SF Green Party Community College Board Endorsement Questionnaire 2012


Candidate Name: Rafael Mandelman
Phone Number: 415-516-7761
Web site: www.rafaelmandelman.com
E-mail: rafaelmandelman@yahoo.com
Name of Campaign Manager: Angela Giang
Signed voluntary spending limit: It had already been lifted by the time I filed.
Campaign Manager:
Major Endorsements: SF Democratic Party, Coleman Action Fund, AFT 2121, SEIU 1021, Tom Ammiano, Mark Leno, John Avalos, David Campos, Jane Kim, Eric Mar, Christina Olague, John Rizzo
Favorite Incumbent College Board Member: I don't think I should answer this question; I might have to work with these people.
Least favorite: Ditto

1. Could the current accredidation crisis have been forseen and
potentially averted: How could the board have done better?

I'm not sure. On the one hand, I think many of the College's failures can be attributed to the rapid and dramatic reductions in State funding over the last five years. On the other hand, it does not seem that the administration over the Board did a particularly good job of coming up with a plan for the school to survive and function in leaner times.

2. If measure A passes, how would you prioritize spending the newly allocated funding? Please be more specific that the "Statement of Purposes" from the Measure A addendum.

At this point I am not ready to commit to any particular set of programs. Even if passed, Measure A will not restore the College back to the level of funding it enjoyed prior to the recession, meaning that the institution will have to prioritize. I actually think that's a shame; I believe in the Master Plan's notion that community colleges should be open and accessible to anyone who could benefit from taking a class, but the reality is that, confronted with diminished resources, the College will be forced to focus on those parts of the mission that are most urgent for the constituencies involved, which likely starts with preparing students who are trying to get to a four-year institution and workforce training for people who need jobs. I plan to spend my time as Trustee trying to find additional resources for the College so that it can get closer to the Master Plan's ideal of a community college as an institution for the entire community.

3. What is your stance on public and private partnerships within the college:

It depends on the nature of the partnership. I do believe the private sector should be committing resources to help save City College, but I do not believe the private sector should be driving the mission of the College and I do not support privatization of public institutions.

4. 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 generally opposed to fee increases, although I would want to see the specific proposal before committing.

5. How will you ensure that money donated to the college is not misused? If you were an incumbent during the recent scandal, what lessons did you learn about preventing future problems?

It's critical to hire a chancellor who is committed to transparency, reform and abiding by the rules.

6. What is your position on getting the CCSF Foundation to divest from harmful corporate stocks (GE, tobacco, oil) and into socially-responsible firms located in San Francisco? How will they ensure that the Foundation provide transparency concerning their holdings?

I support having CCSF Foundation adopt a socially responsible investing protocal.

7. 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?

I think the Board should insist on a budget review and adoption schedule that gives the Board and the public an adequate review period.

8. How will you work with the state to protect Proposition 98 funds for community colleges?

Clearly Proposition 98 has only been of limited use in preserving funding for California's schools, and my understanding is that community colleges have generally not received their fair share of Prop 98 funding. I would work with the leaders of other community colleges in California and allies in Sacramento to try to address these inequities through a ballot measure or other means.

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

I think pretty clearly not, although I suspect that part of the reason for the lack of transparency relates to the increasing burdens being placed on a shrinking pool of administrators as the College's budget has been stretched in recent years. I think it takes a chancellor committed to transparency to introduce a culture of transparency and accountability, and it takes financial resources to implement that commitment.

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

I have attended Community College Board meetings and watched them from home. I would be open to considering changes to public comment policy.

11. 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 would support and fundraise for local financial aid programs to increase access to the College for these populations.

12. How would you eliminate the barriers to full access to noncitizens to all classes offered by City College?

I would reach out to noncitizen students and community organizations serving noncitizens to identify these barriers and possible responses.

13. 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?

I am supportive as long as there is interest among students and potential students, and I will work to find and secure additional revenue to pay for expanded course offerings.

14. 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 think having greater queer representation on the Board of Trustees should help. I will be a vocal champion for transgender students.

15. How will you increase the Community College's outreach to underserved neighborhoods, including the Bayview, Hunter's Point,
Mission, Chinatown, and Tenderloin?

One of the good things that may come out of the Accreditation Committee's Report is likely to be an effort by the College to obtain more data regarding the communities the College serves and how well it meets their needs. I look forward to working with the administration and the other Trustees to make sure the institution uses that data thoughtfully and creatively to expand access to the College's educational opportunities.

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

I will work to help find and secure revenue to make quality child care more available City College students and employees.

17. How would you insure available and safe spaces for those students with disabilities that require use of medical cannabis? Would you
protect them from prosecution? If so, how?

I am and have been a strong supporter of the medical cannabis community. I will continue to be an ally on the Board of Trustees.

18. How will you create more campus work opportunities for students? What is your position on having the college provide health
insurance for students?

With respect to work opportunities, I would need to hear more from current students regarding the nature of the barriers to their working on campus. I believe the College should provide health insurance for students and would look for ways to partner with the City's Health San Francisco program to ensure that all students have insurance.

19. What will you do to create more venues for student activities and community meeting centers on all campuses?

I support identifying and making available additional student activities and community spaces; of course , in tough financial times, the difficult part is finding the funding to make that support meaningful.

20. How will you provide students, teachers, staff and parents a more active role in faculty hiring, student services and shared
governance in general? How will you make sure that these changes
are long-lasting?

One of the areas in which the WASC report found the College to be lacking was in the lack of clarity regarding institutional decision-making. I strongly support what I take to be the intention of the shared governance model of decision-making, namely a commitment to democratic participation and broad input into institutional decision-making by affected constituencies. However, it also seems clear that in practice, there has been significant confusion at the College regarding how decisions are made and who makes them. The Trustees will need to bring greater clarity to the institution's decision-making procedures in the next several months.

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

I need to learn more about the problem.

22. What is your position on allowing noncitizens the right to vote in College Board and School Board elections?

I support it.

23. What is your position on giving the student trustee full Board Membership and voice?

I am open to exploring it.

24. 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 am troubled that City College subsidizes parking more heavily than public transportation. I would like to see the institution re-open negotiations with the SF MTA regarding a City College fast pass, and I would like to explore ways for the institution to reduce the extent of its parking subsidies.

25. How will you ensure that the administration and faculty reflect the diversity of the San Francisco Community College's student
community?

I will work to hire a chancellor who prioritizes diversity and review and update as appropriate the Board's adopted diversity policies.

26. What is your position of recruiting for the military on campus?

I am opposed to military recruiting on campuses.

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

I would seek input from the affected communities at the College and the surrounding neighborhood.