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By Pat Washington, PhD
Political and Education Advocacy Consultants
Email: PatWashingtonPhD@aol.com

Assemblymember Marty Block authored two bills, AB 2401 and AB 2402 that cleared a major hurdle when they passed out of the Assembly Appropriations Committee on May 29th.These bills will help restore guaranteed admissions for local students who meet California State University requirements.


June 4, 2010 marks the new deadline that looms ahead. All bills introduced this year must be out of their house of origin no later than next Friday, June 4.  If the Assembly does not approve AB 2401 and AB 2402 them by that date, they die.

Californians who would like a fast and easy way to urge members of the Assembly to vote “Yes” on AB 2401 and AB 2402 are encouraged to sign up with California Communities United Institute. We provide sample letters that interested persons can sign and have forwarded directly to legislators. There is no cost involved. It’s quick and easy. E-mail Boyce Hinman at b.hinman@calcomui.org, and request a sample letter on the bills plus the E-mail address for sending messages.


A lot of individuals and organizations urged our elected leaders to support AB 2401 and AB 2402 with a “Yes” vote because the educational futures of so many Californians must be protected from arbitrary decisions of university officials and others. As noted in the letter of support from the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employers (AFSCME), AFL-CIO, “


With the cost of tuition at California State Universities skyrocketing, it is more important now than ever to ensure that students are provided every possibility to achieve when applying to the local State University. AB 2401 would grant preference to students applying to their local universities,” This preference extends to veterans and local community college transfer students. AB 2402 requires California State University officials comply with changes in admissions policy and that officials give the communities they serve timely and appropriate public notice of all changes in admissions.


At the state level, in addition to supportive legislators, AB 2401 and AB 2402 were both supported by individuals from various organizations including education advocates from various organizations and issue-specific organizations such as California Communities United Institute (CCUI). California Communities United Institute issued email alerts to its members across the state of California and delivered about 1,200 messages to the committee combined on the two bills. In addition, the lobbyist for CCUI faxed copies of the sample letters to each committee members followed by the names and addresses of the members who wrote in support of the bills.


In San Diego, we had countless individuals from various organizations as well as organizational support from several key education and social justice organizations. The United African American Ministerial Action Council, the San Diego Branch NAACP, Equality Alliance exerted sustained leadership about the positive impact passage of these bills will have on access to higher education for youth of San Diego County. We also welcomed media coverage concerning AB 2401 and AB 2402 that helped educate Californians about the significance of these bills...


And, while many thanks are in order for each and every individual or organization that sent letters, made phone calls, or sent emails to the members of the Assembly Appropriations Committee, there is still much work to be done before AB 2401 and AB 2402 can be passed into law in California.


Please get involved and be counted.


The opinions expressed reflect the views of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of East County Magazine. If you wish to submit an editorial, contact editor@eastcountymagazine.org.  


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