SF Green Party Community College Board Endorsement Questionnaire 2016
Due Date: Wednesday, August 31
Candidate Name: Shanell Williams
Phone Number: 4153751069
Web site : www.shanellforcollegeboard.org
Name of Campaign Manager: Emily Swide
Signed voluntary spending limit: YES
Major Endorsements: San Francisco Democratic Party, San Francisco Tenants Union, Harvey Milk LGBT Democratic Club, Alice B. Toklas LGBT Democratic Club, HONOR PAC, San Francisco Young Democrats, AFT 2121 City College of San Francisco Faculty Union, San Francisco Building and Construction Trades Council, California Nurses Association, City College TrusteesPresident Rafael Mandelman*, Brigitte Davila, John Rizzo, Alex Randolph, San Francisco Board of Supervisors Board President London Breed*, David Campos, Norman Yee, John Avalos, Eric Mar, Aaron Peskin, Jane Kim and Malia Cohen, Congresswoman Jackie Speier (CA14)
Favorite Incumbent College Board Member: I respect the positions that Brigitte Davila and John Rizzo have taken as they've consistently voted in line with the interests of the students, classified and faculty. I also want to commend John Rizzo for speaking out against the ACCJC at the NACIQI meeting.
Least favorite: Although my political positions do not always align with each of the Board Members, I value their individual contributions to the Board and look forward to developing genuine partnerships with each member to develop the best City College.
1. Could the accreditation crisis have been foreseen and potentially averted? How could the board have done better?
As has been acknowledged by a CA superior court, by the California Federation of
Teachers, by the State Chancellor's Office [or was it Board of Governors?],
and by the NACIQI (committee of the Department of Education), the ACCJC's actions and
practices are unlawful and inconsistent. CCSF's accreditation crisis was politically
motivated, and several conflicts of interest have been identified (such as former
Chancellor Fisher's ties with ACCJC president Barbara Beno). Therefore it's unlikely
that it could have been averted. We continue to fight for a new and fair accreditation
process and have made tremendous gains in our work: efforts are now underway at the national and state government levels to identify a new accreditor and/or accreditation
process. I do believe the Board should have conducted more due diligence in selecting
Pamela Fisher as her conflicts of interest were revealed after the fact.
2. What is your stance on public and private partnerships within the College?
We need to refine systems of oversight for private partnerships. If not already in place,
I'd create a corporate responsibility policy so that any private vendor would have to
meet conditions that take into account labor practices, outside investments, and other
measures such as environmental impacts.
3. What is your position on tuition and fees, for in-state students and for international/out-of-state students?: Will you actively campaign against tuition increases on the state level?
We must work to accommodate students in our local community which is why I
wholeheartedly support the Free CCSF campaign, to make CCSF tuitionfree
for all SF
residents and workers, and also to offset the costs of textbooks and school supplies for
students who are most in need. Therefore I also wholeheartedly support Proposition W,
the luxury property transfer tax increase that is intended to fully fund the Free CCSF
program as well as support other essential city services. The Board of Supervisors has
passed legislation stating its intent to use Prop W funds for Free CCSF, and if Prop W
passes, I will work with my fellow Board members and with City Hall to ensure the funds
are being used to cover tuition and other costs. I also hope to work to expand Free
CCSF to include free tuition for not just SF residents and workers (who make up over
80% of our student body), but for all students, using Prop W funds. We must reclaim the
promise of the original CA Master Plan which
provided free tuition for all community
quality education is a public good and must be a right, not a
4. If elected to the Board, how would you ensure that you and the public would receive the college's draft budget with a sufficient time to review it thoroughly before adopting it?
I would work with the administration and other Trustees to construct a budget timeline
that accommodates ample review for both the public and the Board. In addition, I would
ensure there is time allotted for community feedback and integration into a revised
budget. I also plan to take action to make sure there is Independent oversight of the
bond funding. There was not a Bond Oversight Committee in place for Proposition A for
the past four years at the College. The Performing Arts Education Center, approved by
voters, has yet to be developed. Increased and independent oversight is essential to
making sure these ballot measures are not just empty promises.
5. What is your position on selling campus properties?
I oppose efforts to sell campus properties. Part of CCSF's is a diverse institution with 9
campuses, which are each uniquely oriented to serve their respective communities. To
sell campus properties and close CCSF campuses/centers would hurt the communities
that CCSF is supposed to serve. It is imperative that all CCSF locations remain open,
and that CCSF continues to fulfill its mission of serving the diverse SF community.
6. Do you feel there is enough transparency or public disclosure of the Board and the college? How would you change things?
Ultimately there needs to be much more transparency/public disclosure of the Board. All
transparency went out the window in the wake of the accreditation crisis when the
Board was replaced by a single Special Trustee. We have made strides the
democratically elected Board has been restored and complies with the Brown Act.
However, we need to increase our transparency further. Board meetings used to be
recorded and we must return to that although
there is a cost associated with recording
meetings, we have to balance this with the importance of retaining transparency and
community engagement. Meeting times need to be more publicly advertised, especially
to students, and public comment should be encouraged. Lastly, all students and CCSF
employees should know the procedure for engaging with participatory governance to
get an item on the Board agenda.
7. Have you attended the Community College Board meeting? Would you change public comment policy at the meetings? If so, how?
Yes, as I was Student Trustee for two terms from June 2013 - June
2015. Every item on agenda should allow for public comment and if that isn't currently being practiced then
I'd sponsor immediate change to this.
8. How will you improve outreach and increase access to San Francisco Community College to low-income people, people of color, people with disabilities and students with prior drug felony convictions who are not eligible for financial aid?
In regards to outreach, I would work to secure partnerships with community
organizations that serve the intersections of these groups, as we must establish
concrete pathways of opportunity for these communities.
Support services are also crucial to ensuring the success of each of these groups and
our institutions must support students by creating systems that promote equity and
account for each student's unique background and challenges. City College has
programs for these communities (ie. Second Chance for those with prior drug felony
convictions, Disabled Students Program) but the reality is that these need more funding.
Educational institutions, like community colleges, need to protect diversity programs and
create spaces for those of different backgrounds to interact with and learn from one
another. Incubating spaces where students can get involved in activities of shared
interest and civic engagement are essential to creating inclusive environments and
stimulating academic confidence and success within these communities. I would
support enhanced resources for low-income
students, people of color, people with
disabilities and students with prior drug felony convictions and channel funding to
bolster programs honoring diversity.
9. How would you eliminate the barriers to full access to noncitizens to all classes offered by City College?
There is a lot that city college can do to allow for noncitizens
to transition to all classes,
s uch as creating transitional pathways from ESL to other classes and programs, offering
enhanced support services, and increasing funding opportunities with scholarships like Voices
of Immigrants Demonstrating Achievement (VIDA).
10. What is your stance on gender inequity and how would you ensure transgendered students feel safe and supported on campus? How will you make positive changes to serve this growing community?
My first job was at the Human Rights Commission at the age of 15 and learned how the
HRC plays a critical role in addressing issues of discrimination. I want to educate trans
students at City College about this resourceI
believe that being an ally to the
Transgender community means it is my responsibility to shine light on the the
discrimination faced by the trans community. I have done this through numerous
speaking engagements, through onetoone
education of with my peers at City College,
and supporting actions and events of Trans advocates. City College is the first
institution to offer LGBTQ studies as an academic programI
want to ensure that we
expand on these course offerings and strengthen curriculum focused on the
experiences of the Transgender community and organizing strategies to fight
In addition, our college staff, admin, and faculty all need to be trained on transgender
issues so that we can adequately serve trans students’ needs. As a Board member, I
will work with students to ensure that a program is put in place to address this.
Additionally, I will work for the inclusion of genderneutral
restrooms in all buildings for
students who need them.
11. How will you increase quality child care at ALL campuses?
Unavailable child care is all too often a barrier to accessing education for
The Family Resource Center, a student-run
(via Associated Students) program, is an amazing resource that allows
parents 9 hours of free child care in exchange for volunteering for 2 hours, every week.
The FRC is an example of CCSF's innovative solutions to serve students in need, but
unfortunately no longer receives sufficient funding since the accreditation crisis and the
enrollment decline. The Board must recognize the importance of the FRC (including that
it is primarily studentrun),
provide funds to support/bolster the program, and facilitate
the expansion of the FRC's services to all CCSF campuses.
12. How will you create more campus work opportunities for students? What is
your position on having the college provide health insurance for students?
Student workers are an essential part of any campus, but the student workforce is
suffering both because of budget cuts, and because the gap between the $10.74/hour
wage rate and the SF wage rate continues to widen. With no benefits/paid leave and a
wage, students are discouraged from applying to oncampus
current student workers are not being recognized for their hard work. CCSF's student
labor policies need to be brought in line with SF regulations, including raising the wage
rate to the SF minimum wage, and providing both health care and paid leave.
13. How will you work to counter and prevent profiling and police harassment on
campus? What is your position on police firearms on campus?
I am opposed to the arming of campus police with firearms. The Associated Students
have already taken action opposing the arming of campus police, and the safety of our
students needs to come first.
14. What is your position on allowing noncitizens the right to vote in College
Board and School Board elections?
I support allowing noncitizens
the right to vote in College Board and School Board
15. What is your position on giving the student trustee full Board Membership
The student trustee is a necessary and integral part of the Board, as they alone can
speak on the current student experience. The college exists to serve the student body,
and student representation on the Board is critical for the Board to make informed
decisions that truly serve the students. Therefore, the Student Trustee should be given
Board membership privileges.
16. What are your views of transportation and pedestrian safety to, from and
around City College campuses? What, if anything, would you change, and how
would you go about making those changes?
While serving as Student Trustee I brought together a working group to explore how to
create a regional discounted BART pass for CCSF students. I have been in touch with
members of the BART Board to inform them if elected this is a major priority for me to
continue the work I started to secure affordable transportation for our all CCSF
students. San Francisco State University has recently implemented this measure
The Board must also foster a relationship with Muni to ensure that those lines which
serve CCSF locations are actually meeting students needs. This process necessarily
includes engaging with the student body and asking what their needs are. Additionally,
the Board needs to support and work with those programs that provide free Muni
passes to students (such as the Guardian Scholars Program and the HARTS Program)
to increase these services to those most in need.
17. What is your position of recruiting for the military on campus?
I oppose this but unfortunately we cannot bar the military from recruiting on campus as
it is a condition of receiving federal funds for financial aid. I do not support recruiting
young folks at both high schools and college campuses.
18. What criteria will you use in deciding whether new cell phone antennas will be
installed on top of City College buildings?
I'd want to first evaluate the labor practices and environmental consciousness of the
companies proposing antenna installation. With scientific analysis, I would also want to
comprehensively evaluate all potential harms that may be associated with such
19. Please describe how you make your political decisions. What is the main
basis for your decision making (e.g., consultation with your constituents, political
consultants, colleagues, unions, businesses, donors, or your gut feelings)?
I make decisions based on research and fact finding. I evaluate all sides of an issue and
the positive and negative impacts of the decision. I also seek input from respected
colleagues, stakeholders and the community.