City alumnus backs Obama

Adam Baird

San Diego City College alumnus and Costco co-founder Jim Sinegal gave a speech endorsing President Barack Obama at the Democratic National Convention on Sept. 5; Sinegal spoke on his business success and providing a rebuttal to the claim that the current administration is anti-business.

“Business needs a president who has covered businesses backs. A president who understands what the private sector needs to succeed,” said Sinegal in front of a gathering of about 20,000 people at the Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte. “We recognize that job creation requires time and investment and commitment to the long term. It requires companies that plant and grow, not executives who reap and run.”

“But here’s the thing about the Costco story, we did not build our company in a vacuum. We built our

company in a place where anyone can make it with a little hard work, a little luck and a little help from their neighbors and their country,” said Sinegal.

Sinegal earned an associate’s degree at City College in 1955, as well as a bachelor’s of arts from San Diego State University a few years later. He recalls that he was advised on attending a community college before attempting to enroll at a university.

“My test scores were good, but my grades weren’t that good, because I needed focus,” Sinegal is quoted on City’s online alumni page. “It was at San Diego Junior College (now City College) where I regained that focus, and paid attention, because deep down I knew education was important.”

“America needs to be a nation with the best education system so workers can get the training they need to join or stay in the middle class,” said Sinegal during last night’s speech.

“At Costco, we’ve created over 116,000 American jobs. During the next 12 months, we expect to add 7,000 more. And we’re proud that Costco pays the highest wages among our peers, that we provide benefit and health care plans that are second to none, that we’ve grown our business by promoting from within,” said Sinegal amid cheers from the convention.

Sinegal retired as President and CEO of Costco in January 2012, after serving 29 years on the board.

To read Sinegal’s alumni statement, go to www.sdccd.edu/alumni/biographie/jim-sinegal.html.