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Nov. 6 vote ground zero to oust incumbent Compton College trustee board

Nov. 6 vote to replace incumbent trustee board will mean change; new endorsements named By CYNTHIA MACON The Nov. 6 vote represents ground zero for Compton College. All three unions comprised of the faculty, classified employees, and

Compton Herald | Compton College District boardroom

Nov. 6 vote to replace incumbent trustee board will mean change; new endorsements named

By CYNTHIA MACON

The Nov. 6 vote represents ground zero for Compton College. All three unions comprised of the faculty, classified employees, and Academic Senate, along with the statewide California Federation of Teachers (CFT) have joined in calling for the replacement of the incumbent Board of Trustees with new college activist candidates.

Four endorsements include former Compton Councilwoman Barbara Calhoun, businessman James Hays to represent Compton, and two former affiliates of the college  professor AnnaRuth Garcia for Paramount and Compton College commencement speaker Audrey Casas for Lynwood. The candidates endorsed for your area can be found on the CFT voter guide website by entering your street address at http://www.cft.yourvoter.guide/#/search

Barbara Calhoun

AnnaRuth Garcia

It is no coincidence that four of five seats on the trustee board are up for election on Nov. 6. This bid has been engineered in favor of incumbents, attempting to ride back into office on the wings of favorable news of the impending return of the college.  Voters of the district need to update, review and study the real truth and issues before voting this November. Do not depend solely upon PR articles, advertorials, or “spin” emanating from the college reporting a one-sided account of affairs.

James Hays

Audrey Casas

The unions on campus decided not to endorse incumbents due to ongoing concerns about the future viability of the college which extend even beyond the June 2019 transfer date from El Camino Community College back to the Compton Community College District (CCCD).

Declining and low enrollment, a lack of effective marketing, courses and departments cuts such as computing and possibly English, de-emphasis in the fine arts and vocational degrees, poor upkeep of the campus spanning years, the slow construction timeline given millions in taxpayer dollars paid in bonds, non-confidence in the appointed leadership, disputes over the funding formula and future direction of the college, top concerns.

These issues are amplified by a pervasive atmosphere of fear and retaliation by the administration against targeted Compton College faculty and employees, forming an explosive backdrop where unions are even threatening to strike.

While some attribute campus discontent to faculty desires to remain with the El Camino College District, disappointed with the return to Compton, this spin is emphatically untrue. For years college activists have logged on-going complaints by campus employees who remained quiet, fearful of hampering or interfering with the return of accreditation. With the transition now nearing an end, unions and faculty are finally free to speak honestly in open discourse in one of the clearest signposts the campus is finally returning to normalcy.

As observed by college staff and community activists, the current incumbent trustee board is also accused of rubber-stamping decisions, not moving expeditiously regarding complaints, failure to monitor upkeep of the college, failure of incumbents to interact in represented districts;

Further criticism includes complacency in setting the direction for the campus, spurning community participation; failure to censor leadership, and soliciting community feedback from across the board, including from activists. It begs the question: Whose voice has current trustees Nicole Jones and Lowanda Green been representing?

Noticeably, the incumbent board never voiced any discontent with the mistreatment of Compton College, widely considered in California community college circles to be the primary victim of misplaced policies of the over-zealous accrediting agency, the Accrediting Commission of Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC)  this despite a successful and widespread vocal movement by community college presidents, faculty, unions, academic groups, and even the Sacramento Chancellor and Board of Governor, that finally resulted in sanctioning of ACCJC president, Barbara Beno, that took our accreditation back in 2006.

In contrast, the City College of San Francisco (CCSF), threatened with removal of their accreditation by the ACCJC, arose in mass, including its trustee board to vocally fight back against the ACCJC.

And while credit for the return of accreditation primarily will be given to the administration and board of trustees, know that the faculty is the group that completed the arduous task of compiling the prolific work necessary to regain accreditation. Just as organizations like The Committee to Save Compton College led by Marie Hollis and the National Association of Equal Justice in America (NAEJA) led by Royce Esters, along with college activists like state commissioners Bruce Boyden, and this writer, and stalwarts who stood watch, agitated, and persevered for 13 years to prevent permanent takeover of the campus to guarantee its return.

They, along with Assemblyman Mike Gipson, who joined the battle fighting adamantly, tirelessly, passionately, and effectively  finally turned the tide.

Compton College is primed to enter a new phase of its existence. The battle is nearing the end to return accreditation, the name of the college, and local control to our institution created in 1929.  But a new battle to sustain and strengthen the college for years to come with passionate new leadership is what the college needs. Too many years under state rule without power have rendered the current board powerless.

The CCCD trustee board is comprised of five elected seats predominately spanning or encompassing residents and taxpayers in portions of Compton, Lynwood, South Gate, Paramount, Carson, Athens, Long Beach, Lakewood, Bellflower, Rancho Dominguez, and Willowbrook.

The collective work and vigilance of the faculty and employees, and community activists attest to their ability to speak truthfully to the issues, the needs, status, and condition of the college, so please listen and lend your support.

Vote for Barbara Calhoun, James Hays, Audrey Casas, and AnnaRuth Garcia as new trustees for Compton Community College District board on Nov. 6, 2018. It is time for a change, not more fear.

http://www.cft.yourvoter.guide/#/search

Cynthia Macon is a Compton activist and Daughter of Compton. 

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this commentary are not necessarily the views of the Compton Herald’s publisher or editor.

Compton Herald is a digital news publication providing clear, fair and current news, information and commentary about Compton, the Los Angeles metropolitan area, Los Angeles County, California, and the world.

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