SF Green Party Community College Board Endorsement Questionnaire 2018
Due Date: Friday, Aug 24
Candidate Name: John Rizzo
Phone Number: 415-751-1615
Web site: www.johnrizzoforcollegeboard.com
Name of Campaign Manager: Josh Steinberger
Signed voluntary spending limit: We don't have a limit in our race, but we won't be spending more than $25,000.
Mark Leno, former Senator Jane Kim, Supervisor Phil Ting, Assemblymember
Tom Ammiano, former Assemblymember Sandra Fewer, Supervisor Aaron Peskin, Supervisor Rafael Mandelman, Supervisor Eric Mar, former Supervisor Jake McGoldrick, former Supervisor City College Board of Trustees Brigitte Davila, Alex Randolph, Thea Selby, Tom Temprano, Shanell Williams School Board members Matt Haney, Mark Sanchez Bevan Dufty, BART Director
American Federation of Teachers Local 2121
San Francisco Labor Council National Union of Healthcare Workers (NUHW) LiUNA Laborers Local 261
Latino Democratic Club Young Democrats of San Francisco League of Pissed Off Voters Brownie Mary Democratic Club
Incumbent Board Member whose votes most reflect your values: Brigitte Davila
Incumbent whose votes least reflect your values: I occasionally disagree with some of my fellow Board members, but I don't see anyone who stands out in particular based on their voting record.
1. What is your stance on public and private partnerships within the
City College partners with hospitals to place students of nursing, radiology, and other medical tech programs to enable the students to get required in-hospital training hours. These are both public and private hospitals.
City College has a partnership with the City of San Francisco, CityBuild, which works well.
Contract education, where a company pays City College to train its employees, can also benefit the College and the general student population without much of a downside.
I would not be in favor of a partnership that outsourced teaching, such as to a private entity.
2. 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?
As a Trustee I have actively campaigned against tuition increases at the state level, including traveling to Sacramento to attend rallies and speak against them. I also wrote and passed a resolution at the Board of Trustees opposing the state's increase to $46 a credit.
I believe college should be free. We made City College free to San Francisco residents, and other Districts around the country are looking closely at our model. As a country, we need to education our population and not saddle them with lifelong debt to banks.
3. 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 previously authored and passed a Board resolution to require that the Board hear the budget twice at the preliminary vote, in May and June, and twice on the vote on the final, in August and September.
I also believe that re-instating the Board's Budget Committee would allow the public to learn in more detail what is going on in the months before passage. I don't currently have enough votes on the Board to recreate the committee, but I have kept pressing for it, as recently as this month.
4. What is your position on selling campus properties?
I will never vote in favor of selling campus properties. Public property should remain in public hands.
5. Do you feel there is enough transparency or public disclosure of the Board and the college? How would you change things?
I co-authored the Board's Sunshine Policy, the first the College ever had. I believe it is time for an update. I believe notice of the college's internal committees could be improved. And it is difficult to find items on the web site. The Board is looking into changing to a new system.
6. Have you attended the Community College Board meeting? Would you hange public comment policy at the meetings? If so, how?
We have been working to improve public comment, moving it to the beginning of meetings so that people don't have to wait long hours for an item to come up. We are dropping a short-lived provision that members of the public get a speaker's card in by a certain time. I was never in favor of that. I think a little technology would help speakers, such as a count-down clock to let speakers know how much time they have left.
7. 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?
San Francisco residents who are not eligible for financial aid are eligible for the Free City program. However, there are changes to Free City that need to be made. For one, we need to raise the stipend for low-income students who qualify for Board of Governors (BoG) waiver instead. We had originally envisioned Free City giving a $500 annual stipend to these low-income students, but Mayor Lee would only agree to $250. The city has the funding, which comes from the 2016 Proposition W tax on high-end real estate transfers. This tax is generating over $50 million annually. I plan on working with the Board of Supervisors to make this change, as well as to make Free City permanent and fully funded.
The Board has improved outreach by hiring a new marketing firm that is doing a better job. I believe that working more closely with non-profits could help outreach to low-income communities.
8. How would you eliminate the barriers to full access to noncitizens to all classes offered by City College?
Currently noncitizens must be part of DACA to receive Free City benefits. This is a huge barrier to students who are not part of DACA. I was the first trustee to point this out when the program was launched. Given the tenuous nature of the DACA program, this as a major problem. This is one of the changes I will be working with the Board of Supervisors to make.
9. What is your stance on gender inequity and how would you ensure that transgendered students feel safe and supported on campus? How will you make positive changes to serve this growing community?
As Board member, I have been taking steps to make positive change. For instance, we recently enabled transgender students to use an alternative name on their official student ID cards, and have succeeded in placing gender-neutral restrooms. However, the recent suicide of a transgender student shows that we have much work to do in bolstering mental health services in the Student Health Center, and making students aware of the services we offer.
The Board also recently strengthened the Colleges sexual harassment policies and instituted required training and included the topic in orientations for new students.
10. How will you increase quality child care at ALL campuses?
I support bringing the child care center back to the John Adams campus. Although the medical technology classes are expanding, conversations I've had with the people who work at John Adams indicate that there is space for the child care center.
11. How will you create more campus work opportunities for students?
What is your position on having the college provide health
insurance for students?
We at the Board recently raised the wages of our student workers to the San Francisco minimum. Although state law exempted us from the local minimum wage, I believe it was not right to underpay our students.
City College's work opportunities are through the CalWORKS work study program. Increasing the number of slots significantly would require additional funding. City College also help students get off-campus jobs. There is room for improving this aspect of helping our students financially.
I am in favor of the college providing health insurance to students. This would require a new source of funding, but it could be part of a future expansion of Free City.
12. How will you work to counter and prevent profiling and police
harassment on campus? What is your position on police firearms on
We keep this practices down to a minimum by utilize campus police. The campus police only call in the SFPD when there is a dangerous situation, such as someone with a weapon. Otherwise, SFPD is not on campus. I don't support police firearms on campus.
13. What is your position on allowing noncitizens the right to vote in
College Board and School Board elections?
14. What is your position on giving the student trustee full Board
Membership and voice?
When I was Board President, I empowered our student trustees. I placed the student trustees on Board Committees and gave them a vote where state law permitted. During Board meetings while I was president, I always asked the student trustee what their vote was first, so that the rest of the Board could be informed. Additionally, I encourage student trustees to attend community college conference, so that they are equipped with all of the knowledge that other trustees have.
15. 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?
There is much that can be improved in both of these. After years of my asking MTA for a crosswalk on Ocean Avenue at the BART station, MTA recently put one in. However, it is east of the BART station, while City College is to the west. So, a cross-walk further west is still needed.
Another issue is that due to traffic, the 43 bus on Frieda Kahlo Way (formerly Phelan Ave) is very slow. An easy way to improve this would be to put a transponder in the bus so that the lights change to green when the bus approaches.
I am a supporter of having free or discounted "class-passes" made available to City College students, and have met with people at Muni about it. The issue has been how to pay for it. I believe it will have to be funded by a combination of student fees, CCSF funds, and Muni funds, and no one source seems to be able to cover it. I would also like to see a discount BART ticket made available to students, and would work with the BART Board to see how this could done.
16. What is your position of recruiting for the military on campus?
I oppose military recruiting on campus.
17. What criteria will you use in deciding whether new cell phone
antennas will be installed on top of City College buildings?
A few years ago I authored a Board resolution that gave the public more say in the question. It requires that City College hold a hearing, and that equal time be given to opponents of cell phone antennas. I don't know if this scared away cellphone companies, but we haven't had to have a hearing. That said, I am skeptical locating such equipment near classrooms out of concern for students health.
18. 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 consulting with constituents and the stakeholders in the issue, which typically includes the college's unions. I generally don't have consultants on hand, and my donors are typically small donors.
Due Date: Friday, August 24, 11:59 pm.
Please submit by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information, call
Erika McDonald at 415-337-1499. Please return your answers in plain
text (not HTML, PDF, or Word format), so that we can post all
candidates' answers in the same format.
The SF Green Party invites all candidates who return completed
questionnaires on time to speak and answer questions at our candidate
forum and endorsement meeting (tentatively scheduled for Wed, Aug 29
from 6-9 pm). If you need to schedule a particular time slot, or if
you are unable to make the meeting, please be in touch with us at
email@example.com. Otherwise, we'll interview candidates as you arrive.
Our forum and endorsement meeting will take place in the theater
on the 2nd floor of the Redstone Building, located at 2940 16th Street
(between Mission and South Van Ness, 1 block from 16th St BART).
Completed questionnaires will be posted on our website,