Town Hall on Community Needs Held at CSU Dominguez Hills
On Nov. 7, over 200 people attended a community town hall at California State University, Dominguez Hills to raise awareness of the budget cuts to the CSU system, the unemployment rate affecting the state of California, and volunteer and internship opportunities in the community. The event was presented in Claudia Hampton Hall by the Office of Student Life and the Center for Service Learning, Internships, & Civic Engagement (SLICE). Featured speakers included Councilman Mike Gipson, city of Carson; David Bradfield, professor of music and chapter president, California Faculty Association; Dr. Vivian Price, assistant professor of interdisciplinary studies; Dr. Frank Stricker, emeriti professor of history; Henry Fields Sr. of Justice Corps, and Mai Nowlin of Habitat for Humanity.
Councilman Gipson urged the community to take a stand on the issues facing the South Bay, including a livable wage. Gipson illustrated that the current minimum wage was not a livable wage and that more citizens were finding themselves working two and three jobs in order to support their family. Gipson asked the community to “identify a concern that you’re concerned about, something personal to you,” and do something about it. He concluded by warning the attendees that if they waited to do something about a situation until it affected them that it could be too late.
Bradfield opened by speaking on the $564 billion budget cut to the CSU. He stated that the cut was comparable to the yearly budget of 13 campuses and that CSU Dominguez Hills alone saw a $16.1 million cut, a 22 percent cut from last year’s budget.
According to Bradfield, the university’s response to this was allocating the cost to students and faculty by raising tuition, restricting enrollment, cutting classes and furloughing employees. He urged those who had a vested interest in education to petition CSU Dominguez Hills President Mildred García and CSU Chancellor Charles B. Reed to allocate $4.8 of the $62.5 million from the federal education stabilization plan back into CSU Dominguez Hills to prevent precipitous cuts and protect programs and jobs. Bradfield distributed preprinted letters and information on AB 656, a tax bill that will provide a stable source of funding across all segments of public higher education by redirecting some of the oil and natural gas extractors revenue and reinvesting it into the UC and CSU system.
Stricker spoke on the unemployment problem facing California and the U.S., advocating for a strong government movement to stimulate the economy and produce quality jobs. He said that in order for the current situation to improve there needs to be more than 19 million jobs generated in the next six to seven years.
Stricker said that apart from inflation, the minimum wage had not gone up in the last 35 years and that the government needed to revise and reemploy some of the programs developed during the Depression in the 1930s. He cited the Jobs Coalition program as an example, which was used to generate city and state jobs in which young men repaired roads and sewer lines, and constructed bridges and city buildings.
The event concluded with Nowlin and Fields providing information on the internship and volunteer opportunities available at Habitiat for Humanity and Justice Corps and how to apply.
For more information on opportunities for volunteerism, contact the Center for Service Learning, Internships, & Civic Engagement.
- Jacqueline Tejeda
Jacqueline Tejeda is a communications major and an intern in the Office of Communications and Public Affairs.
Photo above: Carson Mayor Pro Tem and Carson city councilmember Mike Gipson addresses community members on urgent needs in the South Bay.
At right: Brenda Riddick, adjunct faculty, public administration, and Mai Nowlin, Habitat for Humanity.
Photo by Joanie Harmon