SF Green Party Community College Board Endorsement Questionnaire 2014
Candidate Name: Thea Selby
Phone Number: 415 309 9410
Web site: www.theaselby.org
Name of Campaign Manager: none, lots of volunteers
Signed voluntary spending limit: yes
Major Endorsements: Supervisors Mar, Avalos, Breed, Farrell, Campos, Wiener, Cohen; Board of Ed Maufas, Murase and Wynns, Public Defender Jeff
Adachi, Board of Equal. Candidate Fiona Ma; CCSF Trustee Rafael Mandelman;
Aaron Peskin; SF Democratic Party; Harvey Milk PAC; AFT 2121; District 5
Democrats; ED of Livable City, Tom Radulovich.
Favorite Incumbent College Board Member: Divisive question. I have to work with these people.
Least favorite: Divisive question; I would have to work with these people
1. Could the current accreditation crisis have been foreseen and
potentially averted: How could the board have done better?
The board could have worked better together and they could have done a
better job of seeing that they were not in compliance earlier so that
they could have fixed what they were not in compliance for. On the
other side, the board could have sounded the whistle to elected and
people who care in San Francisco that there was an emergency going on
at City College with a difficult ACCJC.
2. What is your stance on public and private partnerships within the
I have mixed feelings about P3s in general. I'm more familiar with
them in transportation, where terrible things can happen, like Toronto
taxpayers paying for a toll road and the City of Toronto selling the
tollroad to the Chinese so they reap all the profits. Not good. Needs
to be avoided.
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?
My son took a Calculus class this summer at CCSF. It was $46 a credit,
or a little under $200 for the college level course. I do not think
that is insane. My guess is that community colleges have very few out
of state students.
While I would love to see community college be free again, as Leticia
van de Putte, running for Lt Gov of Texas, is trying to do in Texas,
we would have to have the revenue to allow that to happen. It's not
worth it if we don't have a rich and diverse class and department
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
I am for that. I worked when I was at Berkeley to get UC to divest
from South Africa. A carefully set up process and system of reporting
will help assure transparency. We should work with a committee of
stakeholders to prepare that process and those reporting requirements.
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?
This is exactly the sort of process and policy the Board can
advocate. A good place to start is by having milestones along the way
so that you keep to your schedule. There is not enough time in the
budget process now.
6. How will you work with the state to protect Proposition 98 funds
for community colleges?
I will work with our legislators to make sure they recognize the
importance of Prop 98 funds. Since it is 40% of the total budget for
the state, I don't think that part will be hard. But, there are flaws
in Prop 98 as it pertains to City College. For example, only 12% of
the Prop 98 funds go to City Colleges; the vast majority go to K-12.
Additionally, Prop 98 funds for K-12 take into account growth of
student population-not so for community college. Work needs to be done
with legislators on how to craft a fair balance with Prop 98 funds so
that community college growth is taken into account.
7. Do you feel there is enough transparency or public disclosure of
the Board and the college? How would you change things?
No. It is extremely hard to understand what is going on, and frankly,
I don't feel all of the current Board of Trustees has a handle on
it. The disclosure issues have more been on the part of the ACCJC,
which is not subject to the Brown Act or the Sunshine Act. On the
board's side, it’s more a matter of organization and clear
leadership. The administration should, when the elected board gets
back in power, work openly and transparently with the board, and also
with students, staff and faculty.
8. Have you attended the Community College Board meeting? Would you
change public comment policy at the meetings? If so, how?
Yes, I have. They are chaotic and hard to understand. I would try and
put some structure on the public comment so that it doesn’t develop
into an emotional cauldron.
9. How will you improve outreach and increase access to San Francisco
Community College to low-income people, people of color, and people
with disabilities and students with prior drug felony convictions who
are not eligible for financial aid?
I will work with Public Defender Jeff Adachi, who endorses me, on
Second Chance, the program that works to re-integrate formerly
incarcerated into society with training through City College.
I will work with the office of Disabilities and the FDR club to
outreach to people with disabilities.
I will work with the Latino community through clubs, high schools and
non-profits like Jamestown to make sure the Latinos, who make up 22%
of City College students, but only make up 15% of the population in
San Francisco, know about this resource.
10. How would you eliminate the barriers to full access to noncitizens
to all classes offered by City College?
Enrolling in City College is unnecessarily cumbersome. I would like to
direct policy to simplify the process. This effort would help
noncitizens and citizens alike. ESL is the largest department of City
College. I would turn to them for their ideas as well. David Campos,
who supports my campaign, is also a good resource for ideas on this.
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?
I'm supportive of all these courses, as long as there is interest by
the students for the courses. In general, i believe there is an
attack on humanities at the college level throughout the U.S., and
that courses like these will be the first to go. CCSF offers them now,
and as long as there is demand by the students, it should continue to
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?
CCSF established the first LGBT department in the country and
currently has a program to support transgendered students. We need to
ensure that it continues to be funded.
13. How will you increase quality child care at ALL campuses?
WOW. That's a tall order, given that we don't have quality childcare
pretty much anywhere. I would need to see what is currently available
and see whether the quality needs to be improved, or whether we need
to expand an already good program to more campuses. Utlimately I would
need to come up with both the quality childcare providers, and the
funding to expand. Of course, in principle, as a feminist and a
mother, I believe that quality childcare is a right. But, that is not
the situation in our country.
14. How will you create more campus work opportunities for students?
What is your position on having the college provide health insurance
Here is where reaching out to private companies might be
helpful. Perhaps if there were opportunities for studnets that led
into apprenticeship programs for studients, this would be a win-win
for both the companies, looking for training students, and the
students, requiring jobs while going to school.
I was not aware that the college did not provide health insurance for
students. I spoke with someone from SEIU who works with student health
and he said that it costs students $17 a semester for health
care. That sounds wonderful to me.
15. What will you do to create more venues for student activities and
community meeting centers on all campuses?
There are a lot of multipurpose rooms on campuses that, if properly
scheduled, could be used both for student and community meeting
centers. As a member of several community organizations, we are always
looking for a place to meet; If CCSF could help fill that gap, it
would bring the community closer to the college.
16. How will you work to counter and prevent profiling and police
harassment on campus? What is your position on police firearms on
There is data in the regular police force that tracks things like
profiling. The Chronicle today spoke about it. I don't know if that
same data exists at CCSF. If it does, the first thing that needs to be
done is the data needs to be analyzed., which is not happening with
the SFPD. Then, data driven changes can be made from there.
I'm against firearms in general, and would prefer to use the English
system, where the police do not have guns.
17. What is your position on allowing noncitizens the right to vote in
College Board and School Board elections?
I am against having non-citizens vote (my experience is that is the
last of their worries) and prefer to spend the energy and effort
getting them citizenship.
18. What is your position on giving the student trustee full Board
Membership and voice?
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?
We can definitely do better. I'm the Interim Chair of the SF Transit
Riders, a member of the CA High Speed Rail Authority, a member of the
Vision Zero (no more traffic fatalities of pedestrians) task force, so
this is an issue near and dear to my heart. There is money in the
upcoming bond (Prop A) and in Prop B to enhance pedestrian and bike
safety. I would be happy to exert my efforts towards making sure that
the paths to and from the campuses are high priority paths. VOTE YES
on A and B.
20. How will you ensure that the administration and faculty reflect
the diversity of the San Francisco Community College's student
Art Tyler is an African American Chancellor. I would want to make sure
that the Chancellor recognizes the importance and takes a proactive
role in looking for women and men who reflect the student body. That
means, btw, 25% Asian, 25% white, 22% Latino, and 10% African American
at the moment.
21. What is your position of recruiting for the military on campus?
I believe that there are many students who would see this as a service
and for that reason I would not oppose it, even though I personally
oppose the continual going to war that the United States has been
doing for almost the entire length of my boys' lives. I do not want to
see go to war.
22. What criteria will you use in deciding whether new cell phone
antennas will be installed on top of City College buildings?
I am against adding cell phone antennas for health reasons.
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)?
Consultation with constituents is key. In the case of City College,
that means staff (the SEIU has made it very clear they are not
consulted most of the time), faculty and the union (not always the
same thing), administration, and, most importantly, students.
I have run a small business for 12+ years now. As such, I have had to
collaborate with many different people, keep the business in the
black, scramble sometimes for more revenue, cut back my own salary to
make payroll, build bridges to organizations, government, competitors
and clients. I think all these skills will help me make decisions when
I am a Board of Trustee.
I would also listen to the other board members and their
experiences. There is always a lot to learn from those who come before
you. I am endorsed by Rafael Mandelman, who has been guiding me
through this process, and am also endorsed by, and in in contact with,
Leslie Katz, former President of the board of trustees.
And, yes, listening to your gut is important.