San Franciscans were bummed when, this summer, it looked for a second like we'd lose our only community college. And we weren't the only ones who would have been affected -- City College of San Francisco isn't just the biggest school in the city, it's the biggest school in the entire state, providing vital job training, family development classes, continuing education, and a springboard into four-year university for undergrads.
The folks at Mission Mini-Comix sent us this comic stating the case for Prop A, which would ensure that CCSF gets the funds it needs to keep educating us. (You can check it out in its full glory on their website, or snag one of the free mini-books they've been handing out around town.
Here's the skinny on the panels, from Mini-Comix artist Rio Roth-Barreiro (who won an all-ages Guardian comics contest when he was younger -- says mom Robin Roth the recognition "got him started on this path!"):
So, this is another comic that attempts to tackle local San Francisco issues. We do tend to do this every couple years or so, with mixed results, but we’re normally drawing a comic against whatever legislation is being voted on. In this case, we’re happy to do a comic supporting Proposition A and City College of San Francisco.
City College is a very personal issue for me. Not only are my mom and god-cousin teachers there, but I got my AA degree and most of my job skills training there which did end up setting me up well with a career in the tech industry (newsflash, cartooning doesn’t really pay the bills) and I’d like to see every young person in this city, county and larger bay area have access to the same opportunity and resources I did. This goes to the larger issue of where our priorities are in this country, with trillions being spent on our military, foreign wars and tax cuts for the rich while schools at home are literally falling apart (both physically and financially). Even in the liberal “hotbed” of San Francisco, we’re seeing the same tired arguments that are being trotted out all over the country to justify the systematic dismantling of public education.
“Teacher’s are getting paid too much!” “It’s all the Teacher’s Unions’ fault!” I see this sentiment getting echoed with infuriating regularlity in the Chronicle and in online news sources such as SFGate, but it doesn’t really mesh with the actual facts of life for City’s teachers, who have seen their classes double in size (twice the work) with many not having seen a raise in 5+ years. Having California cut money to education every year isn’t helping things. CCSF is being starved for funds and then the fact that they can’t meet their budget is being used as an excuse to take away their accreditation and/or close them down. Teachers are being painted as being greedy when every year they are getting less and having to work more.
Meanwhile, crushing education is going to have long term negative impact on local and national economies as our schools prepare less kids with the skills they need for technical and skilled jobs. People getting paid less means there will be even less government income to pay for things in the next budget and having a less skilled workforce will only lead to more jobs getting outsourced to India and China. It’s a vicious cycle pulling our economy down the drain, but some can’t see beyond the latest budget or the need to invest in our (and our children’s) future.
Proposition A on the San Francisco ballot and Proposition 30 on California’s ballot both seek to raise funds and prioritize education and I hope y’all be voting for them. And if you aren’t registered to vote yet, go get yourself registered, son! California now has online registration so you can be ready to stand by our schools and CCSF’s mission statement for a affordable and high quality education to be available for all. Registration deadline is October 22nd and voting is on November 6th
Oh yeah, I almost forgot our own accreditations, but this comic was written by me with a lot of help and input from Robin Roth, Leslie Simon and Amber Straus (and my wife Beth came up with the subtitle) and was drawn by me, Mike, Audrey and Justin.