I’m running for a seat on the Feather River College Board of Trustees to represent Area 4 (Indian Valley) in the upcoming November 6 election. I hope you’ll consider voting for me so that I can help put our community back into community college.
Feather River College has such great potential to be an integral part of our community with life-long learning classes for our community members and college classes at satellite locations through out the county. It has the potential to serve all the county’s students–not just those who play a sport. It has potential. I want to serve the community to help bring the potential to fruition.
My opponent is a very nice, well-meaning, elderly gentleman who has had the opportunity for years to do the things I mentioned in the above paragraph. He’s had the opportunity to make associate adjuncts receive equitable benefits too. Every year the college loses great teachers to the need for health insurance the college could have gotten them had they gone with another carrier. He’s had the opportunity to help the college hirer some pretty stellar individuals who would have brought great dynamics to our community. He chose at every turn not to do these things. That’s okay. That’s his choice. But my choice is to seek your vote so that I can advocate for these very things and more.
My opponent sits on nearly every board in our area: ambulance, medical services, and the college board. I can’t answer to why he feels the need to serve on every board in the valley–leaving so many others voiceless. Perhaps you can ask him that. I do know that it is frustrating that a handful of people of means control nearly everything in this county. It’s a beautiful place with so much potential. A paradise.
I chose to run for the college board trustee seat because I know the most about the issues concerning community colleges today. I have kept up with the research, the state, and what other community colleges around the state of comparable size are doing. I taught for 18 years–11 of them at Feather River College. I served on the union negotiating team at FRC. I brought speakers to campus. I maintained more professional development than any other English instructor at the college. I went to bat for my students on a regular basis and for employees and faculty.
I left the college to further my career as a writer and also because of a stark reality. I’d given my all and it wasn’t enough to reward me with health insurance or retirement. Those in middle age cannot afford to work un-netted and unacknowledged.
Now days I work for myself as a freelancer and author. I work as a staff writer for Feather Publishing under my pen name Meg Upton, and work with William James Association in the Arts in Corrections program teaching at California Correction and Rehabilitation Center in Susanville. I am the co-founder of Pachuca Productions–Plumas County’s homegrown microtheatre that produces original shows of cultural relevance and historic fun (we have a thing for the 20s-40s).
Bottom line? I know how to manage things. I know how to get creative and innovative and come up with solutions. I’ve been doing that all my life. I’d love to see some more imaginative problem solving on the board.
My children are now almost to the age where they’ll be taking classes at the college. Indeed my son has already gotten his feet wet in the dual enrollment program.
I wish he could continue in the dual enrollment program but the commute is difficult. In winter the commute is particularly difficult. Putting classes back in the community would solve this.
One issue Feather River College has always had is integrating into the community around it. As a community volunteer I’ve witnessed this countless times. Students come to FRC from all over the country but aren’t met with open arms on arrival except by a select few. Let’s change that. Let’s make our culture more welcoming and at the same time make the college more accessible to local students. We often forget that housing in this county isn’t always available for the students we recruit from other states. There’s not always housing for those from here either. FRC must be a part of the housing conversation going forward.
This is the tip of the iceberg. Check back for more information and feel free to ask questions in the comments. @Garcia4FRCBoardofTrustees. Check out my facebook page as well https://www.facebook.com/garcia4FRCTrustee/
Thank you! I look forward to serving all of Plumas County–putting together 18 years of experience in providing the best education possible in our little mountain paradise.
Matt Mullenweg, 2017
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