Q&As with the Board candidates: Berg

There are four seats open on the board in this November’s election. Between now and then, The Guardsman will publish a series of Q&As with all ten candidates.


Natalie Berg
By Dannie Hawkins
The Guardsman

Incumbent Natalie Berg. Photo by James Fanucchi/The Guardsman

Why do you want to be a trustee right now, in the middle of the accreditation crisis?
I have a great historical memory with City College, weathered many, many storms, been through lots of stuff.. I’ve been a trustee for 12 years. Prior to that  I worked at City College as a teacher and adviser for the district. I am conversant with the college so in some ways I’ve been there and done that already so I just want to see the college get stabilized. But I don’t plan to run again after this.

What does your experience bring to the table?
My experience with City College brings a lot because I’ve been a teacher, an administrator, a trustee. I’ve also served on the Board of Governors (since May 2011). I’ve had experience more advanced than what the college is going through right now.

Day 1: You’re a trustee, what’s at the top of your to do list?
To get City College fully accredited.

Is is daunting to represent a school of about 90,000 students?
As a trustee I don’t look at it as representing 90,000 students though we are certain thats the case. but we do our work but don’t get the day-to-day, except for those rare occasions when somebody speaks up we just don’t see that many. We’re not going to close this college, it’s way too big. It would be taxing to the entire city, including the entire workforce of San Francisco. City College trains a lot of the work force of San Francisco, most of those occupations can only be sought at a private institution. City College provides that training.

I recently read that San Francisco is the fittest city in the US, and during your 30 year stint at
City College you served as Dean of Health. What do you do stay in shape?
For a number of years I’ve walked three miles a day every morning at 5am.

What happens if Prop A and Prop 30 don’t pass?
We will continue to raise money as best we can. We have great people constructing fundraisers, and a foundation that’s raising money for us. I’m also hopeful that the economy will turn around. This is not the state’s fault. I don’t have a problem saying that we may have overplanned, of course we put away money but it was not enough. I’m a homeowner in San Francisco. I’ll have to pay an extra $79 but to me it’s worth it. One in seven San Franciscans have a connection to City College, meaning out of the 700,000 people in this city, 100,000 have had contacts with City College. City College is very valuable to this city. There is something for everybody.

Do you read The Guardsman?
When I can get my hands on it. Sometimes they’ll all be gone when I get there. But  I think it’s an incredible newspaper, you guys do a great job!


Next Q&A: Steve Ngo

The Guardsman