End Tuition in California

 

UC-Berkeley-151

Speech for East Bay Democracy for America Candidates Meetup
Rockridge Public Library in Oakland
Thursday, May 22, 2014 7 PM
by Eugene E Ruyle, Peace and Freedom Candidate
for California Assembly, 15th District

 

Thank you for inviting me to the East Bay Democracy for America Meetup. My name is Gene Ruyle, it’s a silent “Y” so it rhymes with cool. I’m the guy from the Peace and Freedom Party, the only working class, socialist, and feminist party in this campaign. There was a time when people looked to the Democratic Party for progressive social change in America. We think of FDR and the CIO, the WPA, the Sit-Ins, the Wagner Act, and Social Security. But that was a long time ago, before even I was born.

Let me tell you a story. We have the greatest University in the world, right here in the 15th Assembly District. When I graduated from UC Berkeley in 1963, I paid $150 a year in fees, no tuition. This meant that even with my minimum wage job, I could pay for my education by working two or three hours a week.

Now, tuition is over $13,000 a year — never mind non-essentials like books and food. What happened?

Well, Ronald Reagan happened. Reagan was elected Governor in 1966 with two slogans: “send the welfare bums back to work” and “clean up the mess at Berkeley.” Reagan proceeded to destroy a century of tuition-free higher education in California and started charging tuition in 1968. Since then, it’s been a bipartisan affair of annual tuition hikes for students.

My point is not that the Republicans Are Bad News—we all know that. My point is that the Democrats didn’t stop him. They didn’t stand up and say” “NO. This is the People’s University. You can’t charge tuition.” That’s what FDR would have done. That’s what Pat Brown would have done. Instead, the Democratic Party joined the Republicans in sticking it to the students of California.

So it’s left to the little Peace and Freedom Party to stand up for working class students, and say

“End Tuition in California!”

And I know the politicos are going to join with the bureaucrats and say, “Oh, we can’t do that. Budget Cuts, you know . . . “

Well, the whole purpose of my campaign is to say can do it, and it’s not exactly rocket science. Here’s How:

End the Wars and Tax the Rich

That’s how we get free education, free health care, affordable housing, and everything else workers need in our beautiful state.

FROM THE PEACE AND FREEDOM PARTY PLATFORM

Full free high quality public education
from pre-school through graduate school,
with lifelong learning and retraining.
Cancel existing student debt

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From the 1960 Master Plan for Higher Education in California

It is recommended that the Regents of the University of California and the State Board of Education reaffirm the long established principle that state colleges and the University of California shall be tuition free to all residents of the state.

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Shut Down the War Machine
Guaranteed Jobs with Decent Incomes for All
Free Education & Health Care for All
Defend Our Personal Freedoms & Political Rights
Protect & Restore Our Mother Earth

 


Support Fast Food Workers Strike 5-15-14

FAST FOOD WORKERS ANNOUNCE
BIGGEST EVER STRIKE  5-15-14
IN 150 U.S. CITIES JOINED BY
PROTESTS IN 30 COUNTRIES

McStrike!

Statement in Support of Global Fast Food Workers Strike
by Eugene E Ruyle, Peace and Freedom Candidate
for California Assembly, 15th District

Every worker deserves fair wages and the right to organize, so please join me in supporting striking fast food workers and allies from 36 countries and 150 U.S. cities, calling out some of the world’s worst corporate behavior and exposing widespread wage theft. In the wake of new reports showing an industry with the largest pay gaps between CEOs and workers, the fast food workers are demanding change: $15 an hour for workers and a union.

Here’s their schedule in Oakland for this Thursday, May 15, 2-014:

5:30 AM Meet at ACCE Oakland Offices 2501 International Blvd
10:30 AM Meet at the Library in Downtown Oakland, 135 14th St.
(check for latest updates at:   occupyoakland.org)

As a working class, socialist, and feminist party, Peace and Freedom has always supported the rights of working folks to organize and strike for better pay and working conditions. Here’s what our PLatform has to say:

FROM THE PEACE AND FREEDOM PARTY PLATFORM

Double the minimum wage, and index it to the cost of living
Guarantee the right of all workers to organize and to strike
Forbid striker replacement
Socially useful jobs for all at union pay levels
Equal pay for equal work, and for work of comparable worth
A 30-hour workweek with no cut in weekly pay – Longer paid vacations
A Universal Basic Income with full social benefits as a basic human right
Tax the income and assets of the rich to meet human needs.

As a retired union member (my dues are still taken out of my pension check), I am proud to see my brothers and sisters uniting in dozens of countries across six continuents. For me, it brings to mind the words of the Wobblies:

From the Preamble to the Consitution of the Industrial Workers of the World (1905)

The working class and the employing class have nothing in common. There can be no peace so long as hunger and want are found among millions of the working people while the few who make up the employing class have all the good things of life. Between these two classes a struggle must go on until the workers of the world organize as a class, take possession of the Earth and the machinery of production, and abolish the wage system.

Abolition of the wage system, of course, means abolition of capitalism. Under capitalism, workers are wage slaves, lucky if they can find work to support themselves and their families. With socialism, workers are guaranteed jobs and decent incomes, with affordable housing, pensions, free health care, and free education.

So, let’s join with the fast food workers of the world, and in Oakland, our slogan should be,

HELLA YES ON 15 BUCKS!

 

May 12, 2014