s balanced approach to closing the state’s budget gap and move California’s economic recovery forward. The governor’s plan includes cuts he has already signed into law and a proposal to maintaining existing revenues that has been held up by partisan gridlock.