By Ann Marie Galvan
The three new City College board of trustees members Anita Martinez, Vick Chung and Susan Solomon were sworn in during a hybrid meeting on Jan. 11. Alan Wong was also elected board president during a special meeting on Jan. 19, along with Anita Martinez as board vice president. The three new trustees ran on a labor-backed slate in November, and their election unseated the three long-time incumbents, John Rizzo, Brigitte Davila and Thea Selby.
All three new trustees have roots in San Francisco. Martinez is a former instructor and past president of the City College faculty union AFT 2121; Chung is a San Francisco-native and served as the City College student trustee from 2020-2021; and Solomon is an educator who served with the San Francisco Labor Council and United Educators of San Francisco.
Newly elected president Wong has been on the board since November 2020, where he has worked as chair of the budget and audit committee and spearheaded City College’s Cantonese-language certificate to preserve the college’s program. He was also the only trustee to vote against class cuts and faculty layoffs in 2022.
“It’s good to be home,” said Martinez. “I think that this will be a very good board. We will learn from your experience; you may learn from our experience. I look forward to discussions because discussions are how we make the best policy.”
The new trustees ran on a shared platform, and some of their values include developing a balanced and transparent budget, enhancing workforce training, increasing green practices on campus and supporting immigrant, BIPOC, and LGBTQ communities.
“Change is possible,” said Harry Bernstein, music faculty at City College, during public comment. “You have voiced opposition to the systemic downsizing of the college. This should be the community college for all San Francisco, not just those favored by policies designed by, enforced by, Sacramento.” He expressed hope that the new trustees will listen to the concerns of faculty and students.
“I can’t say how truly thrilled the labor council is to have these new members join the City College trustees,” said Kim Tavaglione, executive director of the San Francisco Labor Council. She added that she wants to help bring funds for “real job training” back to City College. “I’m talking automotive repair and vocational things that have been lost.”
Chung thanked the crowd for all the support. “All of you have been incredibly supportive, not only of us as newly elected trustees, but of our college and it’s been a long fight.”