By Annette Mullaney
San Francisco supervisors expressed support for City College at an April 9 hearing on the college’s proposed course cuts and layoffs of over 60% of instructors, at the inaugural meeting of the Youth, Young Adult, and Families Committee.
Supervisor Gordon Mar (D4) said he intends to introduce a budget supplemental appropriation for the college as early as April 13, the next Board of Supervisors meeting. He did not specify an amount, but indicated that some funding might go through the Workforce Education and Recovery Fund (WERF). Proposed by Mar last year, the fund was intended to provide $20 million to City College per year, but was scaled back considerably during the pandemic, providing $200,000 for Spring 2021.
Dozens of instructors, students, and alumni called in during public comments, pleading for city funding to curtail cuts. Two callers broke down in tears describing the impact of the cuts.
Malaika Finkelstein, Mary Bravewoman, and Alayna Fredericks of faculty union AFT2121 and Student Trustee Vick Van Chung presented the extent of the financial crisis to the committee. Board of Trustees President Shanell Williams gave Supervisor Hilary Ronen (D9) a letter further describing the crisis and emphasizing the trustees’ commitment to balancing the college’s budget.
City College administration declined to participate in the meeting, a move criticized by many attendees.
“Our administration may not have the imagination and leadership but we know that our students do, San Franciscans do, and that you, our city supervisors do,” Fredericks said.