SF Green Party Community College Board Endorsement Questionnaire 2018
Due Date: Friday, Aug 24
Candidate Name: Thea Selby
Phone Number: 415-309-9410
Name of Campaign Manager: Alex Barrett-Shorter
Signed voluntary spending limit: Not applicable
Campaign Manager: Alex Barrett-Shorter
Major Endorsements: Aaron Peskin, Supervisor
Brigitte Davila, CCSF Trustee, Board President
Ivy Lee, CCSF Trustee
Alex Randolph, CCSF Trustee
John Rizzo, CCSF Trustee
Tom Temprano, CCSF Trustee
Shanell Williams, CCSF Trustee
AFT 2121, Teachers Union at CCSF
San Francisco League of Pissed Off Voters
California Nurses Association
Harvey Milk LGBTQ Democratic Club
Incumbent Board Member whose votes most reflect your values:
Depends on the vote and the issue. Most important votes Trustees are close to unanimous. If I differed, it was probably because I felt very strongly that I could not vote with the others. I believe other Trustees work the same way.
Incumbent whose votes least reflect your values: Depends on the vote and the issue.
1. What is your stance on public and private partnerships within the college?
We need all the partnerships that benefit students that we can get. Our enrollment is 30% below where it needs to be given the expenses that we have. We need to focus on any and everything that helps build that enrollment.
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?
I have actively campaigned against tuition increases at the state level. I have a resolution that is part of the DEM Party platform against skyrocketing debt from overpriced higher education.
I believe it is acceptable to charge out-of-state students more than in-state students. California has an amazing higher education system and, should the Split Roll pass in 2020, it will have much better funding once again. However, we have too many students in our CSUs and UC systems and students cannot get the classes they need. My son is currently at Berkeley and struggles to get some of the classes he'd like to take. I would rather see more classes go to locals than international students simply because I think we need to take care of our students first. If there was more capacity at the CSU and UC level, then I might consider lowering rates for international students.
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?
We start to see the budget in January and should see it several times after that until we vote to approve or not approve it in June. It is incumbent upon the Trustees to immerse themselves in the budget, to review with the Chancellor early, and ask all the questions they may have before voting on it. It is irresponsible not to do otherwise.
4. What is your position on selling campus properties?
So far this issue has not come up. I prefer to lease properties and have others build structures that put off money we can use to maintain our other buildings. We have a history of building structures poorly (see Child Development Center for the most visible example). What we do superbly is educate and make our students lives better. Construction - not so much. I have been advised by a local Mayor to sell the Chinatown campus to make a lot of money. I declined to entertain that idea.
5. Do you feel there is enough transparency or public disclosure of the Board and the college? How would you change things?
I would like to see all presentations online 72 hours in advance of meetings. We mostly do that, but sometimes staff or our outside presenters do not turn in their presentations on time.
Our current Chancellor is doing a much better job than past Chancellors of making faculty, staff, and Trustees feel as if he is running the college in a transparent way. This is a blessing, as the level of trust has gone up.
6. Have you attended the Community College Board meeting? Would you change public comment policy at the meetings? If so, how?
Yes, as a sitting Trustee for the last 4 years, I have attended many board meetings. We are changing public comment--again. We have been tweaking it since I got on the board.
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?
1. In 2019 we will be implementing AB705, which eliminates Basic Skills classes. With support, people graduate faster and at higher percentages without having to take “sub college level” courses.
2. We need to hire more faculty, administration and staff of color. When discussing initiating or improving equitably and empowerment for people of color in the educational process, we need people of color leading the discussion. In the context of City College, I have and will continue to encourage hiring more faculty, administration, and staff of color. Board President Brigitte Davila, Trustee Ivy Lee, and Trustee Shanell Williams are a vital voice on our board; I will continue advocate for their position on the board. We are actively pursuing a “grow your own” policy to attract people of color to teach at the campus.
3. The effects of economic inequality, a lack of affordable housing, homelessness, and a lack of access to education disportionately affect low-income people, people of color, people with disabilities, and students with prior drug felony convictions. By addressing these issues as Trustees, via securing affordable housing for students and solidifying and expanding FREE CITY, we are also stabilizing and supporting these communities in San Francisco.
4. Since education is still the best way to get a decent paying job, we need to continue steps to educate those incarcerated in the San Bruno Jail through Five Keys. It is entirely free for the prisoner. Fortunately, if you have a prior felony, you are still eligible for FREE CITY.
8. How would you eliminate the barriers to full access to noncitizens to all classes offered by City College?
We have set up scholarships for undocumented students through our foundation.
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?
Gender Inequity: I am very concerned that males do poorly compared to females at CCSF. This is pretty much across all races. I don't understand why and am interested in researching it. I understand they also do worse in the K-12 system, which makes me feel we are failing our male students.
LGBTQ: I am a proud ally of the LGBTQ community. I support candidates who are LGBT, including Mia Satya, Rafael Mandelman, Tom Temprano, and Kimberly Alvarenga. I am a proud member of the Milk Club, and support them by attending meetings and sponsoring events. I requested to be a co-sponsor of a resolution put forth by Rafael Mandelman, Tom Temprano, and Alex Randolph aimed at supporting Transitional Aged LGBT youth at City College. I have recently requested that all Trustees be notified when the Lavender Graduation takes place so that I can attend; I attended at Anna Conda's graduation and was very moved by the stories of the graduates.
When a transgender student came to me and said that there was no bathroom in the Queer Resource Center, I spoke to the Chancellor and asked him to rectify the situation. He then informed me that we were re-evaluating all bathrooms to make them gender free. I will continue to advocate for my LGBTQ brothers and sisters in any way that I can.
10. How will you increase quality child care at ALL campuses?
Increasing the funding for quality child care would help our campuses. We just passed Proposition C, which will raise $140-160M a year for increasing the wages for childcare workers and adding more childcare to the city. This money should be tapped into for the child development centers and to add more child care for all the campuses.
11. How will you create more campus work opportunities for students? What is your position on having the college provide health insurance for students?
As the performance-based funding goes into effect and we perform better than other schools, there may be more funding for work opportunity programs. Also, if we can get our fair share of FREE CITY Prop W funds, we will have more funding for other things like work opportunities. We currently receive only about 10% of the funds that people thought were going to go to City College. I would like to see at least 51% going to City College.
I believe in Medicare for all, student or not. Students currently do get mental and physical health services at our health center.
12. 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 armed police on campus. I am not aware of profiling or police harassment on campus. I believe we provide cultural competency and cultural sensitivity training for all staff on campus, which should include police. I am proud of our campus police and often cite them as models for de-escalation since they are not armed and must use that de-escalation as their primary tool.
13. What is your position on allowing noncitizens the right to vote in College Board and School Board elections?
I believe that voting is for citizens, but we should spend our efforts on immigration reform to make it easier for people to get citizenship and ensure that people don't live in fear of being deported.
14. What is your position on giving the student trustee full Board Membership and voice?
The Student Trustee this year was elected by about 45 students. I was elected by 74,000 San Franciscans. I'd like to continue to work on activating more students to participate in student government so that we get reasonable participation in things like the election of the Student Trustee.
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 are many opportunities for us to improve transportation and pedestrian safety to, from, and around City College campuses. I would like to work to accomplish the following if re-elected to the Board:
Work with SFSU, SFMTA, and the Associated Students on a Rams Transit Pass. We are the only higher ed undergrad institution in San Francisco without one, yet many of our students take public transit. Especially since our students have the lowest average income among all higher ed institutions in the city, I would use my time to get a pass that is subsidized with state or local money. I have already identified a grant that was used by SFSU and am working with the Chancellor to apply for it.
Close off Frida Kahlo Way (formerly Phelan) to auto traffic and only have it open to buses, bikes, and pedestrians. Frida Kahlo Way cuts the campus in two. As we continually build more on the west side of Frida Kahlo Way, it makes sense to have the autos go on the outside, where at the moment more parking lots than I am comfortable with are being planned.
Separate bike lanes. As someone said to me today, when we are creating bike lanes we should think, would you have your six year old bike here?
Find more places where pedestrians can cross safely. For example, there is no crosswalk at the portal to BART on Ocean. Yet, people cross there all the time. Some people have suggested putting up a wall between the two sides of the street to stop people from crossing. I take the opposite approach; if people are naturally creating a path, follow their lead, and design a safe way for them to do it.
16. What is your position of recruiting for the military on campus?
Because the college receives federal funding, the military is allowed to recruit on campus. I would like the college to continue to receive federal funding.
17. What criteria will you use in deciding whether new cell phone antennas will be installed on top of City College buildings?
This year I fought a cell phone tower that was put up in front of my house and lost. I believe the proliferation of cell phone towers in this city and world is dangerous. But I also now know that Planning and the Board of Appeals punt this issue. They say that the state law, specifically Article 25, precludes us from rejecting cell phone towers except for the most insanely narrow of reasons. I've spoken with John Avalos about local legislation, which is terribly weak, but hampered by the same idiotic (paid for by cell phone lobbyists no doubt) law. The Board of Appeals has heard over 3,000 cases from unhappy neighbors about cell phone towers going up and has essentially not stopped one of them.
What we need to do is change the law and allow independent researchers to study, publish, and publicize the effects of cell phones on our bodies. We know it affects bees and possibly the growth of plants. But we are literally banned from speaking of potential health effects by the FCC.
This has to be changed. It's bigger than City College.
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)?
At City College, I reach out to a variety of constituents. I find that people have very different views, and it's good to hear all sides. I may talk with Union reps, students, staff, small affected businesses, etc. We are limited in our ability to talk to each other by the Brown Act, but I may talk to one Trustee to get their sense of a subject. If it's something that I'm familiar with (from my professional life or the other parts of my activist life), then I know I have a broad group of experts to ask and also personal insight. This is why I was the sole opposer to a marketing contract, for example. I knew, given my background as a marketing professional, that these people were subpar and we were being rushed into a decision without the facts we needed. The interim Chancellor managed to convince the other Trustees that action was necessary right then and terrible marketers got chosen for another year. I was better prepared the following year, and we got incredible marketers who created the brand for FREE CITY.
Governing is difficult. It is not always clear what the “right” answer is. I certainly depend upon public comment and public deliberation to help make up my mind.
Due Date: Friday, August 24, 11:59 pm.
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