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Crosscurrents

California commits to paying for education

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Ali Budner
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San Francisco’s Measure A passed yesterday, which means City College will get much needed funds. Prop 30 also passed, meaning Californians taxed themselves more than 6 billion dollars to help pay for public education.

Alisa Messer, the President of the American Federation of Teachers Local 2121, was at the campaign headquarters for the San Francisco Labor Council as results started coming in last night.

“Bringing those two things together has been very exciting for faculty, staff, and for all of labor in San Francisco,” she said.

Education and organized labor campaigned and celebrated together this election season. Messer said this was a natural collaboration.

“We think they go together because the ones doing the work are those educating the students and serving students,” she said.

The future of City College of San Francisco depended on the success of both Measure A and Proposition 30. Their opponents included the billionaire Koch brothers, who gave $11 million to defeat Prop 30 and pass Prop 32, which would have restricted union donations to political campaigns. In the end, No on 32 managed to outspend the support by about $13 million, which is rare to see.

Tim Paulson, Executive Director of the San Francisco Labor Council, was in high spirits. California propositions 30, 32, and San Francisco’s Measure A all eventually went in his favor.

“This is what happens when workers really want to get together and protect their rights at work and their civil liberties. It’s not over yet and America has not changed enough yet, but I think when we organize, we win,” Paulson said.

Ali Budner came to KALW as a volunteer reporter with Crosscurrents in early 2009, then joined the Your Call team as a producer in March of 2010. She loves the dynamic daily interactions of live radio and the inspiring guests and listeners that Your Call attracts. She still makes stories for Crosscurrents in her free time.