SF Green Party College Board Endorsement Questionnaire 2022

Due Date: Saturday, September 3

Candidate Name: John Rizzo
Phone Number: 415-504-4845
Web site: www.johnrizzoforcollegeboard.com
E-mail: john@johnrizzoforcollegeboard.com
Name of Campaign Manager: Theo Ellington
How much do you expect to spend in this contest: $20,000

Major Endorsements: Sierra Club
San Francisco Building Trades Council
Labors LiUNA Local 261
Assemblymember Phil Ting
Assemblymember Matt Haney
Senator Scott Wiener
Former Senator Mark Leno
Supervisor Dean Preston
Supervisor Dean Gordon Mar
Supervisor Rafael Mandelman
Supervisor Aaron Peskin
All of the current members of the Board of Trustees

Incumbent Board Member whose votes most reflect your values: Brigitte Davilla

Incumbent whose votes least reflect your values: We all share similar values.

1. What is your stance on COVID safety at CCSF? Under what
circumstances might you support instating a mask or vaccine
mandate, or canceling in-person classes? 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?)

I led the effort to create the college's COVID vaccine policy, which requires students to be vaccinated in order to register, with the usual required exemptions. The vaccine requirement also applies to employees. The vaccine policy was based what what community colleges and universities around the country were planning at the time, as well as on advice from the CDC and the City Health Department, and in consultation with the college's Student Health Services staff.

At this time, City College, like most California community colleges and California 4-year colleges, is still requiring students to wear masks indoors. The college is monitoring the COVID levels to see when these safety requirements might be lifted. They will likely be kept in place through the fall semester, a period when we've seen levels increase in the past. These measures are in place to protect the health of the students and the people that work at City College.

At the beginning of the pandemic, City College was required to go 100% online by order of City Health Department. A serious outbreak could potentially lead to another temporary shutdown, but there would have to be a similar strong recommendation from city, state, or federal health officials, before I would agree to shut down classes again.

2. Why are you running for College Board?
There are three things I wish to finish: the re-accreditation of the college, building the $845 million bond projects and student housing, and growing enrollment.

The re-accreditation and process starts this year. Serving on the board, I and my colleagues have now satisfied all outstanding accreditation issues, including having a 5% reserve fund 2 years in a row, funding building maintenance, professional training for employees, and funding new student computers. And because we have eliminated structural deficits, we have also raised faculty salaries. We must continue to fund these required areas in order to ensure a smooth, drama-free re-accreditation process. Please see this press release:


My second issue, building infrastructure for the future, includes building housing and getting the $845 million in student building projects completed quickly in a time of high construction inflation. As Facilities chair, I've been overseeing these projects. We now 3 classroom building project that at the state waiting for approval, and which could be approved as soon as this month. A forth project (the theater project) is in the late stages of design.
We have been successful in the getting over 100 units of affordable housing for teachers in the City's Balboa Reservoir housing project. We were able to do this through the negotiations with the Developer. I have also been investigating building student housing on District property, and have asked for a proposal to be developed to look at options for financing, the best locations, and the management.

Growing enrollment is the toughest issue at this point. Since the pandemic began, community colleges in the US have lost 827,000 students, and this has not recovered yet. California has lost 20% of its students. I have been in discussions with other colleges around the country, and have proposed that the college do a targeted recruitment campaign aimed first out students who left during the pandemic. We have some funding in the budget this year for this purpose, and will have more next year.

Should an ecumenic recession take place, the history shows that enrollment will grow as unemployment rises. City College is much better positioned now to accept increased enrollment now that we have grown our reserve fund to about 8 percent. (5% is required by the state.)

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

I am the currently Vice President of the Board of Trustees. I have served as president and am currently chair of the Facilities Committee and serve on the Budget Committee.

I fought for City College during the accreditation crises, testifying in Washington and lobbying members of Congress and the California Legislature. I have also testified in Sacramento on behalf of City College. Earlier this year, the Board took action to eliminate the College's structural deficit, stabilize the College's finances, and resolve all remaining accreditation issues.
When I was Board president, I lead the effort to craft and put on the ballot the College's first parcel tax, which was only the second community college parcel tax to pass in California.
As Facilities Chair, I have been active in securing housing for teachers and staff, and have been working on the creation of student housing.

When I first was elected to the Board, I fought corruption at City College when the Chancellor and two administrators were charged with money laundering. I co-chaired the Board's investigatory team, hired an outside investigator, and implemented some dozen policy changes to prevent future misuse of funds.

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

I am not aware of any private partnerships that the college has. The college accepts grants from foundations, such as the Orfalea Foundation. City College has several public partnerships, which are beneficial to our students. These including CityBuild, in partnership with the City of San Francisco, and the dual-enrollment program for SFUSD high school students. The College partners with the SF Fire Department to run the Fire Academy training program. There are also agreements with the UC system and the Cal State system, which enable our students to easily transfer to those institutions.

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

I helped pass FreeCity at the ballot and have been a supporter of the concept since before it was formulated.

The city distributes a certain amount to low-income students as grants. And improvement would be if more were made available as student aid.

The big change that people talk about is making tuition free only to low-income people instead of to all residents. I believe that all public education should be free to all, as K-12 education is now. Also, the FreeCity program is certainly easier to administer this way, and more money would have to be spent in administration costs if there were an income requirement to vet.

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

This is an issue that Trustee Alan Wong I have addressed in a draft policy fix that we introduced this summer.
Our policy amendment would increase the transparency of the budget process with a number of changes. First, it would require the administration to complete the June budget document a month earlier, during the month of May. It would also require two readings of the Budget by the Board. This would give the public an extra month to review the full document, including all the details. It would also allow more time for the college's Participatory Governance system to review the budget.

Another new requirement of our proposal is to require the administration to prepare multi-year budgets every year. This can be a useful tool for planning and for learning where the college is budget-wise. In the past, the college has created a multi-year budget, but it has not updated it every year.

Our proposal would also require the college to hire an outside financial auditor/consultant to look at the books in any given current year. Currently, the annual independent audit looks at the previous year's (closed) budget. This new view would give the Board and the public an idea of how spending is tracking before the year is over, providing additional transparency to the operating budget.

Our draft policy revision was heard at the Budget and Audit Committee in June. It is now being reviewed by Shared Governance. The Board will take it up some time this fall. You can read it here:


7. What is your position on selling campus properties?

I have always opposed the selling of college-owned property, and have said so publicly many times.

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

The Board of Trustees and its committees have meet 33 times this year. All meetings are public and the agendas of these meetings are still posted. Our committee meetings are very poorly attended by the public, however. I would like to see the College promote these committee meetings more through social media to make more people aware of them.

One thing we have had a problem with is the administration not posting some of the agenda materials early enough. I have complained about this and continue to push the administration for earlier posting.

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

My attendance at Board and committee meetings is 100% during this current term.

Public comment should continue to accommodate remote participation. I think our public comment procedure is easier than that at the Board of Supervisors, but the remote participation could be improved. It would good if everyone watching could see the person speaking (if they are on video.) There are also sometimes problems with audio when the Board is in-person and people are zooming in. We have talked about this with our staff, and there is a need to obtain some more equipment to deal with the issue.

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

The City College Child Development and Family Studies Department offers degrees and transfers for students who want to teach in pre-school, and offers childcare as well. For this to expand, the college would need a greater demand in students. The other type of childcare is provided by the college's Family Resource Center, which offers childcare services to students who are parents. This would be the easier program to expand to all campuses. The issues are funding and certification of the facilities. The City College Foundation holds for funds from the Orfeala Foundation that provides funds for these services. I would support have the research department look into additional sources of funding for expanding the programs.

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

I have always opposed arming the campus police and have said so many times.

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?


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?

As a trustee, I have been actively working on improving both transportation and pedestrian safety, and as Chair of the Facilities Committee, have held hearings on these issues, and we have had successes:

In the Board's negotiations with the developer at the city's Balboa housing project, were were able to get the developer to fund several years of transit passes for City College Students. The Balboa project will be built on a site that has served as student parking. This was a significant achievement in making public transit available to more of our students. If re-elected, I intend to seek ongoing funding to make this program permanent.

Before the pandemic, I co-authored a resolution to ask BART to rename the Balboa station to Balboa/City College. Having the City College name on BART maps would show people that it is easy to get to the Ocean Campus on BART. This was before the pandemic hit. I plan on restarting these discussions with BART.

Pedestrian safety
One success we have had was getting the city to build a raised crosswalk at Havelock Bridge in the northeast corner of Ocean Campus. The bridge crosses the freeway and then ends, without a sidewalk on the City College side. The only option was for people the jaywalk across the street. We lobbied the city for months to get this. We are now asking the city to build a sidewalk (on city-owned land).

Previously to that, we were pushing the city to add a crosswalk across Ocean Avenue at the BART station. This was installed a few years ago.

I also was part of the "fix Masonic" movement some years ago, advocating on behalf of the college (specifically the John Adams campus) to improve bicycle and pedestrian safety. The result was the redesign of Masonic Ave, a big improvement in these areas.

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

I am not supportive of military recruitment on campus. However, as a college, we are not permitted to restrict speech on the campus, including the activities of military recruiters.

That said, I have been an advocate of helping our veteran and active duty students. When I was Board president, I worked to create the Veterans Resource Center, which provides counseling and peer counseling, a computer lab with 10 computers, and meeting and study space.

Due Date: Sat, Sep 3, 11:59 pm.

Please submit by email to cc@sfgreens.org. For more information, call
Barry Hermanson at 415-255-9494. 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 will invite all candidates who return completed
questionnaires on time to speak and answer questions at our candidate
forum and endorsement meeting (scheduled for Wed, Sep 7 from 6:30 - 9
pm). Please note the earlier start time. We hope to finish all
candidate interviews by around 8. 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 cc@sfgreens.org. Otherwise, we'll interview
candidates as you arrive. This will be a hybrid meeting, so you may
also talk to us via Zoom if you prefer. Our forum and endorsement
meeting will take place at the Redstone Building, on the third floor
(room TBA). The Redstone is 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,