Illustration by Saksham Rai/LA VOZ WEEKLY
Take the Nov. 6 elections seriously. Especially as a student, you need to know that the effect this election could have on education is utterly disturbing. The California education system is facing a do or die situation and community colleges are the center of it. If Prop 30 doesn’t pass, your education at De Anza College is on the line. The 2008 election witnessed an outstanding turnout with an estimated 23 million youth under 30 voting., according to the Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning & Engagement. The rise in the youth vote contributed to Americans electing their first African American president and that speaks volumes about how far we have come along from a country shadowed by the grim past of segregation and disenfranchisement. De Anza College has been active in mobilizing students at the local level and educating them to make an informed decision. Various organizations like the Institute of Community and Civic Engagement, My Vote Our Future, Faculty Association Political Action Committee and the DASB senate were hard at work even before the commencement of fall quarter. Since the first day of classes, classroom presentations have been a key way for these organizations to get the attention of students and motivating them to register. Prop 30’s impact on community college students goes deeper than many imagined. As a community college, De Anza is a step towards transferring to a four-year university. But according to CSUmentor.edu, state universities have put Fall 2013 applications on hold as they await the results of the Nov. 6 election. Prop 30 aims to raise sales and personal income taxes to fund the state budget. The money will also be used for education. Eleven percent of the generated revenue will go to community colleges and the rest to K-12 and four-year universities. The percentage for community colleges may not seem much, but will do a lot to prevent further budget cuts, faculty lay-offs, and reductions in classes and campus services . Any in-flow of money is welcomed. According to Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning & Engagement, 46 million youths have registered to vote adding up to 21.3 percent of the eligible voters in 2012-California also has one of the highest percentage of new eligible voters aged 18 to 21. Your vote can make a difference. Online registration is available on sos.ca.gov, the California Secretary of State’s website. Secretary of State Debra Bowen, on a recent visit to De Anza College, emphasized in a speech how important it is to be locally involved. “We have to keep going. Sometimes things don’t go well but we have to keep going,” said Bowen. So register! Make a difference yet again. Registering to vote is easy and hassle free. A voter registration form literally takes less than two minutes to fill out and political organizations on campus are more than willing to help you through the process. Votersedge.org provides a comprehensive look at the ballot measures weighing pros and cons so that the voters can make an informed decision on what they stand for. Rise up to the occasion and register to vote today! Remember to get out and vote on Nov. 6.