SF Green Party Community College Board Endorsement Questionnaire 2020

Candidate Name: Alan Wong
Phone Number: 415-637-9440
Web site: votealanwong.com
E-mail: votealanwong@gmail.com
Name of Campaign Manager: Holly Wong
How much do you expect to spend in this contest: At least 60,000.
Major Endorsements:
Organizations: American Federation of Teachers Local 2121 (City College Faculty)
SEIU Local 1021 (City College Classified Staff)
California Faculty Association - San Francisco State University Chapter
San Francisco Building and Construction Trades Council
SEIU United Healthcare Workers
Teamsters Joint Council 7
Teamsters Local 856
Teamsters Local 350
Teamsters Local 2785
Sprinkler Fitters Local 483
Transport Workers Union Local 250-A
Operating Engineers Local 3
ILWU Northern California District Council
International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 6
International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 1245
International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees Local 16

San Francisco Women's Political Committee
San Francisco Berniecrats
San Francisco Tenants Union

Public Officials: State Treasurer Fiona Ma
State Assemblymember Phil Ting
State Assemblymember David Chiu
Former State Senator Mark Leno

Public Defender Mano Raju
Sheriff Paul Miyamoto
Former Assessor-Recorder Mabel Teng

Board of Supervisors President Norman Yee
Supervisor Gordon Mar
Supervisor Sandra Fewer
Supervisor Aaron Peskin
Supervisor Rafael Mandelman
Supervisor Hillary Ronen
Supervisor Matt Haney
Supervisor Dean Preston
Supervisor Shamann Walton
Former Supervisor Jane Kim
Former Supervisor Matt Gonzalez
Former Supervisor Vallie Brown
Former Supervisor Eric Mar
Former Supervisor Jake McGoldrick
Former Supervisor John Avalos
Former Supervisor Sophie Maxwell
Former Supervisor Christina Olague
Former Supervisor Angela Alioto
Former Supervisor Leslie Katz
Former Supervisor David Campos

City College Board President Shanell Williams
City College Board Vice President Tom Temprano
City College Board Trustee Alex Randolph
City College Board Trustee Thea Selby
City College Board Trustee John Rizzo
City College Board Trustee Brigitte Davila
Former Trustee Chris Jackson
Former Trustee Steve Ngo
Former Trustee Julie Tang
Former Trustee Lawrence Wong

BART Board President Lateefah Simon
BART Board Director Bevan Dufty

Board of Education President Mark Sanchez
Board of Education Vice President Gabriela Lopez
Board of Education Commissioner Jenny Lam
Board of Education Commissioner Alison Collins
Board of Education Commissioner Faauuga Moliga
Former Board of Education Commissioner Eddie Chin
Former Board of Education Commissioner Emily Murase
Former Board of Education Commissioner Sarah Lipson
Former Board of Education Commissioner Angelina Fa

Incumbent Board Member whose votes most reflect your values: Ivy Lee
Incumbent whose votes least reflect your values: College Trustees have largely voted the same on significant votes.

1. What is your stance on resuming in-person classes in the time of COVID? What would be the main basis on which you make this decision? (e.g., would it be based on your gut feelings, or whose advice would you listen to?)

Saving and preserving human life is always the most important. I will rely on the advice of our public health officials and experts that are working hard to slow and stop the COVID-19 pandemic. We must also mitigate the college closure's impact on students that do not have equitable access to remote learning resources.

2. Why are you running for College Board?

I am running to ensure that working and immigrant families have access to the opportunity and hope City College provides. My parents are originally from Hong Kong and I was born and raised in San Francisco. My entire family attended City College and all of our lives have all been transformed by it.

After my father immigrated to San Francisco, he was laid off from his factory job. While my father attended City College to learn English, he also enrolled in the College's Chinatown culinary program, which allowed him to become a Local 2 union hotel cook at the Grand Hyatt on Stockton and the sole provider of my family for two decades. The stable wages and healthcare that my father obtained enabled my family to afford a small in-law unit in the Outer Sunset and to live with dignity in San Francisco.

My mother attended City College ESL classes that helped her talk to family members, integrate, become more self-confident, and social. The City College classes I took as a teenager with a low-income tuition waiver helped me graduate from UC San Diego when I was just 19-years-old.

In my current work as Education Policy Advisor for Supervisor Gordon Mar, I helped draft and advance the 'Free City College' legislation at the San Francisco Board of Supervisors to secure a decade of Free City College. In partnership with City College, Sunset nonprofits, and local schools, I also expanded City College into the Sunset District (at rent-free facilities). I also worked with students, City College trustees, faculty, and administrators to draft the City College Workforce Education and Recovery Fund in order to provide job training for workers and promote economic recovery.

Today, my father has been laid off from his job as a line cook at the Clift Hotel since March like many other hotel and service sector workers due to COVID-19. City College is an institution that can be a lynchpin in the economic recovery of our City. I am running to ensure that we have a College that can provide hope and opportunity for people like my father and working and immigrant families.

3. How are you currently involved in the Community College -- or how were you involved in the past?

Last year as a Legislative Aide for Supervisor Mar, I worked in collaboration with City College Trustees, faculty, administration, and City Departments to help draft and advance the legislation to secure ‘Free City College' for the next decade. The passage of the legislation resulted in at least $15 million in funding for ‘Free City College' each year for the next ten years and an improved program design that provides increased financial benefits for low-income and equity students.

As a Education Policy Advisor for Supervisor Gordon Mar, I also have experience creating a satellite campus site (rent-free) and expanding City College into a geographically underserved neighborhood. I worked with local nonprofits, AFT Local 2121, City College, and SFUSD to expand City College into the Sunset.

I conducted a needs assessment and town hall that resulted in hundreds of surveys from students, seniors, workers, and community members providing feedback on Sunset community needs. Based on the feedback, I worked with City College, local schools, and nonprofits to finalize classes, find facilities, and locate City College classes into the Sunset rent-free. We were able to get rent-free space with our partnerships because the facilities we placed City College Sunset at also benefited from the classes.

Once classes were finalized, I also helped enroll over one-hundred students into City College Sunset by organizing enrollment fairs and conducting outreach into the community. My experience expanding a City College satellite location into the Sunset gives me the experience to ensure that all our communities are equitably provided with City College services. Going forward I will advocate for conducting similar work in the Southeast sector of the City and support our Black and Brown communities. We must not overlook marginalized communities and start meeting unaddressed needs to break the cycle of social and economic inequity.

To date, City College Sunset has served over 250 students taking ESL, Child Development, American Sign Language, College Success, Ethnic Studies, Older Adult, Calculus, and high school dual-enrollment classes transferable to college. This Summer our Calculus class for high school students had triple the demand than slots available. The high school dual enrollment classes will enable young people to see a future for themselves in college and build an enrollment pipeline for City College.

Furthermore, I worked with the City College ESL Department to create a workforce development and job training program. In partnership with the ESL Department, we created a proposal that would enable immigrant students in the ESL Department to gain an interpreter certificate leading to much needed translation work with the City. We were able to secure a planning grant to create the ESL interpreter certificate program.

Finally, under the leadership of Supervisor Gordon Mar, I also have spent a year drafting and advancing the City College Workforce Education and Recovery Fund with students, City College trustees, faculty, and administrators in order to provide job training for workers and promote economic recovery. I have participated in countless lobby visits, town halls, stakeholder listening sessions, working groups, and planning meetings. I have also worked to draft advocacy collateral, legislative language, and shepherd legislation.

4. What is your stance on public and private partnerships within the college?

As demonstrated by my experience with City College Sunset, I have past experience creating win-win relationships between nonprofits and public institutions.

I will generate revenue by leveraging existing college owned properties by promoting the creation of nonprofit and community-serving partnerships to maximize the use of existing City College facilities to serve the public and generate revenue that will be reinvested into the classroom. This would retain City College property and generate revenue.

I propose creating Job Centers on campuses by putting underutilized City College facilities to use. Under this initiative, City College will provide space to workforce nonprofits that will recruit, enroll, retain, and hire students (this would generate revenue/rent). For example, we could locate a workforce nonprofit that helps community members find jobs and enroll in City College classes at the underutilized Chinatown campus for below-market rent.

5. What is your position on Free City College? How should it be changed, if at all?

Last year as a Legislative Aide for Supervisor Mar, I worked in collaboration with City College Trustees, faculty, administration, and City Departments to draft and advance the legislation to secure ‘Free City College' for the next decade. The passage of the legislation resulted in at least $15 million in funding for ‘Free City College' every year for the next ten years and an improved program design that provides increased financial benefits for low-income and equity students.

During the first two years of the Free City program there was an uptick in student enrollment before it plateaued. We should invest in expanding Free City College in order to raise our enrollment even more. As a Legislative Aide, one of the projects I was working on (before COVID-19 hit) was expanding Free City College to SFSU. Each year 700 students transfer from City College to SFSU. For both junior and senior years, it would be 1,400 students. Tuition is approximately $7,000. For approximately $10,000,000, we could fund Free SFSU for City College transfers and get a foothold on free public higher education at the California State University System. This would also draw more students to attend City College. Due to the budget situation, this may not be possible in the near term, but it is definitely an achievable long-term goal.

6. If elected to the Board, how would you ensure that you and the public would receive the college's draft budget with sufficient time to review it thoroughly before adopting it?

I would work to create a consistent policy to publicly post the budget with enough lead time for public and trustee review.

7. What is your position on selling campus properties?

Do not sell. Public properties are a valuable asset and should be kept for the benefit of the public, college, and community. Public properties can be utilized to serve the community and generate revenue.

8. Do you feel there is enough transparency or public disclosure of the Board and the college? How would you change things?

No, there is not enough transparency. I have personally witnessed non-compliance with the Brown Act. I would move to postpone or vote no on any item that is not given sufficient public notice under the law. I would hold accountable those that do not provide sufficient transparency or public disclosure.

9. Have you attended the Community College Board meeting? Would you change public comment policy at the meetings? If so, how?

Yes. The first time I attempted to make a public comment during the public comment period, I was told I could not public comment because I did not sign up prior to the start of the meeting. The rules are unreasonably restrictive and I would make participation easier.

10. How will you increase quality child care at ALL campuses?

I am an advocate for wraparound services supporting student retention and basic student needs such as childcare. I helped draft and advance the City College Workforce Education and Recovery Fund, which includes language supporting the basic needs of students to be successful in their educational goals. Childcare is named in the WERF language as a basic need that will be funded at the College.

11. How will you work to counter and prevent profiling and police harassment on campus? What is your position on police firearms on campus?

We must ensure that use of force policies is consistent with the norms and values of the public. We must ensure that public safety organizations are transparent to retain public trust. We need to support and prioritize non-police responses when no criminal statutes have been broken. I will advocate that our campus police reflect San Francisco and City College's culture and values of nonviolence. I do not support firearms on campus.

12. What is your position on allowing noncitizens the right to vote for College Board and other local elections? Did you take a public position on previous ballot initiatives on the subject?

In 2004, as a high school student, I actively worked on Proposition F to allow non-citizen parents to vote in San Francisco school board elections. The measure failed, but after three attempts it passed. Allowing non-citizens to vote for the college board is a part of my platform.

13. 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?

A majority of students take public transit to City College. I would make structural changes to make it easier for students and staff to bike, walk, or take public transit to the college. I would propose the following environmental and structural changes to make it easier for students and staff to bike, walk, or take public transit to the college:
Work with the College to develop a comprehensive sustainable transportation plan;
Expand the existing programs providing subsidized and free passes for students and employees;
Work with SFMTA and BART to make City College a transit hub such as making it easier for students and employees to get to and from the BART station, make permanent environmental changes on roads, and incentivizing sustainable transportation;
Increase capacity and access to bicycle parking;
There are areas between Balboa Park and City College that are missing necessary crosswalks to promote safety for pedestrians and those using wheelchairs. This needs to be fixed;
Proper lighting and visibility to support security and prevent accidents during the night;
I would support a systematic review of City College facilities to identify ways to make City College safer for pedestrians and those using wheelchairs to access.

14. What is your position of military recruiting on campus?

It is my personal experience that many recruiters mislead potential recruits. Although federal law sets the rules for campus military recruiting, we as a college, community, family members, and peers still have a responsibility to strongly educate those considering joining about the risks and consequences.

15. What criteria will you use in deciding whether new cell phone antennas will be installed on top of City College buildings?

I would weigh the benefit of new cell phone antennas versus the potential impacts on the safety, health, and aesthetics of City College.