More than 2,000 students from all three segments of the state’s higher education system – CSU, UC and community colleges – gathered in Sacramento on Monday, April 21, to protest the governor’s proposed plan to cut more than a billion dollars from higher education from the state budget.
The coalition of students marched from Raley Field in West Sacramento to the north steps of the state capitol, where they held a raucous two-hour rally. Speakers at the rally included CFA President Lillian Taiz, California State Student Association President Dina Cervantes, CSU Employees Union President Pat Gantt, Barry Pasternak, Chair of the Statewide Academic Senate, Carolynne Komata of Students for Quality Education, and many others.
The event also received broad support from many of the state’s top political leaders. Lt. Governor John Garamendi – who helped organize the event – told the assembled crowd: “Let’s get real. There is no more important investment than the investment in students. We will build roads, we will build trains, but the most important things to build are the minds of students.”
Other speakers included Assemblymembers Anthony Portantino, Julia Brownley and Assembly Speaker Fabian Núñez. Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata and Darrell Steinberg, the incoming leader of the Senate, also spoke for protecting funding for higher education. Numerous other elected leaders attended the event to show their solidarity with students. Similar events were held in San Diego, Riverside and Los Angeles.
To view a sampling of the media coverage generated by the protest go to:www.calfac.org/inthenews.html A sample of the broadcast news coverage can also be viewed on youtube.com at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gxMkfmE0TwQ For more information about the student coalition, go to: http://www.studentsforcalifornia.org/