SF Green Party Community College Board Endorsement Questionnaire 2014
Name: Dr. Anita Grier
Phone: 415 755-8985
Occupation & Employer: Retired
Campaign Address: 106 Byxbee St., SF 94132
Political consultant (if applicable): Karen Morales
Campaign ID Number: Pending
Campaign Website: anitagrier.org
Signed voluntary spending limit: No need (Never get near that limit, but happy to sign it)
Campaign Manager: Same
Major Endorsements: Mark Leno, Carmen Chu, Jeff Adachi, Ross Mirkarimi, Rafael Mandelman, Denise Deanne, Jane Morrison, Bevan Dufty, Bea Duncan, Roger Scott, Espanola Jackson, Robert Varni, American Federation of Teachers 2121, Willie B. Kennedy Democratic Club and the Democratic County Central Committee.
Favorite Incumbent College Board Member: John Rizzo
Least favorite: (I try to keep personalities out of the decision process, and I find common ground on most issues with all my colleagues. I have noticed, however that Mr. Ngo and I disagree more than I do with others.)
I always preface my remarks with SAVE CITY COLLEGE!
1. Could the current accreditation crisis have been foreseen and
potentially averted: How could the board have done better?
I often hear criticism from some who think College Board members might
have done something to address the issues that led to the current
crisis-we did everything humanly possible short of abandoning the
principles for which we were elected.
CCSF is a large bureaucratic institution that had some fiscal and
management problems exacerbated by the multi-year funding crisis; I
don't think anyone anticipated the unwarranted, and in my opinion,
severe sanctions the ACCJC imposed.
The Trustees originally assumed and viewed the ACCJC as a rational,
responsible organization serving a necessary and important
educational-quality function; however, in my view, the ACCJC has
operated as an authoritarian commission dominated by careerist
interests and failed administrators who have a privatizing
agenda. Before the ACCJC imposed the "Show Cause" sanction and decided
to revoke our accreditation, I would never have predicted that
Dr. Barbara Beno, like the late Senator Joseph McCarthy, was a
misguided megalomaniac. Now, I don't see any hyperbole in that
comparison. We were stunned by the irregularities in behavior and
ethics. I also believe that Ms. Beno and other members of the ACCJC
are enemies of public higher education and the humanistic and
visionary California Master Plan for Higher Education.
I do not apologize for standing up for the values San Franciscans
cherish: inclusion, and a hand up for our less fortunate brothers and
sisters are values that we learned during hardships we endured
together - earthquakes, assassinations, and epidemics like AIDS have
forged our San Francisco values. We could have abandoned our
principles, and let the right wing "small government" agenda
prevail. I'm proud that we did not. We need to fight for inclusion and
transparency in government; it is a San Francisco value. I am
confident that we will prevail if we stay true to what we believe.
I'll never apologize for fighting to keep education affordable and
available to all. I refuse, as well, to apologize for my strong
support for living wages for our teachers and our staff. Nor do I
apologize for my continued support for their equitable and productive
to have stable staff that is fairly paid and receives health care
2. What is your stance on public and private partnerships within the college?
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'll continue fighting to keep education affordable and available to
4. What is your position on getting the CCSF Foundation to divest from
harmful corporate stocks (GMO, tobacco, oil) and into socially
responsible firms located in San Francisco: How will they ensure that
the Foundation provide transparency concerning their holdings?
Absolutely. The foundation functions separately from the CCSF and has
an independent Board of Directors as a 501 (c) (3), though Chancellor
Tyler and Trustee Rizzo are members. We can only work through their
good efforts to urge the divestments and investments we all desire. As
other institutions of learning are divesting in non-sustainable, and
harmful investments, the question of who benefits and what the social
costs are, becomes clearer.
5. 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?
The budget is usually delivered in a timely manner, if you know of
some breach in that system, I'd be interested in working with you to
make it more accessible to everyone.
6. How will you work with the state to protect Proposition 98 funds
for community colleges:
I have traveled to Sacramento eight times since the current crisis
began, and can foresee that the Prop 98 funding for community colleges
might require more travel. With the drop in enrollment caused by the
ACCJC, funding is likely to be challenged. But Proposition 98 does not
take enrollment at community colleges into account, as it does for
K-12 students when funding is determined. K-12 attendance is more
predictable and Tests 2 and 3 determine funding. Community college
enrollment does not tend to run in tandem with growth in K-12
attendance. In hard times there are budget cuts, declining revenues,
and pressure to cut funding for community college education. These
are, however, precisely the times when enrollment increases at
low-cost educational institutions. These increases are more dramatic
as the funding decline escalates. The increase in the cost of
education at private and state funded universities has also driven the
enrollment increase at community facilities. I believe it is the duty
of community colleges to keep the doors open to students who need it
7. Do you feel there is enough transparency or public disclosure of
the Board and the college: How would you change things?
The accreditation organization, the ACCJC's power grab and its
undemocratic "Extraordinary Powers" means that actions can be taken by
one individual behind closed doors, without hearings or input from the
public-something San Franciscans will not stand for. Any such
"extraordinary" actions must be rescinded and resolved in the open
process required by The Brown Act and our Sunshine Policy. I'm proud
to say I authored the Sunshine Policy. I worked with the San Francisco
Sunshine Task Force to adapt the Sunshine Ordinance as Community
College policy. Sadly, we only got the Public Meeting portion of the
Ordinance adopted; the Documents portion remains to be adopted, though
I worked to make the text available, the votes were not there to move
it forward-something I believe can now move forward. Open the process.
8. Have you attended the Community College Board meeting? Would you
change public comment policy at the meetings: If so, how?
Yes, I've attended many. I'm always impressed by the Trustee's
reception of public comment. On the whole, the Board is attentive and
polite. I would like to see the time limit extended when there are
only a few speakers, but when there is a large contentious crowd, I
can understand the need to shorten comment time, because speakers
often repeat the same message. A Trustee may ask a question if there
is a speaker who has an original or unusual message that has
significant bearing on the subject at hand. I usually ask questions if
I know they need more time and something that needs clarification.
9. 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. Poor people must have an education to survive; yet the cost of
higher education has left most without the means.
This is the devastating cycle of poverty that only assessible,
low-cost education can resolve. I'll continue, as I said before,
fighting to keep education affordable and available to everyone.
2. I have long working relationships with every socio-economic
constituency, especially groups that have been
All students with IEPs must be supported, and when there are students
who may need IEPs, we need to have skilled counselors and specialists
on staff to ensure that everyone gets a chance to take classes, to
excel, and to continue their education. I strongly, and in no
uncertain terms, advocate for social justice for special needs people,
no matter what kind of challenges they face, City College must be
there, meet the challenge, and act as a model in inclusion. I'm a
strong advocate for full funding for the Disabled Students Programs
and Services (DSPS) at CCSF. It provides over 3000 students with the
instruction and services that increase access to classes, programs and
facilities. There are programs and services for mobility disabilities,
learning disabilities, psychological, vision and hearing problems,
chronic health conditions, and acquired brain injuries. These programs
must continue, and they must provide a nexus of opportunities for
students. I advocate for many of the same principles that inspire
many activist groups. Though my focus has been academic and much of my
life has been devoted to equal opportunity, diversity, ADA compliance,
and special education for learning impaired students, beyond my
concerns as a professional, I care about our society and the future. I
think about high school and college students and I wonder where they
will live once they leave their parents and how they will live in a
world that has so little to offer in terms of a security. Advocacy
groups like yours that focus on our future, give us hope that life and
our quality of life will be sustainable for decades to come for our
children and their children.
10. How would you eliminate the barriers to full access to noncitizens
to all classes offered by City College?
Non-citizens need a hand-up and deserve every opportunity to improve
their lives. I will continue to advocate for full inclusion for
non-citizens. I'm not aware of barriers to application to the
college. Please come to me with concerns about anyone you know who has
a problem, its one I take personally.
11. What is your position on expanding the Local Activism, Community
Service, Labor, Ethnic, Women's, Disability Rights and GLBT courses
and departments? If supportive, how do you intend to do it?
This is the precise problem; we have a legislature that wants us to be
less of a "community" college and more of a vocational college on the
Junior College model. Our Trustees fought for education for everyone,
not just full-time students with the goal of getting a job. I
personally went to Sacramento (at my own expense, of course) to
testify against the poorly conceived "Student Success Plan" eight
times. I firmly believe it violates California's Master Plan for
12. 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?
I'm proud that our City is among the best to provide services and
protections for our transgender community, and that the leadership has
come from that community itself. Its members are often among the
poorest San Franciscans, however, and these students often cannot
afford more expensive colleges. Among my favorite events is
graduation day, and I'm especially proud to see the transgender
students overcome all the obstacles they face as well as their
schoolwork. I'll continue to advocate for transgender students.
13. How will you increase quality childcare at ALL campuses?
We have one of the best childcare models in the state. We have a fully
funded program, at the Ocean, John Adams, and Southeast campuses. We
try to provide childcare for everyone who needs it. Some campus
facilities do not have space for childcare, but again, we can work on
finding space for children of students and faculty. There is evening
childcare for students.
14. How will you create more campus work opportunities for students?
What is your position on having the college provide health insurance
I encourage local hiring as much as possible, so students need to know
they can apply and qualify for Work Study employment. I'd like to see
the launch of something the helps students train for their next
position too. I support health insurance for students; we may need to
update the insurance plan to mesh effectively with the Affordable Care
Act in California.
15. What will you do to create more venues for student activities and
community meeting centers on all campuses?
It is my position that the "community" is the mission of City
College. Anything that will further develop the use of
16. How will you work to counter and prevent profiling and police
harassment on campus? What is your position on police firearms on
I oppose armed police on the campus. The crisis created by the
accrediting board has set students on edge, and police need to take
into account the deep resentment that has exacerbated feelings toward
authority figures. Profiling and harassment have no place on the
campus. Firearms are prohibited—I’ll always vote against that.
17. What is your position on allowing noncitizens the right to vote in
College Board and School Board elections?
I support it.
18. What is your position on giving the student trustee full Board
Membership and voice?
Student Trustees are among the most knowledgeable members of the
Board. They are elected by their peers, and deserve a voice in the
decisions, as well as a place at the table.
19. 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?
At CCSF student activists are highly aware of the environment and
they, themselves, lead the way - the CCSF Green Corps is always on the
lookout for ways to improve transportation. I support, and will
continue to advocate for better transportation, along with other
efficient and forward-thinking strategies and ideas for solving social
San Francisco's Transit First City Charter provision has lost ground
in recent years, but I believe that it should apply to City College as
I remember that the voters chose to have their Supervisors ride MUNI,
and I think it serves the public well when the Supervisors comply. The
Board of Trustees needs to be in touch with the transportation
problems that affect students, as well as faculty and administrative
staff. I will continue to be using public transportation (mostly the M
car) and I have a MUNI pass.
But for many students, North-South buses such as the 43 Masonic, the
36 Teresita, and even the 49 Van Ness/Mission are infrequent, and
during school sessions, they are often overcrowded in the extreme. We
need to work with the SFMTA to mitigate these problems. I would
encourage the SFMTA to hold open hearings at CCSF to determine how
they could better serve the students, especially during high-traffic
I discourage free parking and reserved parking spaces for faculty and
staff, and will work toward their elimination (not popular with many
of the Trustees).
20. How will you ensure that the administration and faculty reflect
the diversity of the San Francisco Community College's student
As longtime chair of the Diversity Committee, I have heard complaints
about our faculty or administration, and have similar complaints
myself. I am most vocal on this issue. It is a slow process, due to
tenure and job security, but something I'll always insist we move
forward on. The reality is, I don’t usually have enough votes when it
comes to this issue. I will continue to raise the issues and talk with
others about how diversity can be increased.
21. What is your position of recruiting for the military on campus?
Opposed. Educational institutions must lead people toward non-military
solutions to problems.
22. What criteria will you use in deciding whether new cell phone
antennas will be installed on top of City College buildings?
I oppose more cell phone antennas on or near campus buildings.
23. 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)?
Especially on local issues, I hesitate to form opinions without
sufficient study. Because of the significance of taking a position, I
usually prefer to wait for the arguments that are presented in the
ballot handbook before I make a final decision. And I reserve the
right to change my mind on any issue I have marked a preference for. I
also weigh the opinions of my union, the Milk Club, the Tenants Union,
and the activists present at the African American Democratic Club and,
of course, there are other community and political activists whose
views I value. I always