SF Green Party Community College Board Endorsement Questionnaire 2016
Due Date: Wednesday, August 31
Candidate Name: Dr. Amy Bacharach
Phone Number: 415-489-8778
Web site: www.amybacharach.com
Name of Campaign Manager: NA
Signed voluntary spending limit: NA
Favorite Incumbent College Board Member: I am honored to serve with very dedicated and knowledgeable colleagues on the board, and am especially proud that this current board is the most functional and dynamic board in modern history. We may not always agree on every issue, but we are all respectful of each other and listen to what everyone has to say and take everyone's opinions seriously before making decisions.
1. Could the accreditation crisis have been foreseen and potentially averted? How could the board have done better?
Part of the problem was that 8 recommendations from the 2006 review were either ignored or not sufficiently addressed before the 2012 review. Another issue was how CCSF used shared governance. This is not a popular subject but is important to discuss as having a role in accountability. I believe in participatory governance, in which all stakeholders have a voice in a democratic process. However, the shared governance structure that was put into place over the last decade or so seemed to have placed decision-making power into many hands with no accountability. One of the key weaknesses of the college involved issues related to data and using outcome measures to determine the college's needs and to drive decision making. Since this is what I do for a living, I am in a unique position on the board. Most of the recommendations dealt with governance and assessment, an area that I work in every day. Most of the recommendations that the accrediting agency made in 2012 have been addressed; however, it is integral for the elected board to prioritize oversight into these areas to make sure compliance is continued. This current board is one of the most functional and dynamic boards in City College's recent history. It is because of this that the board had its powers returned a year earlier than anticipated. This board does better by questioning things and not rubber stamping what some stakeholders would like.
2. What is your stance on public and private partnerships within the college?
I support public-private partnerships that will bring opportunities to students.
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?
I am supporting the Free City College initiative and wrote an op-ed to that effect. Most of our in-state students receive BOG (Board of Governors) fee waivers, and I would recommend expanding that as much as possible. I am against any tuition increases. I am also against the high cost of books and will advocate a textbook lending program.
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?
When the board receives something with insufficient time to review, we simply ask for that item to be moved to the next meeting's agenda.
5. What is your position on selling campus properties?
I don't believe we have plans to do this.
6. Do you feel there is enough transparency or public disclosure of the Board and the college? How would you change things?
I was happy to see our live streaming of meetings be reinstated. Transparency can always be increased, although I think we are doing a good job.
7. Have you attended the Community College Board meeting? Would you change public comment policy at the meetings? If so, how?
We have changed public comment so that the public comments first and then the board can weigh those comments before discussing an item (it used to be reversed).
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?
I will continue advocating for policies that facilitate young people, low-income people, people of color, and people with disabilities obtaining higher education, including affordable housing and transportation. I can personally attest to the transportation issue as it takes me an hour and a half to get home from City College on MUNI.
The student loan bubble has been devastating for young people and is setting people up to be indentured servants for 30 years. I believe the education industry as a whole has a responsibility in reining this in. I am helping by lobbying to Congress to fix the usury laws in the student loan industry so that the amount that goes toward interest on any given payment is capped and loans can be paid off quicker. I am also advocating for expanded student loan forgiveness programs.
In addition, finding new, creative ways to increase revenue for CCSF is a major priority. Creating a strong alumni network with an endowment and engaging the business, government, and nonprofit communities will help with this priority. There are also new grant funding opportunities in conjunction with criminal justice realignment that may be available for important programs such as Second Chances and Guardian Scholars.
I am currently working toward modeling a Los Angeles collaborative court program in San Francisco in which nonviolent offenders ages 18 to 25 are "sentenced" to attend community college.
9. How would you eliminate the barriers to full access to noncitizens to all classes offered by City College?
Ensure that AB 540 waivers are widely available.
10. 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?
San Francisco City College prides itself on being diverse and inclusive. I will ensure that diversity in hiring policies and academic counseling and other services are upheld. I will also work with the K-12 system since anti-bullying messaging must begin early. At the college, I will encourage and publicize CCSF's The Tolerance Project, which includes resources for teachers and students on facilitating tolerance and community. I will also continue to promote diversity in hiring so that students have diverse teachers to stimulate discussions about bridging differences. I will also encourage an orientation period for full-time students that includes diversity training.
11. How will you increase quality child care at ALL campuses?
As a newish mom, this issue is near and dear to my heart. I have brainstormed some ideas with colleagues on the board, including having floating child care for all of the centers as well as various board meetings around the city so that students, faculty, and staff can attend meetings if desired.
12. How will you create more campus work opportunities for students? What is your position on having the college provide health insurance for students?
I support expanding opportunities for students as much as possible. I have not examined the feasibility of the college providing health insurance for students.
13. How will you work to counter and prevent profiling and police harassment on campus? What is your position on police firearms on campus?
The board works very hard to maintain and open and welcoming environment for all of our students, faculty, and staff. We maintain good relationships with classified staff, including the police department, with open dialogue and expectations. I am personally in favor of arming our police. They go through the same exact POST training as any other city police officer. They currently rely on SFPD to come aid in active shooter or other scary situations. I would prefer that they have the ability to protect the City College community on their own without having to rely on outside service, which wastes precious minutes in emergencies.
14. What is your position on allowing noncitizens the right to vote in College Board and School Board elections?
I am against allowing noncitizens the right to vote. I'm a proponent of easing the requirements and the process of gaining citizenship, but I believe that voting in any country is correctly a right, privilege, and responsibility of citizens. I have lived in 2 other countries and would not have expected to be able to vote there unless I gained citizenship. I am in favor of creative programs to increase noncitizens' involvement, such as the program that pairs people who otherwise wouldn't vote with noncitizens who want a voice. This program allows the team to research the issues together and have the citizen vote.
15. What is your position on giving the student trustee full Board Membership and voice?
I am in favor of giving the student trustee full membership and a vote.
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?
I would lobby to MTA about increasing efficiency and accessibility in transit services to CCSF campuses. As one example, it takes me an hour and a half to get home from the main campus. I would also make sure that there are adequate bike racks available on campuses and safe walking access. At the main campus, the light on Phelan Avenue is so long that students invariably begin to cross the street on the red light, making traffic that does have the green light stop and honk. The lights and crosswalks must be timed in a way to be conducive to students walking across campus. I also support renaming the BART station to "City College" stop.
17. What is your position of recruiting for the military on campus?
Although I am opposed to military recruitment in high schools, and am personally opposed to military recruitment anywhere, I do not think there is a legal justification to exclude any individual prospective employer if we allow other prospective employers from coming on campus to recruit.
18. What criteria will you use in deciding whether new cell phone antennas will be installed on top of City College buildings?
I will examine the research and evidence in the literature.
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 am a proponent of due diligence in meeting with and listening to all sides and all perspectives before making a decision. As a researcher with a background in evidence-based practices, I rely on data and evidence in my decision-making as well.