Peralta Community College District's Only Student-Run Publication
Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

New Vice President leadership at Laney announced
New Vice President leadership at Laney announced
Besikof selects Lily Espinoza and Ashish Sahni for Laney VP positions
Isabelly Sabô Barbosa, Social Media Editor • May 13, 2024
Student Trustee Natasha Masand believes her voice has the power to impact the PCCD community.
Student Trustee Natasha Masand finds her voice
Isabelly Sabô Barbosa, Social Media Editor • March 19, 2024
Peralta Trustee Paulina Gonzalez Brito addresses the crowd at Berkeley City College’s 50th anniversary celebration. The event featured a block party along with a groundbreaking ceremony for the college’s new Milvia Street building. (Photo: Marcus Creel/PCCD)
‘We’re still rising’: BCC celebrates 50th anniversary
College throws block party and breaks ground on new building
Sam O'Neil, Associate Editor • May 6, 2024
College of Alameda jazz professor Glen Pearson demonstrates his musical talent on his classroom piano. Hes one of the newest members of the Count Basie Orchestra, a historic 18-piece jazz ensemble that took home a Grammy this year.
The humble Grammy-winning pianist leading CoA’s music program
Desmond Meagley, Staff Writer • March 4, 2024

Bill 302 Dies — But For Wrong Reasons

A parking permit sign at the south parking lot of Laney College Campus, which would have been used to accommodate a safe space for homeless and housing insecure students under AB 302.

Assembly Bill 302, authored by Mark Berman (D) Palo Alto, has been withdrawn, but for all the wrong reasons.

The “safe parking” bill, written in Jan. 2019, was intended to provide immediate relief for homeless students. The bill would allow homeless and housing insecure students who attend California Community Colleges to sleep in their cars in a designated, monitored campus parking area. The colleges would be required to implement a plan of action, and the students would have to be in good standing with the college with no outstanding tuition dues. The state would reimburse colleges on certain costs mandated by the bill.

Palo Alto Online reported in April 2019 that Berman was inspired to author the bill after listening to student’s stories at five informational hearings between 2017 and 2018. Matthew Bodo, a third year student at Foothill College in Los Altos, told Palo Alto online that he had to work full time while going to school and had nowhere to sleep but his vehicle. Berman said that creating designated spaces for students forced to sleep in their vehicles would add some security for them and allow them to continue their studies. The bill met some initial opposition because the costs associated with it were unknown and believed expensive.

Berman himself withdrew the bill on Sept. 5, citing his opposition to new amendments added by the Senate Appropriation Committee. The amendments would postpone the bill by two years, make it easier for campuses to opt out, and prohibit “safe parking” spaces at colleges that are within 250 feet of an elementary school. Berman was especially upset by the 250 foot rule beacuse of it’s similarity to restrictions placed on sex offenders. Berman withdrew the bill and decided to delay its implementation for another year — until 2021.

The reasons for the withdrawal are all valid but none are correct. Sleeping in your car should be decriminalized — but no one should have to do it. Cars are not intended for sleeping. If space is needed for sleeping, then the space should be created, period. Direct action is needed to end suffering, but this bill is a stop-gap measure that only prolongs the problem.

Throughout the American Southwest we have seen super shopping centers repurposed to be ICE detention centers. Currently a Walmart superstore stands abandoned on Edgewater Drive, here in Oakland. If these “super” spaces can be used to imprison people, why can’t they be used as housing? It would seem simple enough to create dormitories inside a vacant, unused building in a style reminiscent of a YMCA.

Solutions do exist, and we should expect our elected officials to provide them. If we continue to accept half measures, soon we will be left with nothing.

About the Contributor
James Millett
James Millett, Managing Editor
An aspiring Andy Rooney, James Millett has spent one semester writing for The Citizen. His personal mantra “hell is other people” is taken from a play by Sartre, “No Exit.” Millett’s theme song is “Desperado” by Rihanna. In his spare time, Millett likes to sit.
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