We encourage you and the public to support two candidates seeking to bring a green vision to Sacramento.

Luis Rodriguez, candidate for governor, and Jena Goodman, candidate for lieutenant governor, will appear on the June primary ballot. They are both Green Party candidates.

As current and former student trustees of the Napa Valley College board, we are passionate about public higher education. We believe California’s public colleges and universities hold the keys to solving many of California’s largest problems. Rodriguez and Goodman are the only candidates running for governor and lieutenant governor who are proposing the bold green ideas California needs and the credibility to implement them.

California is facing several simultaneous crises:

  • California has the highest poverty rate in the nation with more than 6 million Californians below the poverty line, according to the Public Policy Institute of California.
  • California also has the second largest prison system in the world, with 80 percent of the prison population consisting of Latino(a)s and blacks, many for non-violent, drug-related offenses, according to the Public Policy Institute of California.
  • California is enduring the impacts of climate change as coastal towns develop policies to address rising sea levels, large cities are polluting the air at deadly levels, and the entire state responds to drought.
  • California, once a beacon for the rest of the nation, has been ranked 49th in education funding, according to EdSource, which pushes our public colleges and universities closer toward privatization.

Despite the fact that Democrats started 2012 with a supermajority in the legislature, California has been unable to pass the legislation and increase the revenue needed to solve these problems. It’s time to build a political alternative and a political party that will implement holistic green solutions.

Jena Goodman served more than 7,000 students as president of the Associated Students of Napa Valley College from 2012-2013. She is also former chair of the Solano County Green Party. She is a student at UC Davis studying biodiversity and ecology. She serves as a liaison to the Student Regent of the UC Board of Regents. Goodman will be the youngest person and the only woman on the ballot.

Serving as president of the Associated Students of Napa Valley College exposed her to the issues faced by students within the California Community College, UC and CSU systems. Goodman said she believes California’s public schools, colleges and universities hold the key to fixing many of the problems facing the state.

Luis Rodriguez wrote the world-renowned memoir “Always Running, La Vida Loca, Gang Days in L.A.” At age 19, Rodriguez removed himself from gangs, crime and drugs. He dedicated his life to radically transforming and healing his community.

For 40 years, Rodriguez has worked on urban peace projects, including prevention/intervention and workshops for youth in Los Angeles and Chicago. Rodriguez co-founded Chicago’s Youth Struggling for Survival, a gang and non-gang youth empowerment project. He conducts visits to and workshops in prisons, juvenile lockups, homeless shelters, migrant camps, and Native American reservations.

A Rodriguez and Goodman administration would take bold steps to solve the crises working class and poor people in California are suffering by doing the following:

  • tackling climate change while pulling people out of poverty by investing in tens of thousands of green jobs that pay living wages to build the sustainable infrastructure that will transition California from fossil fuel dependency to a new green economy;
  • keeping our youth out of prison and training workers for the future green economy by using the California Community College, UC and CSU systems to provide students and workers with necessary vocational training, research and technical skills to enter the green workforce;
  • returning to the historic policy of providing free public college education to all California students, to provide everyone with the opportunity to achieve their academic goals, revitalize California’s economy, and contribute back to society;
  • investing in the future of California by closing corporate tax loopholes in Proposition 13, taxing oil extraction, and levying other progressive taxes to fully fund public colleges, health and human services, parks, and environmental restoration;
  • reinvesting money spent to lock people in prison to instead heal communities through rehabilitation programs and by legalizing marijuana and ending the war on drugs in California; and
  • protecting California’s water supplies and atmosphere from pollution by banning fracking, and investing in renewable energy sources and public transit systems in local communities.

Once again, we encourage everyone to vote Luis Rodriguez for governor and Jena Goodman for lieutenant governor in the June primary.

Alex Shantz is a student trustee and Ruscal Cayangyang is a former student trustee on the Napa Valley College Board of Trustees.

(22) comments

Marty
Marty

The Napa JC is a great place to be a liberal social activist. To many socialists and Marxists in the Green Party. Without prop 13 Democrats would be driving the elderly from their homes. But under Marxism it's all for the common good. And that free education? Remember, you get what you pay for.

allsvns
allsvns

The link says the European colleges are funded by the public....exactly. Nothing is free! It's just that the students aren't paying and the public is!!! Nothing is free!!! Someone has to pay for it. I shook my head at the prop 13 comment too. I guess you just can't convince people to stop desiring to spend someone else's money. What a shame. I graduated from NVC by the way. I paid for it on my own. With the GI Bill. Find your own avenue to fund your education. The people have paid enough as it is. I voted for the last bond measure to 'pay it forward'. I won't be fooled again.

glenroy
glenroy

Classic example of liberalism…nothing about job skills…nothing about economic growth, not a word about sustainable growth which liberalism is not, cannot, liberalism creates dependents...generations of career welfare, living off the dole.
LOL…just more GREEN.,.. they need to learn to earn their green so they can spend it anyway they wish...of course that will never happen, they wil always live off others.

GiveTruthAChance
GiveTruthAChance

Higher education will promote a qualitative work force for a better economy. An economy that competes internationally with China, Russia and India. If your worried about the GREEN spending why don't you examine the birth or these dollars you so vastly treasure. You will figure it out "The $ is fake- The Education is real."

vocal-de-local
vocal-de-local

Unfortunately, educating people in the U.S. is not going to help us compete internationally with China, Russia or India. In some respect, it makes it even more frustrating to be educated and not able to find a middle class job. The only way we can compete is to lower our workforce standards to match standards in those countries.

What we really need is import reform. The reason that won't happen is because a large % of super wealthy are invested in stock whose profits depend on outsourcing and exploitation of 3rd world countries.

vocal-de-local
vocal-de-local

Alex, I really appreciate your NVR input all of these years. Don't pay attention to the naysayers who are trying to distract you from the real issues here. Kudos to you for being a thinker.

However, I do want to comment on the statements you made under "California is facing several simultaneous crises".

California has the highest poverty rate, the second largest prison system, is enduring the impact of climate change and is low in educational funding.

Assuming truth in the above statements, the connection between all of this is more than coincidence.

We have a high poverty rate because California is absorbing poverty from another country unwilling to care for its own people. Poverty increases crime rate which increases growth of the prison system; over population is the root cause of climate change; we continue absorbing more and more immigrants who put a lot of demands on educational and environmental resources.

Let's admit that there's a connection here and move forward.

freeport56
freeport56

If you were old enough you would know that at one point it was almost free in CA. My last year of College at CSULB cost a whopping $109 in tuition. Follow the money and see how the Democrats running the State have ruined it...

shantz
shantz

I am fully aware that community colleges were free and universities were much more affordable. That's why Rodriguez and Goodman are recommending we return to this historic policy.

To blame it all on the Democrats is short sided, however. It was the anti-tax republican crowd that put us in this mess with prop 13, corporate property tax loopholes, and the 2/3rds threshold needed to raise revenue.

The Democrats, however, have sold students out by squandering their opportunity to do something about it. They wasted their super majority and Democratic leadership refuses to put forward bold reforms to turn the state around.

That's why I am a Green. The only way to create real change is to start from the bottom up.

allsvns
allsvns

Tsk tsk tsk....nothing is free.

alucawanza
alucawanza

Check this out:
http://www.mastersportal.eu/articles/405/tuition-fees-at-universities-in-europe-overview-and-comparison.html

DiyalaScout
DiyalaScout

Higher education should be free? For who?

Not free for those paying for it. As cliche'd of an argument that is.......the amount of money to be put into new hires/building materials (for new schools)/accomodations would be galactically insane!!!!!!!

What sort of instructors would be hired to teach this "free" education? The amount of student influx would either: a) have a 500 to 1 student to teacher ratio, and/or b) instructors/teachers would be absolutely worthless when such a rate of hiring occurs to teach this "free" education.

I don't even want to imagine the money that would have to be raised/taxed to accomodate these new resources. Gives me a headache thinking about it.

GiveTruthAChance
GiveTruthAChance

You wouldn't have to raise taxes. In lieu of Banks getting most our tax dollars, we would direct more of them towards the tax payers and their education system.

1941 Inglenook
1941 Inglenook

Punitive taxation on job creators to provide economic leeway to the very profiteers who despise them. Too funny.

allsvns
allsvns

Uhhhhhh.....good luck with that.....Bwahahahahahhahaahahhahahaaa....

Want an education? Want a job? Want to make money? Go do it yourself and stop "demanding" that the rest of us chip in more $$$

fmmt47
fmmt47

Ya gotta be kidding?

freeport56
freeport56

16th, 17th, or 18th Century ?

Mashed Potatoes
Mashed Potatoes

I can tell you are "passionate" about higher education Mr. Shantz. Napa Valley College is a 2 year school...haven't you been a student there for about 8 years?

shantz
shantz

I appreciate the fact that you've followed my academic career so closely.

Like many students out of high school, I didn't really know what I wanted to do with my life. I didn't know what role I wanted college to play in my future.

As I started taking classes (ranging from polisci, philosophy, music, and creative writing) i was able to explore my academic interests. I discovered a passion for philosophy and the role it plays in politics.

At this point in my life, I'll be transfering to Sacramento Sate in the fall. My concentration will be in Ethics, Law, and Politics and I imagine I may end up at law school in the future.

Did I take longer completing NVC than I would of liked? Of course. But I am greatful it was here for, not just me but, other students in my position. Without it, I could have ended a real drain on society. Instead, I've been able to invest in myself and give back.

Again, I appreciate the snarky remarks. If nothing else, they are consistent.

Mashed Potatoes
Mashed Potatoes

Academic career?

GiveTruthAChance
GiveTruthAChance

You never stop learning. Its how we evolve. Lets take this opportunity in the June 3rd primary to evolve California Politics with some Green diversity. Vote Jena and Louis. Rodriguez is the last candidate Jerry Brown wants to face in the final 2.

napa1957
napa1957

While I don't agree with about 98% of your political views, I don't think your extended tenure at NVC is wrong at all. We tease one of our daughters that it took her about 5 years to get past the 2 year degree. She took some semesters with only one or two classes as she was working full time at that point. Then she worked part time and took more classes. She took classes that were just "let's see if this is for me". Finally went on to Sonoma for her BA and a few years later got her Masters in Education at Boulder, CO. I feel as long as YOU ARE PAYING for your classes, it's up to you as to how many you take, what they entail, and where they may or may not lead...career wise. My husband went back to school in his 20's, 30's and 40's at NVC then finally on to Sonoma as well, ending in his teaching credential.

shantz
shantz

I appreciate the remarks. The purpose of community colleges was to provide open access education to everyone regardless of their economic status.

Either way, its side stepping the fact that we are not just robbing our youth from an education, we are robbing our state of an educated workforce and a viable economy by not investing in higher education.

Higher education should be free. Peroid.

Even some Republicans are starting to understand we have a public interest to invest in higher education.

At a recent debate between the state assembly candidates Charlie Schaupp, a Republican, had a more progressive position on higher education than some of the Democracts in the race.

In either case, Rodriguez and Goodman have the vision needed to truly make higher education a priority. I am proud to support them.


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