Yes. I’m still tirelessly pushing for arts and literature and libraries in Plumas County. We do hiking and contemplating our own outdoor navels here–especially if cows, horses, or footballs are involved. But you know, might need other things….
Take a look at the photo with this article. Do you know what that is? That’s a 21st century photo taken of a board of trustees from a California community college and its president. California. The most diverse state in the nation.
Notice anything peculiar or odd?
A complete disregard for its ethnically diverse student body?
The socioeconomic diversity of its body? (Retired baby boomer pensions abound in this photo, ya’ll).
The gender inequity? (Especially at a school with way more women than men).
Ladies and gentlemen what we have here is a (what is the plural count noun for this) a tittle of trustees, a board of boys, a jury of geriatrics — the majority of whom have NO background in education relevant to the 21st century.
Plumas County voters love to shoot themselves in the foot–that’s kinda what we do here. This time around two out of three of these ran unopposed—-including a man named Trent Saxton–whose made himself known in the county as a homophobic misogynist racist via his frequent missives to the newspapers Letters to the Editor. His belief system clearly is at odds with the California Community College mandate, yet there he sits.
The third man, Guy McNett, I ran against and lost 3 to 1 (much like all other progressive things in the county–Trump’s guy LaMalfa won over the brilliant Audrey Denny by the same margin so I’m in great loser company).
He’s not Betsy DeVos evil or anything, but he knows about the same about community college as she does. During debates with him he’d lose his place and train of thought; he was unable to answer straight forward questions most people with even a hint of college educational background could answer. But hey, he shows up to all the football games. I should note that he was originally appointed to this board—over another woman with a solid background in educational administration.
This is what happens in rural communities sometimes. You don’t get the best and the brightest: you get the butcher, the baker, and the candlestick maker. And they mean oh so well and they really do like that free lunch once a month. You get the ones who like parade floats and football games making huge decisions about education.
Enrollment on campus is down 28%. There are very little classes to chose from and no one wants to work there any more. On top of that , Mike Eisner is running the college Disney style.
Why do I care? I totally shouldn’t care. I’m glad not to work there. Glad to be supported in the work I do now in the places I work now.
But the college is in our backyard. We taxpayers–I think–should have a right to ask for accountability and diversity that reflects our community and the college’s student body. I have two teens who are going to follow the trend of other kids bound for community college in our area: go someplace else online or even make an hour + trek to other community colleges to feel welcomed, to find needed classes at times that work for lower socioeconomic students both in high school and adults.
See that’s what they’re missing here. It’s fine and dandy to recruit sports players and horse enthusiasts around the country to come to a town in the middle of nowhere and to schedule classes around them and tailored to their interests. But what about students from here? What do they get?
They get that photo above. They get people not in tune with the needs of today’s community college students from an entirely different social class. Not unlike my last post on not getting hurt again by trying to save people who don’t want to be saved. I think I’m going to make a new year’s resolution not to try to save institutions that don’t want to be saved either.
But so many of you emailed me with the link to this photo…thank you for calling it to my attention.
Eventually the California Community College Chancellor’s office might get interested into why former employees sue this institution so frequently. Or they might wonder how in California there is hardly any diversity among the faculty–given that most of the faculty come from somewhere else so it’s not because they are pulling from the county’s homogeneity.
They are not, in their present policies, following their own mission nor are they sustainable.
Good riddance, Feather River College and your continued elitist, white supremacy and your continued march towards mediocrity.
Please read below and please get ahold of your FRC Board Members and urge him to vote NO on the Trutna power grab. The vote is going down next Thursday to make sure Trutna has the votes wrapped up before the election. If you’re in Quincy your rep is John Sheehan. East Quincy Bill Elliot. Please urge all three of these yes men to vote NO -if you care about public access to the college board and if you care about education.
I’m putting aside running for office for a minute and want to discuss something important to those who live in the FRC community college district.
President Trutna has proposed that the policy of open public access to the board be changed to require that ALL requests to address the Board must be addressed to him alone, and that he alone will decide whether or not the request will be honored. —This is not how a public college operates.
Last night at the League of Women Voters Forum Candidate McNett demonstrated that he did not understand that there was no need to change the ed code. That the ed code as is allows the public to access the board. He did not understand that if he cares about the community he needs to vote NO on the Trutna power grab.
Next Thursday away from public view, the FRC Board will vote on Trutna’s proposal to limit public access to address concerns to the board. Trutna tried this measure this spring in the academic senate and the teachers and staff did not want his overreach. The meeting will take place far from Quincy in Chester. Please contact ALL YOUR BOARD MEMBERS AND TELL THEM TO VOTE NO ON STRIPPING PUBLC ACCESS TO THE BOARD. But especially let Guy McNett know that you are not cool with limiting democracy and access to the college board.
This is exactly why I’m running for office—to demand accountability, transparency, and fiscal responsibility at the college.
Happy Friday. This seat on the board of trustees that I’m running for is of course a non partisan one. I’m struck however with a few observations on that.
This season I’ve had the opportunity to see both people running for Congress in our district up close and personal. The differences between them couldn’t be more striking and I definitely felt way more of a kinship with one than the other.
One treated me with dignity and respect when I met them and asked what challenges I saw here in Plumas County. The other got my name wrong–called me Maria–and gave me the sense that I wasn’t worth their time and that they knew best. There’s that Pat . Pat . On the head. AGAIN. Made me feel like an assault victim at a congressional hearing.
I knew most definitely who I’d be voting for after my interactions with both of them.
I have strived from the beginning of the campaign to be like the former and not the latter. While I have opinions based on research and experience as to what I think the best choices for the community college district is– I recognize that you all live here and you also have ideas and needs regarding what you think is best.
I promise to listen and come about a consensus that works for all of us. I don’t like being pat on the head and being told that someone else knows what’s best for me and my family and I’m going to take a leap here and say you don’t like that either.
When you elect me to the board, you elect all of us. You put the community back in community college. You send a message to FRC that this seat will not be bought to do the bidding of the president without question. You send a message that you want the college to take the needs of students into consideration not just the select few. No Pat-Pat on the head. No one saying they know what’s best and that what we want isn’t realistic. You put us all back into the democratic process when you vote Garcia 4 FRC Board Trustee.
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!)
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.