Now that the 2009 Legislative Session has wrapped up, what are your reflections on your first session in the Assembly? What is working for California, and what isn’t?
In my first comments in December, I stated there had been very little down time since the election and, as of today, that still applies. The speed at which the Legislature moves is rapid, and when you add the two massive budget shortfalls, prison overcrowding, the state’s water shortage and boosting the amount of renewable energy the state produces, the pace is indeed fast and furious. However, despite the monumental learning curve, the large work load and the long hours, I enjoyed the opportunity to meet and work with other Legislators and staffers who are truly dedicated to making state government work for all Californians.
Walkout draws hundreds, protestors occupy campus building
Hundreds of UC Santa Cruz students, faculty, workers, and alumni gathered at the base of campus on Thursday, Sept. 24 to protest devastating budget cuts that have taken place over the summer. The daylong event, coinciding with the first day of classes at UCSC, also included a strike by the union of University Professional and Technical Employees (UPTE) and a sympathy strike by the clerical worker’s union, the Coalition of University Employees.
Host of upcoming Green Summit encourages local eco-businesses to get onboard with foreign eco cities
The second annual Green Trade Network Summit will be held at the Cocoanut Grove in Santa Cruz on Sept. 25. This year, the summit is to focus on sustainable city and community planning, specifically focusing on how to best export United States-based green technology to countries such as the United Arab Emirates and China, which are currently moving forward on what summit organizer Tony Livoti calls “eco cities.”
How fresh budget cuts will impact the UCSC experience for students and workers
When students left UC Santa Cruz last spring, most were still reeling from the 9.3 percent tuition increase passed by the UC Board of Regents in May. Now, as they return for a new school year, UC President Mark Yudof is pushing for an additional 30 percent hike. If the Regents approve this increase, tuition for Californian undergraduates will reach $10,302 by fall 2010 and will have more than tripled since the year 2000.
Whole Foods faces criticism from advocates of buying local
My hometown is approximately the same size as Santa Cruz, but oh so different. Upper-middle class suburbia stretched over the land at an ominous, steady rate, altering the face of the town I grew up in to an almost unfamiliar landscape. McMansions were built over the canyons, the flower fields gave way to haughty strip malls, and the mom-and-pop shops were replaced with chain stores. My favorite coffee shop, an eccentric hangout called Miracles, is gone, but no need to worry—there are seven Starbucks!
Faculty, students and workers protest budget cuts on UCSC’s opening day
A broad coalition of UC Santa Cruz faculty, students, workers and alumni will protest budget cuts by holding a walkout on Thursday, Sept. 24, the first day of classes.
The call for a system-wide faculty walkout began on Aug. 31 with an open letter titled “A Correction: From Shared Governance to Collective Action” signed by 10 distinguished UC professors. The letter argues that the UC Office of the President (UCOP) has botched the budget cuts and undermined the UC’s educational mission.
State budget cuts devastate local social service organization
It’s Wednesday afternoon, and the waiting room of the Walnut Avenue Women’s Center in Santa Cruz is dark and silent. Mid-week, the center would normally be crowded with people waiting to see a counselor about domestic violence support services, or for a literacy class, a workshop for teens, or one of the many other programs the Center provides. But today there is no one, and the homemade signs taped to the windows outside tell part of the story: “17 People Unemployed Today – Funding Cuts Hurt.” “Governor Terminates Funding For Domestic Violence Services.” “Wednesday = No Shelter, No Food, No Safety, No Education, No Groups, No Legal Services.”