SF Green Party Community College Board Endorsement Questionnaire 2012

Candidate Name: Rodrigo Santos
Phone Number: (415)529-1955
Web site: Santos2012.com
E-mail: Rodrigo@Santos2012.com
Name of Campaign Manager: Olivia Parker
Signed voluntary spending limit: No
Major Endorsements: Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom; District Attorney George Gascon; Supervisors Mark Farrell, Carmen Chu, Sean Elsbernd, Scott Wiener, and Malia Cohen; Laborers Local 261; San Francisco Janitors SEIU Local 87; Teamsters - Local 350
Favorite Incumbent College Board Member: I am certain that all of the incumbents have CCSF in their best interests.
Least favorite:

1. Could the current accreditation crisis have been foreseen and potentially averted? How could the board have done better?

I believe that the current accreditation crisis could have been foreseen and potentially averted. I believe the Trustees could have been more pro-active after the 2006 report, there were 8 items of issue on the Accreditation list in 2006 and in the Spring of 2012 it came back with 14, so I think they should have been more engaged.

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.

I would want to put it directly into our Reserves Fund that is dramatically low; I then plan to do a full audit of the College's finances to eliminate waste and help subsidize our critical programs.

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

I hope to engage a public-private partnership with some of the corporations now living amongst us in our community. Many of these private entities can invest in CCSF with scholarships and internships as well as aiding in fundraising for the college. They need to become invested in our City College because these students are their potential future workforce.

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?

For out-of-state/international students I believe there could be an increase in tuition, but I will do everything in my power to keep the current rates for the local student population.

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?

As Trustee, everything will be on the table and I will be reviewing past contracts with high scrutiny to make sure City College lives within its means. Coming from a fiscally conservative background, I will make sure there is full transparency and accountability on the money that is being spent by the College. No dollar will be unaccounted for.

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 would urge the Foundation to invest in socially-responsible corporations.

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 would put pressure on the responsible agencies to make sure we get the budget as soon as possible.

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

I would be an advocate for CCSF with regards to making sure that every dollar that is owed to our institution and has been pledged by the state is actually distributed to the college. I would make every effort to interact with the proper agencies in Sacramento in making sure we get all of our money.

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

What I absolutely think is lacking is interaction with the Mayor's office and members of the Board of Supervisors. CCSF seems to be sailing on its own without properly engaging the helpful resources that can come from the Mayor's office and the Board of Supervisors.

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

I have now attended numerous meetings. I will continue to give the public the opportunity to express their opinions on how CCSF is run; I would never hamper with the ability of the students or members of our community to express their opinions. I may consider shortening the time of the presentation of the speaker if there are a large number of people wanting to speak at a meeting.

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 will visit Public High Schools and vocational schools to encourage disadvantaged students who may find the college beyond their reach to be engaged and discover the great programs that the College offers to people who ordinarily would not have the opportunity to attend a higher education.

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

When I was a foreign student attending Stanford University, I was allowed to take any class in the curriculum, so I would encourage City College to adopt the same principles.

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 a proponent to expanding the options listed with emphasis on the students that will be taking them toward going to a 4-year degree.

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?

Welcoming of transgendered community has been well received at City College, especially at the Mission Campus, so my goal would be to ensure that we continue with our successful welcoming of the growing transgendered student population.

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

I will be visiting high schools and neighborhood groups to increase the visibility of City College and stressing the importance of the institution. I will be a big advocate for CCSF at disadvantaged neighborhoods.

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

I will be a proponent for childcare; I am extremely committed to giving all individuals wanting an education every opportunity and freedom they may need to complete their goals including providing a safe environment for their kids while they are being educated

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 an advocate for medical cannabis.

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

I would engage the private sector through implementing internships and mentorships. We have a successful private-sector force in SF that could help us provide the proper training to our students.
We are facing some extremely harsh financial times, so we will have to study the implications of providing full health insurance to our students, at this time it may be an extremely challenging proposition, but the possibility is available in the future.

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

I would make our large auditoriums and other large assembly locations available to students in the purpose of any open and friendly dialogue.

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?

I would ensure the opinion of the students, teachers, staff, and parents are brought into the decision making when it comes to hiring new faculty. I will be diligent to making sure any proposals we make are followed through and that we have accountability when it comes to the results we expect from our new hired faculty.

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 discourage any sort of profiling and I would require our police officers to be educated in dealing with a diverse student population. Given the extreme violent nature of our society, I feel that unfortunately firearms may be a deterrent and perhaps our only option with dealing with insane actions.

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

As a naturalized US citizen from Ecuador, I am an advocate for all non-citizens to go through the necessary steps to becoming a US citizen so that they can vote in elections.

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

If the student trustee has the best interest of students and college in mind I would be for giving him or her full Board Membership and voice.

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 would hope to making it as pedestrian friendly as possible, I do not personally drive so I am all for making our urban campuses pedestrian friendly.

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

I already believe that our administration and faculty does accurately reflect the diverse student community. I would encourage this continued trend of hiring.

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

I would hope we are friendly and welcoming to Veterans but I would not encourage recruiting on campus.

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

Cell phone antennas are a viable form of revenue generation. I understand that there are some studies linking cell phone towers with hazardous medical implications, though these are not conclusive. Given the dramatic economic challenges, we need to keep our options open for restoring funds to our College.