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Stop the FRC President Power Grab

  Feather River College has, like most community colleges, a very open approach to the public addressing its concerns to the Board of Trustees. A community college by definition should function to serve the needs of the community in which it resides.

  In accordance with Government Code Section 54954.3; 54957.5; Education Code 72121.5 the public may address the board one of two ways.

  One. At each regularly scheduled meeting, the public can submit a written request that summarizes the item and provides the name of the requestor and any affiliations to the board president and president. Though no actions can be taken by the board on an item submitted by the public in this late manner, discussion can take place and awareness of an issue can take place.

  Two. Members of the public can also place an item on the prepared agenda ahead of time at least five working days ahead of the meeting for both discussion and action.

  But Feather River College president, Dr. Kevin Trutna, is  seeking a rewriting of this very code to where all items submitted by the public must go strictly through him only and not to the board first at all. He alone would deem whether or not such items were worthy of discussion in a public forum. In a public document that our current board of Trustees has read, Trutna seeks to change the language to read that he alone will “judge whether the request is or is not a matter directly related to community college district business.”

  This sounds like a blatant disregard for the needs of the community. So often lately we’ve seen people in power decide that a matter is not worthy of discussion—even when it directly effects students—particularly when it effects students not in the same elite demographic of the president—or a board.

  Where is the democratic process here? Where are the checks and balances in governance in this nefarious request of the president of the college? Why would a public institution or the board that governs it, fall for a clear power grab like this one?

  I strongly urge my opponent in the Board of Trustees election, Guy McNett, to stand up for his constituents and vote no against such a power grab that seeks to destroy public input at our community college.

McNett claims he’s working in the best interests of students and Indian Valley–and the entire county. Let’s see him stand up for all of us and vote against Trutna’s desires to consolidate power and silence our community.

  The purpose of a governing board at a community college is not to rubber stamp what the superintendent or president decrees, but to make sure the best policy possible is moving forward for the good of all students, instructors, staff, and the community needs in a sustainable manner.

Please do your job, McNett, and vote no on the Trutna power grab.

–Margaret Garcia

@votegarcia4frcboardtrustee

“put community back in community college”

.

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Election Poem # 1

Vote 4 Garcia

She really knows her stuff

She taught all your kids

And she’s pretty tough—

She’s the Bernie to Your Hillary

She’s the Beto to your Cruz

If you don’t vote for her,

it’s you who’s gonna lose

Cuz she ain’t no rubber stamp

And she ain’t in no one’s camp

Except the students and the teachers

And the community and staff.

If you want a woman on the board

Whose experience strikes a chord

Who has the knowledge and skill to call the shots

Then Vote Garcia—

To hold them good ol boys accountable– a lot!

 (ouch really bad rhyme).

Vote  Garcia on Nov 6th (or sooner ! Mail in ballot!)

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Remembering the Why

 When you’ve taught at the same community college for 11 years you often wonder after your students graduate, did I make a difference?

I mean it’s one thing to meet the student learning outcomes, but it’s quite another to instill the idea of life long learning and it’s also difficult but so necessary at the community college level to explain to students—especially those moms who’ve been in the workforce awhile and are going to college for the first time in their 30s–that they can do it.

Such was the case of Dawn who I had as a student somewhere around 2011. We surprised each other the other day as I had to come in to the health department for a routine TB test for work and she was the one reading my test. She had her own office even.

Beaming with pride. Both of us.  

We both cried.

She made it to the other side. She was the first one in her family to go to school and she paved the way. Her three kids are now also in college.

There were hugs and tears all the way around. Yesterday as I was driving to the Bay Area I had one of those imposter syndrome moments of self-doubt.  There are people I respect and admire who have signs for my opponent in their front lawns. They are of course not clued in with the college and are casting their votes with the establishment regardless of my experience or credentials or the issues. They are voting out of pressure to conform.

Yesterday I drove to San Francisco International airport and back to pick up my mother as she returned home from a trip to Boston. Long drives give you too much time to think.

I took a deep breath on the Golden Gate Bridge yesterday. I had to ask myself again—why am I running? Last year when I thought about it I tried to find other people to run and everyone I encouraged turned around and told me I was the best person for the job. I should do it.

Dawn said my class in 2011 is what kept her going. My reading assignments and my encouragement. It sounded like she couldn’t let me down by not keeping to her goals. She kept them and more so.

This morning as we were all hugs and tears I realized that Dawn—and all the students like Dawn—are what keep me going.  I’m in this race because I want the best possible educational experience for students like Dawn and her family. I want them  to know that the homegrown Plumas County citizens who were told college wasn’t for them—have a right to it—and that they can achieve no matter what age they are and how much money they don’t have.

The opportunity for college should belong to all of us. The chance to run for office should also belong to all of us.

I chose the right slogan for the campaign. Putting the community back in community college.

Thanks for the reminder this morning, Dawn, that despite not being an elite member of the political good ol boys network of Plumas County? I belong too.

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#DearProfessorFord

I originally wrote this on my FB page but thought it was worth repeating and expanding here. 

Trigger Warning:

Here’s the thing. You don’t forget being attacked. You remember every last physical detail –not the date, not whose house. You remember the smell of his hair and his sweat. You remember it down to what his finger nails felt like on your skin. You remember the weight of the body you couldn’t lift off of yours. But at the same time that you have these memories, you want to live your life and not dwell in the freak zone of the memory that can kill your soul. When you one day have a relationship and someone says a word or holds your hand in a certain way your whole body remembers even if you are trying to forget. And you try not to tell people because you are trying to flee that space not live in it.

I remember the first time I saw my attacker’s profile come up on FB. I froze. I could hear my heart beat louder and louder. I looked at his page a moment. He’s not a ghost in my journal. He’s still alive. Average joe shmoo with joe shmoo job. old. balding. didn’t look like much happened in his life. Good I thought. I’ m glad your life wasn’t much. But if I’d have seen his profile and learned that this predator was about to sit on a court to sit in judgement about what I can and cannot do with my own body? I’d send a letter to Feinstein too.

#landstuhlBRD82 #stopkavanaugh #13yearsold #stillremember#DearProfessorFord

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The Choices We Make

Which part is choice? Which part is destiny? 

Which part is inevitable? 

What do we own? What do we deny?

The cock crows three times.

Somewhere right now my sister is blaming me for everything that ever went wrong in her life.

Somewhere my fiancee’s ex is spreading lies.

there are no angels; there are devils in many ways

Take it like a woman. A mother with an almost good as new heart.

Except for the cracks, where she oozes onto the floor.

Categories
latina literary

Nicked Named (a poem)

Two days in

And they give her

A nickname

Two syllables instead

Of three—

Her given name too full

Of beauty, of vowel, of nuance.

High school begins.

Fresh start.

The time we throw on new identities

The time we suppress the old.

I’m not allowed hugs

What makes me think I can have names?

Two syllables–

A name I didn’t chose for her

Something short, ugly

More American. Joking. Fun.

They don’t mean nothing by it.

Easy to remember:

Like knowing one’s place.

I have to be silent on this one.

It’s not my battle.

I spent a lot of time on that name,

Nine months as she turned

And kicked and got ready to be born.

I am reminded of crossings

When one of her grandfathers crossed over

having his Mayan name chopped in half

to make it easier on everyone

but the one erased.