Students Take on Saturday Politics

Culver City High School students were an energetic part of the political process on Saturday, Oct. 13 during events supporting the city’s Measure Y and the state’s Proposition 30 for education funding.
The day started at Veteran’s Park, where the high school’s baseball team was a sea of blue among city leaders and residents waving signs in support of Measure Y.
If it passes, the measure will add a half-cent to the sales tax within the city. Mayor Andy Weissman said that the benefit to the tax, which would equal five cents on a $10 purchase, is that it will be collected not just from Culver City residents but from the many visitors to the city’s businesses and restaurants. Funding from Measure Y will maintain police and fire services, parks and recreation programs, programs for senior citizens and city street maintenance, according to city leaders.
After the rally, baseball players jogged through the neighborhood around Veterans Park dropping off flyers and residents spread throughout the city to hand out information to their neighbors.
High school students then joined an energetic rally at the California Democratic Party offices at 3916 Sepulveda Blvd. in support of Proposition 30 and in opposition to Proposition 32.
“I am a Culver City High School senior and the first in my family to graduate from high school,” said Natalie Argueta, one of the student leaders. “Education is very special, and supporting something that will allow me to get a higher education and support my community is all I could ask for,” she said.
Argueta noted that she has seen the impact of budget cuts in her classrooms. “My classes have grown substantially. It’s more difficult to learn and hard to get that 1 on 1 education when there are 40 plus students in one room,” she said.
She was joined by about 50 other students from CCHS, along with city council members Jim Clarke and Megan Sahli-Wells. Clarke told the group that California is about to “fall off a fiscal cliff” due to severe cuts to public K-12 and higher education. If it passes, Proposition 30 will add a quarter cent to sales taxes statewide, and will increase income taxes for individuals who earn more than $250,000. The funding will be directed to public education, including K-12 education and to the community college, California State University and the University of California systems.
The group also chanted against Proposition 32, which limits the ability of corporations and unions to use payroll deductions to fund political activity. This “is an issue of fairness with respect to political involvement,” said Clarke during an interview. “It is targeting primarily labor unions by calling teachers and nurses special interests by requiring unions to get the approval of their members” while corporations can use their own money to fund political campaigns, he said.
According to Zuhal Buhaduri, field deputy for the Democratic Party, CCHS students have been volunteering at the offices for the last several weeks making phone calls to the West Los Angeles area. The propositions will directly affect the student, so “they all come in here feeling inspired and like they have a purpose,” she said.

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