I presented the opposition to Santa Monica College’s (SMC) Measure AA to the Democratic Club. I am an 18-year SMC employee representing the Bond Fatigue Committee (BondFatigueCommittee.com).
Measure AA is not about “education,” it is about development of a “Regional Center” serving 25,000 Beverly Hills, West L.A., Los Angeles area, out-of-state, and international residents and students. It brings more over-development: congestion, traffic, pollution – loss of livability.
Less than 4500 SMC students are from Santa Monica – that is less than 15 percent of SMC’s enrollment.
Measure AA subsidizes 25,000 students, 85 percent of SMC’s enrollment, recruited by SMC at a cost of $1 million per year, from Beverly Hills, West L.A., the LA area, out-of-state and 80 countries worldwide. They will pay nothing for Measure AA – we will.
Stopping Measure AA will not deprive any student of an education. Rather, stopping Measure AA will halt further expansion of student recruitment from neighborhoods where there are 10 other excellent community colleges those students can attend.
Measure AA means loss of apartments, higher rents, and higher taxes.
Measure AA hurts seniors because there is no senior exemption.
And perhaps most unforgivable: Measure AA undermines funding for our local schoolchildren. Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School’s “Report Card” shows that many of our students are not proficient in math and reading skills. African American and Hispanic students and families are particularly hardest hit, and deserve our community support and assistance – this bond measure gravely diminishes that possibility.
This is the third misleading SMC bond measure in six years, which would total nearly $600 million! By the college’s own formula, the bonds would have a repayment cost with interest of One Billion Dollars–$10,000 for every child and adult in Santa Monica/Malibu!
Measure AA is opposed by SMC employees, SMC educators, SMC alumni, Santa Monicans for Renters Rights members, Democrats, Republicans, independents, home renters and home owners, parents, seniors, local businesses, and the Friends of Sunset Park neighborhood association.
Phil Hendricks has been a resident of Santa Monica for 26 years, a 25-year member of Santa Monicans for Renters Rights, and an SMC employee for 18 years, including three years as President of the college’s employee staff union.