By Aminah Jalal
Former Dean of Students Anita Martinez has declared her candidacy for the City College Board of Trustees, with four seats being up for the taking in November.
After 28 years of work at City College, Martinez retired in 2010. She held a number of positions including English as a second language (ESL) instructor, president of the faculty union AFT 2121, Academic Senate president, and interim vice chancellor of instruction.
In her candidacy, Martinez said she is for keeping the community aspect by putting the “city back in City College,” through life-long learning, civic engagement, and cultural enrichment.
As a trustee, Martinez says she will only focus on how to be of service to the college, as she has no intention or desire to be in any other political office following her time as a trustee. “My commitment is only to CCSF,” Martinez said.
“I think I can bring wisdom, experience, and history to the board,” said Martinez. “This board in the past always had members who had a memory of what City College had been, what had worked, what didn’t work, and how it evolved. I don’t see as much of that on this current board.”
During her time as the interim vice chancellor of instruction, the college underwent reorganization into a single integrated institution to provide programs and services promoting student achievement and lifelong learning to meet the needs of the diverse communities surrounding City College, Martinez said.
Martinez previously held the position of Dean of Student Affairs at City College of San Francisco where she managed a number of areas including student honors and recognition programs, and student rights and responsibilities. During her time in this position, she found the non-credit courses to be a very important step for students who did not have enough money to transfer.
Students shared “wonderful affirmations to the wonderful quality of city college,” Martinez said, recalling the times students came and told her how much the non-credit courses helped them.
Martinez said she enjoys retirement, but decided to run because she is concerned about the direction City College is going.
Martinez will be working to get the college to practice fiscal integrity, in which experts are addressed and more transparency is shown in the budgeting process to assure careful class cuts, minimizing the negative effects on staff, students, and faculty.
“City College is a gem,” Martinez said. “I’ve been to other colleges and I’ve studied city colleges. It truly is a gem and I hate to see it suffer in the way it is. It’s hurting the students, the teachers, and the community.”
Along with better budgeting and transparency, Martinez also would look to have a “forensic analysis” of where the budgeting went wrong and how to fix it.
“I was very disappointed to read the most recent audit’s conclusion that the budget has been out of whack for three years,” said Martinez. “Usually it shouldn’t be over three months that it’s bad. It should not have happened.”
Among the list of improvements, she hopes to help City College build and work more “green.”
Currently, Martinez is one of two candidates for the four open seats that are up in November. Additional candidates may enter the race in the coming months, as the nomination period is not over until the summer. The other candidate running along with Martinez is City Hall Legislative Aide Alan Wong, who announced his candidacy in January.