Voting should matter to college students

Josh Bradshaw, Staff member

Voting is every American citizen’s right and it is vital for change to happen within both Federal and state policies.

It is important to be a part in the upcoming June election for Measure E, as well as all elections, because that is how we see positive changes for the DVC campus. All of us should understand the role we play in changing the Contra Costa Community College District for both ourselves and the future generation.

Since the fall 2013 semester, our campus has reaped the benefits of students actively participating in the 2012 November election for Proposition 30.

DVC now has the money to add classes that were previously cut from past semesters.

According to an article published on the CBS SF Bay Area website on July 23, 2013, Contra Costa Community College District Spokesman Tim Leong discussed the benefits that all three colleges in district could have.

Leong states that “we can now stem the four years of budget reductions; finally having some stability and adding back some of the classes that we’ve been taking away over these past few years.”

DVC was able to add over 100 classes to last semester’s course list. None of the benefits we see from Proposition 30 would be available if voters decided to vote no on Proposition 30.

Measure E is currently on the June ballot and will give the Contra Costa Community College District funding to renovate campus buildings and grounds while both updating lab technology and increasing access to those with disabilities. Contra Costa Times published an article on April 30, 2014, and it had a lot to say about Measure E.

In the article, we see that Measure E will put $450 million dollars in the district’s pocket to be used to remodel the three college campuses. This money is important to this district because community colleges are a stepping stone to attending a four-year university.

Linda Best, retired chief executive officer of the East Bay Leadership Council, voiced that “community colleges are a cornerstone of the states’ plan for higher education, and have become increasingly important as the cost of four-year college has risen substantially.”

There are over 55,000 students in this district and many of the buildings on each campus range from being 45-65 years old. In order to be the cornerstone in higher education, the campuses must get funding to renovate and modernize the buildings in the college’s district.

Even those who are against Measure E should be voting on June 3, because that measure will also increase taxes. The $450 million has to come from the taxpayers, it will not just appear in the district’s coffers.

According to the Contra Costa Taxpayers Association, Measure E will get the $450 million dollars from bonds, which are repaid with interest. In the long run tax payers could pay double what the bond is worth to renovate the college campuses. Measure E will pay off the bonds by doubling the property tax, raising it from $13 per $100,000 to $26 per $100,000. This measure is expensive, and it is important to weight the costs as well as the benefits together.

In the end, it will come down to voters, hopefully including students from the surrounding campuses.

I, myself, will be participating in this election and so should all of you.

Regardless on your stance for Measure E, voting will allow you to choose where you want your money to go. If you do no vote, an unwanted tax may appear or your school may not receive the care it needs.

A 55% vote is needed to pass Measure E, so let your voice be heard and take a stance in this upcoming election. From Proposition 30 to Measure E, we as students should take into account what role we play in changing the future of our colleges.