I truly believe the majority of students on this campus came to Berkeley to change the world, and I believe that we can. That is why the student movement at UC Berkeley has the power to make history. We have an interest in making sure the teaching, learning and research conducted on this campus is in the democratic interest its students and for the best interests of the majority of oppressed people who live under exploitation and poverty. Our campus should be the center of mobilizing the immigrant rights movement and establishing UC campuses as sanctuary campuses. They should be the center for organizing the international student movement to defend public education as a right for all. We are building the movement to defend integration and public education because one cannot exist without the other.
Through the Defend Affirmative Action Party, I aim to make the ASUC a fighting student union and a dynamic organizing center of the new student movement against racism and sexism and for equal-quality public education in order to make UC Berkeley a university that keeps its promises to all its students. I am running with other dedicated student leaders in DAAP who are fighting for academic freedom, human creativity, critical thinking, integration and democratic control of our university. We are politically independent, reject careerism and love to struggle.
Leadership means more than agreeing with progressive positions; it means taking action. As a national organizer with BAMN, I marched alongside thousands of immigrants at the nation’s capital advocating the DREAM Act, full citizenship rights for the millions of undocumented immigrants across the country and an end to deportations. At the U.S. Supreme Court, I organized and led thousands of students from Washington, D.C., and around the country to restore race-conscious affirmative action policies to college admissions and to overturn Proposition 209 for the right of the majority of California high-school students who are black, Latino, Native American, Arab, Southeast Asian and Pacific Islander students to attend this great university. I have spoken boldly to the UC Board of Regents demanding that they remove opportunist politician and mass deporter Janet Napolitano as president of this university and to restore the California Master Plan. I marched with thousands demanding climate action around the impending climate change crisis. In my hometown, I marched for justice with middle- and high-school students for the life of Andy Lopez who was gunned down in cold blood by a Sonoma County sheriff’s deputy.
The DAAP slate is the only accountable student leadership addressing the crisis of public education and will mobilize the means necessary to defend it as a right for all. Uniting the student movement with the strength and dynamism of the immigrant rights movement is the most important task at hand for student leaders across the nation to generate the power to defend public education and fight for democratic rights across the world.
Latino, black, other anti-racist and female students are speaking louder and clearer than ever before about the hostile campus climate resulting from the resegregation and privatization of this university. Join DAAP on Monday in 219 Dwinelle Hall for our public tribunal on racism, sexism, and hostile campus climate. It’s time to tell the plain truth and to mobilize to make UC Berkeley live up to its promises.
UC Berkeley students deserve to have an ASUC that embraces the hope, anger and power of students and the communities that surround us. Vote DAAP!
David Douglass is a candidate for ASUC president.