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Sunday, April 17, 2011

Hands Across California: We did it!

Hands Across California is over.

Not gonna lie. I feel a little empty. LOL I need a new project, quick! It waas absolutely amazing to be part of something like this. The checkpoint I went to (Saddleback College) was pretty quiet--I think about 60 people came out there. But other checkpoints along the route had 350-400 show up to support education. The numbers are still coming in, but it's already in the tens of thousands of people for the turnout. I had an amazing time working on this; it was a great feeling standing up for something that's important to me and being part of something that was bigger than me. Sounds cheesy, but it's true.

Unfortunately, I got very little feedback from my friends--a whopping one person came out with Jordan and me to stand in line with us--but it was great to be around other people who felt the way I did. To those of you who didn't make it, don't worry. You have until June 30 to text HANDS to 27722 to make your $10 to the Scholarship Endowment and you'll be reading plenty of it on my Facebook, Twitter and blog. So there's still time to join and support the cause! :)

Here are some pictures from today:

Jordan sportin' his Hands Across California T-shirt

Us hangin' out, waiting for people to come out. :)

Part of the line!
Part of the group that came out!
Us in front of the "Worth Living For" wall
Jordan wants to skydive naked before he dies. ;) I wrote that I wanted to write the next great American novel. :)

Well I'm off to bed. I'm sportin' some lovely sunburns on my feet of all places. It looks like I'm still wearing my sandals even though I'm not. The joys of having your Swiss genes win out over the Sicilian side of your family. Sighhhh.

Hands Across California: "Arise & Seize the Day" (to quote 'Newsies')

The day has arrived. The time for words has come and gone and now is the time for action. Time to put your money where your mouth is, as they say. If you’ve ever registered for a new semester and you’ve complained that it’s too expensive; if you’ve ever said it’s not fair that students have to suffer the consequences for mistakes made by politicians; if you’ve ever said you wish you could do something to help, to try and make a difference…
Here’s your chance.
In three hours and forty-five minutes, a historic event will link thousands of students and community college supports from Rocklin to San Diego. Where will you stand?
I know where I’ll be. I’ll be checking in at Saddleback Community at 11:00 to get my Line Marshal kit and start organizing my segment of the line.
At 1:59, the countdown will begin and the energy will be unlike anything you’ve ever experienced. Knowing that you’re surrounded by people—total strangers—uniting for the same cause, taking a stand for something bigger than they are and that you’re a part of it as well… It will be absolutely incredible.
I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve never been much of an advocate for anything, really. Hands Across California is my first “fight for the cause”, if you will. I never thought I would feel this passionately about something other than the people I love and my writing. And, to be honest, it always seemed a little too ‘hippie-ish’. You know, fighting the ‘Man’ and all that.
It’s not.
This cause is real and it’s serious and it affects every aspect of your life, whether you’re 5 or 65. Our state will always need educated people and people will always need affordable education. California community colleges educate close to three million students every year and provide the open door that many people need to pursue a higher education who can’t afford a university.
Our state needs teachers, firefighters, police officers, nurses, lawyers, doctors, journalists, politicians (even if we may not like them very much right now), architects, scientists… The list goes on. And every profession on this list requires a college education. What will happen when education becomes inaccessible for us? For your children?
What will you tell your son or daughter if it becomes inaccessible? “Well, honey, if you want to be a doctor, you better a job and start saving for school because Mommy and Daddy can’t afford to send you to college and community colleges don’t exist anymore.”
By not standing up for our education, we’re robbing future generations of the freedom to be anything they want to be. So if you think it doesn’t matter because you already have your degree framed and hanging nicely on your office wall, you’re wrong.
Education touches us all no matter what stage of life we’re in.
So, having said that, I hope I see you all out there this afternoon to stand up for yourselves, stand up for education and stand up for not only our future, but the future of our state.
Visit to see “The Route” and find out where you can go to join the line. It’s not too late to take a stand.


Monday, April 11, 2011

Hands Across California: What Will Our Legacy Be?

In the late 1700's, men from thirteen relatively powerless colonies joined together and stood up for their rights as American citizens, breaking free from the British tyranny under which they lived. All of Great Britain was against them, as were many Americans who remained loyal to the Crown. Hundreds--thousands--of men laid down their lives for what they believed in, despite countless naysayers telling them their cause was hopeless; that it wouldn't change a thing. What would have happened to our country if those men hadn't stood fast and continued fighting for freedom in the face of what appeared at the time to be complete and utter defeat?

We wouldn't have the country we have today. We wouldn't be enjoying the freedoms we have today. We wouldn't be the country we are today.


In the late 1800's, women banded together as Suffragettes and fought for women's rights. They demanded equality among both sexes and held that women were just as competent as men to perform vital roles in society. Despite widespread social opposition--both from men and other women, insisting these Suffragettes were making spectacles of themselves and shaming their families--they held firm and eventually won us the rights we enjoy as women today. Some of these women sacrificed lives of luxury and wealth to join the fight; others were thrown in jail; some were cast out by their loved ones unless they agreed to give up that 'nonsense'. What would have happened if these women ran back to their kitchens with their tails tucked between their legs, accepting that nothing could change? That this would be their way of life now and forever?

Women wouldn't be able to help shape the world and society in which we live. We certainly wouldn't be able to vote, attend college, or speak on any issue in a public forum. Our country would have missed out on some of the greatest historical figures of our past and present.


In the 1950', one voice spoke out against racial segregation. He claimed that all men were created equal, regardless of the color of their skin. His voice sparked a Civil Rights movement that swept the nation and inspired thousands of African Americans to stand up for their rights as American citizens. Despite the hardships they faced--including the devastating assassination of their leader, that one solitary voice that first spoke out, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.--these people did not back down and continued to fight for what was rightfully theirs. Would would have happen if the death of Dr. King brought the Civil Rights movement to a standstill?

Our country could possibly still be living in a racially segregated social state, where people are judged and treated according to the color of their skin. In some parts of our country, this does still happen. However thanks to these people who stood their ground more than fifty years ago, we have grown in leaps and bounds to be more accepting of people despite our differences.


What legacy do you want to leave behind?

Let our era be known for the Education movement. Let our children's children admire us for the stand we made against the budget cuts that threatened to destroy the rights we, as students, have to higher education regardless of our income. Let them know that if it weren't for us, California Community Colleges would have been relegated to history books as a brief blip on the historical radar; that they cut down one dollar at a time until these institutions were non-existent so politicians could dig the state out of the debt they'd created. There are hundreds of people who think our cause is lost and that we will accomplish nothing except make fools of ourselves and waste our time. Stand up despite this negativity and prove to our state that we're not weak or afraid to fight for our education.

If you believe that you deserve affordable education--and that future generations deserve it as well--then act on those words and those beliefs! Join us on April 17th in Hands Across California. Visit HAC's website to sign up and reserve your spot in line. Donate to FCCC's Scholarship Endowment to ensure that students will have access to the financial means to pursue their higher education.

The state may not take notice of our words by themselves, by it will note the actions we take to support our words.

Stand up for California Community Colleges.

Fight for our education. Fight for our future.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

A Letter Everyone Needs To Read


I know at times we’ve had a rocky relationship. There were moments when you thought I was too demanding and took up too much of your time. I know you felt obligated to spend time with me when you really wanted to hang out with your friends and have fun. . I kept you up countless nights and made you deal with problems you didn’t want to deal with. I’m sure the notion that I’m more trouble than I’m worth has entered your mind more than once over the years. I know there were times when you resented me and everything I represented; sometimes you even said you didn’t need me. As painful as that was to hear, I’ve always been here and will always have your best interest at heart. I want you to succeed in life and realize your full potential and even though you may think I’m holding you back, I’m actually pushing you forward.

I am your education.

We find ourselves in time of crisis in the state of California and my existence is being threatened. People who have already benefited from me—who, thanks to me, have reached their potential—are now making me less accessible to the new generation. California Community Colleges have always been my biggest fans; they’ve always made sure that I was available to anyone who wanted to pursue me, no matter what their income. I don’t discriminate nor do I believe that I am a privilege for the elite. I am available for all those who thirst for knowledge and wish to fulfill their dreams.

Despite the power that I grant to you, I myself am powerless to stop the budget cuts that are hurting me and, by association, you. I have no voice and I cannot stand up for myself. My power lies in you. Now, more than ever, I need you.

Please stand up for me on April 17th and donate to the Scholarship Endowment so that I can continue to enlighten students in the California Community College system. It doesn’t matter if you’re a freshman who doesn’t pay for your school or if you graduated twenty years ago and you think these budget cuts don’t effect you. I promise you they will effect the future of the world in which you live if no one stands up for me.

Apathy is a dangerous enemy and I fear that this is just as dangerous a threat as the financial crisis I am facing. I know many of you think you cannot effect change. In order for a cause to be championed, we must first convince the public that it is not lost. I can assure you that education is not a lost cause. One voice by itself may not be that loud, but if we all gather in support of education, we can create a noise loud enough that it cannot be ignored and change will come. It may not be immediate, but we can make a difference.

Please visit to sign up and save your spot in line for April 17th or visit to donate to the Foundation for California Community Colleges (FCCC), which will provide hundreds of scholarships to students who may not be financially able to pursue higher education due to these continued budget cuts and tuition hikes.

I have, and always will be, your champion. Now, I am asking you to be mine.

Your Education