Rare Stormy Day Fails to Deter Rally

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Chantal bevard

YES ON 30: Rallys and public forums about Proposition 30. and funding community colleges are gathering steam in the ramp up to the Nov. 6 elections.

Chantal Bevard, El Vaquero Staff Writer

The brewing thunderclouds didn’t deter students from crowding Plaza Vaquero on Thursday to devour all that speakers had to say about the importance of voting, particularly for Proposition 30.

The Associated Students of Glendale Community College formed a rally with several speakers championing the importance of voting.

On hand were: Armine Hacopian, board of trustees president; Jim Riggs, interim president/superintendent; Gordon Alexandre, a history professor; Michael Dulay, a psychology professor and chair of the social science division; and Caroline Aghajanian, a member of ASGCC.

Hacopian spoke first and set the tone for the rest of the rally. “Your voice is your vote,” she told students.

“Sorry about the bad news, but you have the opportunity to change it,” said Riggs after informing students about the possible budget cuts if Proposition 30 fails.

The speakers urged students to vote for Proposition 30 because it would help fund community colleges, as well as K-12 schools and public services. The funding would come from a temporary quarter-cent sales tax increase and a temporary income tax increase for those who make more than $250,000 per year.

“Tell your friends, parents and neighbors not to believe the lies that the No on Prop. 30 group is putting out there,” Alexandre said. “They just don’t like that Prop. 30 is doing well in the polls.”

According the latest poll conducted by Pepperdine University and the California Business Roundtable on Thursday, 49.5 percent of voters support Proposition 30, while 41.7 percent oppose the measure.

“If it [Proposition 30] doesn’t pass, it’s going to be a real disaster around here,” said Alexandre.

Proposition 30 has to compete with Proposition 38 in the election. If both measures pass, the measure with the most votes in favor of the proposition will go into effect.

Proposition 38 is a measure that would increase the income tax for those who make more than $7,316 per year. The money raised from this tax increase will help fund only K-12 schools.

As a former student, Dulay wanted to relate to current students and created a rap about learning from the past, the importance of voting and Proposition 30.

Dulay captivated students and led them in a chant, “When I say Prop, you say 30!” Some students showed their excitement for Dulay’s rap and started break dancing in the middle of the crowd.

The Associated Students and clubs, such as the Gay Straight Alliance, helped register students to vote during the rally.

In light of the new online registration system implemented by California Secretary of State Debra Bowen on Sept.19, the ASGCC brought laptops so that they could help register students online to vote. The Associated Students also had paper registration forms available so that students had the two options.

Associated Student President Arman Marukyan, who has a picture from the first day he voted, said, “I was surprised to find out that people don’t know what they’re voting for.”

The students who attended the rally seemed to all share the thought that it is important to know what is on the ballot.

“The worst thing to do is to be an uninformed voter,” said Daniela Contreras, 20, a communications major.

That is why the Yes on 30, No on 32 committee is working with the ASGCC to put together events to help educate students on issues that will appear on November’s ballot.

The next event, on Thursday from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. in the auditorium, is aimed to educate students on Proposition 32.

Proposition 32 would ban corporations and unions from contributing to state and local candidates and would ban automatic paycheck deductions to be used for political contributions.

Aghajanian left her peers at the rally with this message, “It’s up to you to save next semester.”