Thursday, March 05, 2015

Rally for CCSF Civic Center

It looks a little dilapidated, but the signs in the front windows show why it is loved. The Civic Center campus of City College of San Francisco (CCSF) provides just what the Tenderloin neighborhood needs: free instruction that enables poor and new immigrant people to master enough of the basics to improve their chances in this expensive city. That certainly seems like doing its job.

And doing the job was what the students and faculty here were about until, three days before the spring semester began, they were told with no warning that their Eddy Street facility would be closed for seismic upgrades. Students were shuffled off to other buildings, some outside their neighborhood. It is not clear how much education was disrupted and/or whether some students were just lost.

The shock of the sudden closing lingers. Faculty and staff consider the unexpected move another outrage perpetrated by an imposed special trustee put in place in response to an attack on the college by an unaccountable, private accrediting commission. The elected City College board was deposed. It's taken a court case to get CCSF's foes to back off. But democracy won't be restored until the elected trustees are back on the job.

Meanwhile, the closing of the Civic Center campus raises fears. At a rally on Thursday, former city Supervisor and state Assemblyman Tom Ammiano named the specter that hangs over the campus: in this gentrifying city, the old building occupies valuable real estate. Might CCSF's unelected detractors be intending to cash in on the property? After all, this campus just serves some poor, Asian, Brown, and Black folks.

If that's the plan, there are plenty of San Franciscans that will put up one hell of a fight.

1 comment:

Hattie said...

This kind of arbitrary decison making in secret without any input from affected parties is just the way of the world these days.

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