For the second straight year, UC Berkeley senior David Douglass announced his candidacy for ASUC president Thursday, with concerns over affirmative action, immigration reform and global warming driving his campaign.
Douglass — a film and Latin American studies double major — is no stranger to controversial issues. A member of the Defend Affirmative Action Party, Douglass is supported by the activist organization By Any Means Necessary, whose platform is built on fighting for immigrant rights and affirmative action. It was during BAMN’s Thursday protest against UC President Janet Napolitano outside of Sutardja Dai Hall that Douglass decided to officially announce his candidacy for ASUC president.
“(David) is the most important student leader and organizer on this campus,” said Yvette Felarca, founding member and national organizer of BAMN. “This campus needs more leaders who speak the plain truth about racism and inequality and who are proud to stand up for student power.”
Douglass is running as a DAAP candidate, a party that has never had a candidate elected to an executive position. With plans to turn the ASUC into a “fighting union” to overturn Proposition 209, Douglass intends to galvanize the student body and carry out the requests of students.
“The majority of UC Berkeley students are passionate about these issues and take them really seriously,” he said. “I’m running on the basis of building that student movement on campus.”
Douglass is building off the momentum from his previous work as an activist, including marches through Washington, D.C., last April in which he and other DAAP members demanded citizen rights for the country’s 11 million undocumented immigrants. Douglass hopes to promote similar movements within the UC Berkeley community and said he will not be intimidated by the campus administration.
“The students should be the ones running and shifting the direction of the university,” Douglass said. “The chancellor will have to answer to the demands of the students.”
DAAP continues to actively advocate the removal of Napolitano, according to Douglass. He is the only official candidate for the party so far, while other candidates are currently being discussed for its slate.
“I would like to see (Douglass) push legislation, like proposing propositions for UC regents to replace Napolitano,” said Alison McDonald, a UC Berkeley sophomore and BAMN member. “If David were in charge, he’d go through with policies that the students are asking for.”
He said he is also intent on focusing on issues that pertain to the campus specifically, such as facilitating the campus’s switch to renewable resources and removing the energy company BP’s ties to the university.
Although Douglass is running as a third-party candidate, he has a loyal following that wholeheartedly stands by his beliefs.
“He believes in the things I believe in and will fight for them,” McDonald said. “He’s not one of the bigger parties, but he’s going to fight for what he believes in.”
Contact Becca Benham and Chris Tril at [email protected]