Defend Affirmative Action Party announces ASUC executive candidates

DAAP/Courtesy
Defend Affirmative Action executive candidates Victor Martinez, Matt Williams, Alisha Johnson and Jeremy Palmer will run for student advocate, president, external affairs vice president and executive vice president, respectively.

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The Defend Affirmative Action Party has announced its executive candidates for the 2012 ASUC general election.

The party is running on a five-point platform, promising to work toward a reversal of fee hikes, double underrepresented minority student enrollment, campaign for the passage of a federal DREAM Act, stop British Petroleum-funded research projects on campus and drop all charges against student protesters involved in the Nov. 9 Occupy Cal protest.

“(W)e know it’s necessary to build a new, mass, integrated, youth and student-led civil rights movement to restore the right to public education for all,” said senior and party chair Matt Williams in a statement.

Williams, senior Jeremy Palmer, junior Alisha Johnson and junior Victor Martinez are running for president, executive vice president, external affairs vice president and student advocate, respectively. The party does not have an academic affairs vice presidential candidate.

The party is running 20 senate candidates, including the executive candidates, who are running for senate in addition to the executive positions. A party candidate has never won an executive position before.

The party was founded by the activist group BAMN in 1997, according to Bay Area organizer Justin Cheong, and Williams said the organization has strong ties to the Occupy movement.

“We work hand-in-hand with Occupy Cal,” he said.

BAMN national organizer Yvette Felarca — an active protester facing criminal charges for her involvement in the Nov. 9 Occupy Cal protest — is the party’s primary campaign manager and was an ASUC senator from 2003 to 2004.

As a BAMN organizer, Williams said he has experience defending affirmative action and immigrant rights and wants to bring change to the campus by “building mass direct action and uniting students at Cal with the strength of our surrounding communities.”

Palmer was one of the leaders of the January campus anthropology library occupation and said he is committed to representing the rights of students. He was vice president of the Associated Student Government at American River College in Sacramento.

“I will be accountable to and work on behalf of the students, not the administration,” he said in a statement.

Johnson is running on a platform of commitment to the integration of minorities and people from all backgrounds and cultures on campus.

“It’s simply unacceptable that the premier public university in the nation discriminates against the state’s majority minority student populations,” she said in a statement.

Martinez plans to use his experience as vice president of judicial affairs at Merced College to help support the federal DREAM Act.

“Everyone in the DAAP party has their own passion,” he said. “We can bring a collective voice to a lot of issues that are affecting students today.”

Voting for the election will occur April 10, 11 and 12.