Op-Ed: Vote ‘YES’ On Proposition 13: How YOU can play a role in shaping the future

As a fourth-year student at Chico State, I know that our campus can use a few upgrades. In my first year, I still recall my initial surprise at the state of affairs of Chico’s facilities and infrastructure. My major was housed in one of the campus’ oldest buildings, giving me a unique perspective into the issue of meeting educations’ modern demands with outdated tools. In Langdon Hall, it is nearly impossible to climb the stairs without bumping into busy classmates running to class. In Butte Hall, classrooms no longer meet the demands of class sizes. Desks are crammed together, making it difficult to navigate the classroom if you come in right before class begins, or excuse yourself to use the restroom without tripping over and stepping on your classmates’ belongings. Elevators are crammed and limited which certainly poses accessibility issues for students.

These facilities are outdated, to say the least.

These infrastructure issues are not ours alone. Like all of California’s public universities—both two-year and four-year — Chico State is in dire need of funds to renovate aging classrooms, residence halls and facilities.

In 2008, the Great Recession caused California’s investment in public higher education to plummet​. The effects are still felt by students today. Across academic institutions of California, aging equipment and facilities require updates and repairs.

For students like me, issues like dilapidated classrooms threaten not only our education but our safety. In order to ensure that California public students receive the education they deserve,  we must work to address these challenges. The California State University is the largest source of skilled workforce in California with over 100,000 graduates each year. It is imperative that the state facilities foster a healthy learning environment to prepare us to eventually be the leaders of California’s massive economy.

That’s why I am joining the bipartisan California Coalition for Public Higher Education, the ​Cal State Student Association​, teachers, doctors, nurses, firefighters and military veterans in supporting​ ​Proposition 13​. This proposition will provide $15 billion in critically needed funding to protect the health and safety of students in California’s public institutions of primary and higher education.

The bond measure will provide $2 billion to fix buildings on CSU campuses, where​ ​half the space​ is 40 years or older. It will provide $2 billion to the UC system and another $2 billion to community colleges.

 It will also provide $9 billion to make Pre-kindergarten through grade 12 public schools safe for students. Among other projects, it will fund the removal of asbestos and mold along with the replacement of outdated drinking water systems.

Not only will Proposition 13 pay for much-needed repairs and renovations to our public space of learning, it will also have significant protections for taxpayer money. It requires public hearings to get public input, limits administrative costs and requires independent performance audits of the projects funded.

As the strongest statewide school bond measure in California history, Proposition 13 represents a reinvestment in a public higher education system that was once the envy of the world. A ‘Yes’ vote on Proposition 13 is a vote for the future of California.

So please help California students get this vital bond measure approved.​ ​Get registered​, grab your ballot, go to the polls and vote ‘YES’ on Proposition 13 on March 3​. Join me and millions of concerned Californians in voting to ensure the future of our state’s students.

For more information about Proposition 13, please visit http://yestohighered.org/.