Young Democrats – The Face of Prop 92

First, I big shout out to OCYD, the first Young Democrat organization to endorse Proposition 92. 

This weekend in Anaheim, I addressed the California Democratic Executive Board delegation in Anaheim and was the strongest voice addressing the general session in support of Proposition 92 – the Community College Initiative (on the February 5th ballot), taking a public stand for young people in California.

Last week at our biennial Lake Tahoe retreat and Executive Board meeting the California Young Democrats overwhelmingly endorsed Proposition 92. This initiative is the most progressive expansion of public education in a generation and the first chance our state has had to roll back the regressive and unjust fee hikes of the last several years.

In my address to the CDP board in Anaheim, I said, “I come from a family where four of us got our start in the community college system. It was our gateway to the American Dream, we must do all we can to ensure millions of other Young Californians have the same access to the American Dream as me and my family had.”

CYD had a strong presence at every caucus meeting, bringing the message of college students and community college graduates to the CDP.During the Resolutions Committee Meeting; Andrew Acosta, the campaign manager for the Yes on 92 campaign in his address to the committee identified Christopher McDonald, the California College Democrats Political Director as, “the face of Proposition 92”.
Chris (the face) is a student at Sierra College outside of Sacramento and hopes to transfer to a UC next year. “Proposition 92 will end the rollercoaster ride of college tuition in our community college system and create stability for the 2.5 million students who attend annually.” said McDonald.

The California Young Democrats are working to ensure that young people are heard on this important issue.

CALL TO ACTION–go to and personally endorse the initiative, write a letter to the editor or plan a voter registration drive in support of Prop. 92.

CYD will fight hard against all tuition increases, especially when UC Regents and CSU trustees are so out of touch with reality…UC chancellors’ pay could increase up to 17% in 2008 (11/10/07 By Eleanor Yang Su, San Diego Union-Tribune) “UC’s proposal comes on the heels of California State University’s decision in September to raise campus presidents’ salaries by an average of 12 percent.”

CYD, the largest caucus in the California Democratic Party- needs your support for a sustainable future. Go here to donate today!

  11 comments for “Young Democrats – The Face of Prop 92

  1. Anonymous
    November 21, 2007 at 10:20 am

    Community Colleges are the biggest bargain in the state. Considering students only pay a very small fraction of what it costs for their education, what is unjust about the fee hikes.

    I can tell you from an experience, as a current law student with piles of student loans, I take my education infinitely more serious when I’m the one who is paying for it. If anything, Community Colleges are not expensive enough.

  2. Tim Steed
    November 21, 2007 at 10:37 am


    That is great logic. Lets pile more debt onto students. Lets keep more students out of college as the needs of our economy expand.

    Here are some statistics:
    For every $1 you add per unit, you loose 100,000 students.
    For every $1 spent on education, CA gets $3 back in revenues from a higher earning, educated workforce.
    Young people are more likely to have jobs that pay less & have less security.
    We are more likely to be uninsured.

    I can tell you from experience (as a community college grad) that I took my education as serious as you. Just because you are paying for law school doesn’t put your education above mine or anyone elses.

  3. Andrew Davey
    November 21, 2007 at 11:07 am


    Great point! How will we be able to get more students into UCs and Cal States? Certainly NOT by taking away the one chance millions of Californians have, which is to start out at community collge. How can we have a more educated workforce? Certainly NOT by making college so exorbitantly expensive that only a fortunate few can afford it!

    We need more affordable opportunities for higher education, and that’s why I intend to vote for 92. 🙂

  4. Anon 10:20
    November 21, 2007 at 11:28 am


    I’m a community college grad myself. My point is that I didn’t take my community college experience seriously just like the vast majority of my community college colleagues. There is a reason why it was called high school with ash trays.

    I have colleagues in law school whose parents are paying for their education. I take things way more seriously than I do because I will be paying off student loans. Student loans are good. Debt for students is good. If someone isn’t willing to incur a small amount of debt (and yes, I consider $100,000 small if it results in someone’s ability to earn $50,000 or more per year) then they should probably consider construction or plumbing or some other valuable profession that doesn’t require a college education.

    Student loans are so easy to obtain that NO ONE has a valid (financial) excuse not to attend classes. Since college expands one’s earning ability, students will have no problems paying off their student loans.

  5. Tim Steed
    November 21, 2007 at 11:36 am

    Sounds like you didnt take your community college serious, therefore no one does…

    I took community college serious. Was active in clubs, the interclub council and in all of my classes. It was an opportunity I had to grow in maturity as well as afford to go to college. I would not have been able to afford to work full time and go to a UC or CSU when I was 18, even with loans.

    You are also missing the fact that many “plumbers” or “construction” workers go to a 2 year institution to increase earning potential. I know those jobs are well below the standards of a law student but to many Americans they are jobs that pay the bills and are important.

    Just because you didn’t take your schooling serious is not much of a reason to deny millions of Californians affordable community college. Perhaps you should talk to the 300,000 students who were priced out of going to school when fees were raised a few years back. They will tell you of the importance of keeping costs down.

  6. Anon 10:20
    November 21, 2007 at 12:08 pm

    If you can’t afford to work part time and attend school, go to school part time. Work full time. But I know too many people who managed to go to school full time, not work, completely on student loans so the thought that it can’t be done is BS. If you want it bad enough, you will make it work. Those who don’t want it bad enough, don’t take it seriously.

    One problem with higher education in this country is that too many people think it is a “right.” Higher education is a privilege that is to be taken seriously. It is too expensive to look at it any other way

  7. Tim Steed
    November 21, 2007 at 1:16 pm

    Anon 1020:

    I do think higher education is a right. With our rapidly changing economy, we need more educated people. Call me crazy that America should invest in this human resource.

    The hard part about college should be completing it, not being able to afford it…

  8. Linda
    November 21, 2007 at 3:54 pm

    I attended community colleges in OC for many years while I worked full-time. At age 47, I took an early retirement and enrolled at CSULB. I graduated last May. I never (I wish I could italicize never) took my education for granted. I worked incredibly hard so I could learn all I could. I think attending college was the most important thing I ever did. When I started taking classes at Golden West JC, in 1975, tuition was FREE! I think community college should be as inexpensive as possible. Nothing beats an education! I am all for Prop. 92.

  9. CMichaels
    November 22, 2007 at 10:41 am

    California’s Community College system is one of the last institutions (besides labor and non-mega corporation commerce) that remains an instrument for the middle class. While keeping fees for tuition in check is an important issue, it is equally important to consider the importance of building a strong educated workforce of nurses, firefighters, police, teachers, as well as the trades labor force. Four year transfer programs are what many students aspire to; however, without an accessible and affordable community college system, earning a higher ed 4 year degree would be out of reach. And re: the sentiment that CCC educations are not taken seriously unless one pays an enormous amount, consider this: every college student I have EVER known, says that the book costs far outweigh the tuition fees; many are paying $1000 PLUS PER SEMESTER! First we pass Prop. 92 then we work for reasonable book fees!

  10. M.J.
    November 23, 2007 at 1:54 pm

    The U.S. experienced great economic growth after world war 2. One reason for the phenomenal
    growth was the GI Bill. The Greatest Generation had their college education at reasonable prices.
    Unlike previous times, the benefits of this growth was shared by the middle class. The California Community Colleges provide the same service. They lower the cost of higher education for millions of middle class families, ensuring future economic growth through investment in Human Capital.
    Groups that oppose this initiative are the teacher unions such as CTA who are afraid that money will be taken away from K-12 and people who believe the extreme libertarians who forget their roots in favor of a theory.
    It is the extremes that oppose this initiative, and pragmatic middle class voters should vote for his initiative.

  11. worried prof
    January 24, 2008 at 12:10 am

    Prop 92 sounds like a great thing: more funding for schools! Unfortunately, it would be a disaster for the state’s university systems (UC & CSU). Higher Education in the State of California is funded through the discretionary portion of the state’s budget; prop 92 wipe out a HUGE portion of that discretionary fund.
    I agree – affordable education is important. But this proposition promotes community colleges above ALL OTHER institutions.

    Between propositions that limit tax increases (like prop 13) and propositions that lock-in spending (like prop 92), the state’s finances have been destroyed. Have you been paying attention to horrible condition of the state’s budget? The proposed state budget for next year includes a cut to the CSU system equivalent to the *combined budget* of Cal State LA & Cal State Dominguez Hills. Do you see what that means? As it is – BEFORE the impact of prop 92 – the CSU is facing an existential budget threat.

    If prop 92 passes then it will mean even deeper cuts into the state’s discretionary spending. If you are the state government and are faced with cutting either police services, fire services, health service, or the CSU/UC systems, what would you cut? The debate has happened before. History shows that when the budget fails, the CSU & UC are the first on the chopping block. It happened in the late 70s & early 90s. It’s happening now. There’s a reason that prop 92 is opposed by the California Faculty association (CSU Faculty Union), the CSU Board of Trustees, the UC Regents, and the Academic Senates of both the UC & CSU.

    Are the “teachers unions” trying to protect their piece of the pie? YES! They are trying to keep the universities & k-12 schools intact! You’re right that the teacher (k-12) & faculty (UC/CSU) unions oppose this bill because they’re trying to save jobs. THE JOBS OF THE TEACHERS!!!! Who will teach your classes if the teachers and professors get laid-off?

    So think about it: Are you willing to sacrifice entire university campuses so that CC fees can be lowered $5/unit? How will your access to a college degree be affected when the the universities (the only place for BS/BA degrees!!!) has to layoff faculty and/or close campuses?

    I am a CSU professor and a card-carrying democrat. And I’m imploring you – please vote NO on this measure. I can virtually guarantee that if this measure passes, you will see massive layoffs of teachers from the CSUs. Am I worried for my job? yes. But remember, if this prop forces me to lose my job, then I won’t be there to teach YOU.

    We all agree that education is important, whether at the K-12, community college, or university level. However, let’s not pass a badly-designed piece of legislation that will promote one portion of our system while inflicting a mortal wound on the rest.

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