Sponsored by Assembly Majority Leader Alberto Torrico (D-Fremont), AB 656 would place a severance tax on oil companies and divert revenues toward higher education. "It is strategic for us to focus resources in Sacramento, because that's where the negotiations are happening," Sanchez said. "But we also understand that we're fighting a two-front war and need to hold both the Legislature and the administration responsible.
"At the end of the day, it is our event and our day of action," he continued. "We made it clear we aren't going to change our demands. We stand in solidarity with the March 4 organizers. We're all advocating a common goal, and folks are going to apply complementary pressure. Our end goal is prioritizing education, and we need to move forward with that collective mentality."
If all this seems confusing, that's because it is. The groups that have formed in reaction to cuts to public education are numerous, amorphous, and have slightly different agendas. Some subscribe to the position that the fault and solution primarily rests in Sacramento, while others argue that the administration and appointed, rather than elected, regents are to blame. Most agree with Sanchez that both are part of the problem.
As community organizers build toward March 4, it is clear that the day will be significant. The real question is, if students can maintain their momentum and their newfound network with other sectors of public education, what will happen on March 5 and beyond?