On Wednesday, September 26, a fired up group of public school students and parents, teachers, and community members from the ReFund California coalition boarded school buses and led a Tour of Top California Political Donors Homes in Bel-Air, ending with a teach-in on the front “lawn” of anti-Prop 30 donor A. Jerrold Perenchio.
Approximately 100 people participated from ACCE, SEIU 721, United Teachers Los Angeles, AFT 1475, UAW 4123, Courage Campaign, Academic Professionals of California, and the National Lawyers Guild.
At least two article were posted that highlighted the billionaires responsible for the defunding of our state and raised the question of who will pay in November’s California election – the super-rich, or students and working families? See La Opinion, “Today’s lesson: the super-rich,” and the American Prospect, “Jerry Perenchio: California’s Sheldon Adelson” for details.
Among the speakers were Jessica Tobon, a student from Maya Angelou Community High School in South LA, who described classes of over 50 students, and her mother Aurora Tobon who called for the super-rich like Perenchio to pay their fair share rather than spending his money fighting against education funding. A group of high school and college teachers - David Rapkin, Carla Colindres, Sarah Knopp, Melissa Naponelli, Kevin D'Amato, Joe Zeccola, and Rich Andersen - led a great lesson on who's really making the big decisions for our state. Jerry Clyde, an LA County social worker, described the difficulty of doing his job with less resources each year. And Rose Gudiel talked about the multiple furlough days at the state Employment Development Department, making it hard for her to do her job of assisting unemployed residents.
Special thanks to SEIU 721 for providing a number of the logistical pieces. Email ReFundCA@calorganize.org to learn about opportunities to volunteer and get out the vote!