Legislative officials show support in budget cut rally
October 15, 2009 2:59 PM
Legislators, along with more than 150 people, rallied Thursday afternoon on the steps of San Francisco City Hall to support higher education and ask candidates running for governor to add budget cut issues to their agenda.
Organizations including the California Faculty Association and Students for Quality Education joined with educators and supporters from across the city to bring media attention to Mayor Gavin Newsom's support, while calling attention to other gubernatorial candidates that aren't speaking up.
"We want to get out a public statement about Newsom and at the same time pressure Jerry Brown and other candidates for governor," said Ramon Castellblanch, president of the CFA chapter at SF State and a key organizer.
Representatives from Newsom's office said that the mayor was scheduled to be out today but that representatives would be at the rally to pass out his statement, "Let's Get Our Priorities Straight" and to speak to the crowd on his behalf.
"He is completely against budget cuts," said LaGina Phillips, a volunteer for Newsom for California. "And he wants everyone to know his stance."
Other government officials participated in speaking to the crowd on the importance of voting for officials and to educate on issues that were contributing to California State University budget cuts.
"I am so proud to stand here with you in the fight," District 11 Supervisor John Avalos told the crowd.
Avalos asked for a show of hands as to who has resorted to student loans as a way to get through college and spoke of his own experiences as a student and the importance of taking a stand.
"I think coming out and showing my support is a way to get the state interested, at the very least, in doing something about the deficit, which in turn will do something for the CSU budget cuts," said Heather Nugen, 21, a senior at SF State.
Students from SF State along with faculty and other educators held signs asking for change, while they listened to advice and encouragement about what to do next.
"You're not just the future -- you are the present and we need to take care of you," said Assemblyman Tom Ammiano.
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