Phil Angelides holds forum at City College

Luis Bahena

CITY TIMES STAFF REPORT

It was five days before the election when Phil Angelides, current state treasurer, made a campaign stop to promote his candidacy for Democratic governor on Nov. 2 at City College.

Accompanied by state Sen. Christine Kehoe and Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante, the Faculty Lounge adjacent to the cafeteria was filled with more than 100 students and community residents eager to hear what Angelides had to say.

The event opened up with San Diego City Firefighters’ Vice President Frank DeClercq giving a few words on Proposition C and its flaws. There was also another speaker, Costas Moros, a high school student from East San Diego County, discussing the flaws of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and the high cost of tuition fees.

Bustamante later discussed some topics in education and why Angelides would be a great asset to California as its new Governor.

“(Students) are not going because the price is too high. Which means we don’t have a strong enough commitment, we didn’t have the leadership the last three years of a governor who has not provided leadership in this arena . I say it’s time for a change,” Bustamante said as he discussed the topic on tuition fees.

The main topic of discussion on Angelides’ agenda was education in California.

“There are a million kids in our schools who deserve and need the best education in the world, so they can be in California and have a chance to succeed in this fast moving global economy,” said Angelides.

Education is a big factor here in San Diego. Just last year alone, tuition fees in the San Diego Community College District increased to a total of $26 per unit. According to Angelides, tuition fees increased since Schwarzenegger became governor of California.

“The fact is, there is 300,000 less young people in our community colleges today than when Arnold Schwarzenegger took office,” Angelides said.

Beside education, Angelides also discussed some of the other issues that he would stand for if elected governor.

Angelides had a brief question-and-answer session with the audience attending the event where topics covered included the environment, his stance on gay marriage and immigration.

A City College student asked Angelides his stance on gay marriage and his response to all the people that are against same-sex civil unions.

“I just believe that the right thing to do is to allow people to enter into marriage into a loving relationship,” he said. “And I just think it’s the right thing. And I want my state to do the right thing.”

Kehoe, who is an openly gay elected official, supports Angelides and added that California has the first state Legislature to pass a marriage equality bill. Her partner is also a current City College teacher, she said.

Many students present at the event had a lot to say, not just on Angelides’ campaigning at City College, but on how community colleges have recently been the target for recruiting votes from many politicians.

“I find it interesting how all of a sudden community college has become the arena all over the place . This year for whatever reason, all politicians are trying to (recruit) us for our votes,” said Francisco Fabian, City College’s Associated Student Government president.

Although it was a positive turnout for Angelides, not everyone was in support of his views.

Bryan Hughs, current student body president of City’s sister campus Miramar College, said he didn’t believe that Angelides was fit for the job as governor.

“I think that Phil Angelides could have represented students a lot better,” Hughs said. “‘The Adam Carolla Show,’ when Adam Carolla decided to make fun of us and simply call us un-intellectual, Phil Angelides just sat there and laughed about it. And my question is, why should we believe that he can stand up for Sacramento if he can’t even stand up to an idiot like Carolla?”

(City Times editor Luis Bahena compiled this story from several staff reports)