“Thigpen’s Bid for Supervisor/Tuition Hike Debate”

by on January 11, 2006

Randy,

The claims about Supervisor Chris Daly’s environmental record by Jordanna Thigpen (as reported in Marina District Activist May Challenge Daly) are completely unfounded.

The Sierra Club tracks the environmental records of the members of the Board of Supervisors. Supervisor Daly is one of the leaders on the environment on the Board. Along with the Sierra Club, Daly called on the SF PUC’s to drop its plan to build a fourth water pipeline from Yosemite *- a plan which the PUC did in fact drop, to its credit. Supervisor Daly has promoted anti-pollution measures such as funding bike lanes and increased funding for Muni. Daly has been a leader in opposing the environmentally harmful Mills Mall project at Piers 27-31. Daly is a also a strong supporter of alternative energy.

Perhaps Thigpen hasn’t been paying attention to what’s been going on with the Board of Supervisors regarding the environment. The Sierra Club would be glad to fill her in.

John Rizzo Chair, Sierra Club San Francisco Bay Chapter

Dear Editor:

I was surprised by your recent article about Jordanna Thigpen’s bid for Supervisor in Fall 2006. Your characterization of Ms. Thigpen as a “marina activist” is woefully ignorant of the core progressive values that I witnessed first hand as her fellow student at USF law school. Throughout her tenure at USF Ms. Thigpen worked tirelessly to promote the very values that you claim she opposes. She co-founded one of the most progressive and active groups at USF, the Equal Justice Society. As a member of the EJS she helped organize a debate on Newsom’s Care Not Cash Initiative, a panel on the Patriot Act and spoke out against electronic voting machines. She also tabled at the law school for Prop D, San Francisco’s Public Power Initiative, organized voter registration drives and raised funds for the Student Bar Association. Her activism and dedication to democratic political ideals has been an inspiration to all of us who work to further progressive values in this city and this country in the face of the right-wing glut.

Contrary to your assertions, being a progressive and a small business owner are not mutually exclusive. Just wait and see.

Yours truly,

Jeanna Steele
USF School of Law, Class of 2004


Editor,

This refers to Mr. Bruce Wolfe’s article, “Higher Education As a Right, Not Privilege Should Guide Tuition Hike Debate.”

The author is right in emphasizing the important role of the State in providing education to its citizens. College education is a public good which the government is trying to convert into a consumer choice.

Its not only in the US that fees are increased to finance public schools but also in developing countries like ours. Public subsidy for education has been declining for many years since it was imposed by international lending agencies like the IMF and World Bank.

The irony is that for many decades, the Philippine higher education has been patterned after the US system where the private sector dominates tertiary schools. But now neoliberals are claiming we should abolish the few public universities in the country in order to give way for the “efficient” private schools.

Mr. Wolfe’s article provides a refreshing insight regarding the tuition debate and made me realize that US citizens are also fighting the proposals to make education an exclusive right of the affluent.

Thank you.

Raymond Palatino
Quezon City, Philippines

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