Since getting elected in 2018, I’ve spearheaded many efforts to improve diversity and equity at Cabrillo College. In 2019 I helped our Office of Student Equity open our college’s very first LGBTQ drop-in center. I also authored a resolution directing the college to raise the LGBTQ rainbow pride flag annually on all our campuses to recognize Harvey Milk Day on May 22nd, the month of June as LGBTQ Pride Month, National Coming Out Day as October 11th, and the month of October as LGBTQ History Month. I authored a resolution reaffirming the college’s support for diversity in faculty and staff hiring, a commitment to participate in implicit bias and cultural competency training, and to review compliance with Equal Employment Opportunity standards that address diversity throughout hiring practices. In March of 2022 I authored a resolution denouncing hate and acts of vandalism after the college experienced 2 troubling incidents of apparent hate-motivated vandalism on its campuses.
In 2021 I drafted policy proposals to amend the National Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Restaurant Meals Program to add full time student as recipients to access a hot meal using their EBT card. Congressmember Jimmy Panetta is working turn bring proposal forward as an amendment to next legislative year’s farm bill. Should this amendment pass, hundreds of thousands of full-time college students already receiving SNAP benefits will be eligible to stay on campus and use their EBT card to access prepared meals in participating cafeterias on campus. I want to thank Congressmember Jimmy Panetta for his willingness to carry this amendment and improve food access for our most disadvantaged students.
Cabrillo College’s governing board has 2 active committees, the Legislative Advocacy Committee and the college’s Name Exploration Committee, and I serve on both. The Legislative Advocacy Committee has supported Cabrillo’s President, Matt Wetstein, to apply for state funds to develop 298 units of affordable student housing on our Aptos Campus. If funded, we will work to complete an EIR and then start engaging with the community to have a collaborative process in how we build and develop housing. I will also work to ensure we work with the County to allocate rent subsidies for CalWORKs students and former foster youth to help increase the affordability of our student housing.
In July 2020, Cabrillo College received a request to rename the college in response to widespread social unrest in the United States and critical analysis of the namesake of the college, Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo. The governing board established a Name Exploration Committee who devised a process to assist the college with its decision of reviewing and potentially renaming the College. Click here to learn more about the name exploration process, our educational workshops, our listening sessions, and when we anticipate bringing a recommendation on the name of the college to the full board.