Dear Berkeley Faculty Association Members,
March 4th is a day of statewide action on behalf of California public education--primary, secondary and higher. Associations around the state are planning to go to Sacramento for an "Educate the State" rally or are planning to participate in local rallies calling for the restoration of funding for public education. March 4th comes at a crucial political moment. In January, the Governor declared that he wants to increase funding for higher education. The state budget process and electoral season are now well under way. We need to put pressure on legislators and gubernatorial candidates as well as alert California taxpayers to the dangers of letting our public education system crumble. And we need to make clear just what is at stake in preserving the finest public university system in the world.
The Board of the Berkeley Faculty Association is working with SAVE to organize faculty and students to go to Sacramento on March 4th. Free transportation has been arranged from the Berkeley campus to the organized rally that will take place in front of the capitol building from 11 am to 1 PM. There will also be a press conference with UC faculty on the capitol steps, where we can speak directly to the press about the value of UC and the perils the university now faces.
We urge BFA members to come to Sacramento on this important day. The simple presence of two hundred (or more!) Berkeley professors at the capitol will be an extremely powerful news story. Students and their families will also be encouraged by this kind of action to lobby their legislators and in other ways work to stop the erosion of our higher education system.
For those who have classes on March 4th, canceling or re-scheduling is not a decision taken lightly. However, given the statewide mobilization of teachers, professors and students, we believe that this one day could make a significant difference in the course of California education politics. For those of us who never miss a day of class, this one feels worth it. And if you can persuade some of your students to come, all the better!
If you would like to participate, please sign up for a free seat on a chartered bus to Sacramento on March 4th at http://www.saveuc.org There is full information about the logistics of travel to/from Sacramento and about the rally itself at the website. Signing up takes less than a minute.
Please turn out for our university and for California public education on March 4th!
Wendy Brown and Chris Rosen, Co-Chairs
Richard Walker, Vice Chair
Berkeley Faculty Association