From our friend Kevin Hall, running for State Center Community College District Trustee No. 7:
OUT OF THE FIRE, INTO THE FRYING PAN
After years of declining requests to seek elected office by saying “I’m running for my life,” I’m now running for office. I’d like to tell you why in person — short version, I promise. Please join us for Irish music, snacks and drinks at the home of my longtime friend Kathy Wosika as we kick off my campaign for Community College Board of Trustees with friends and fun.
We’ll also have a website up in a few days for online contributions.
Below are my ballot statement and background information. Please feel free to share this with your friends, network and anyone you think would be interested in supporting my candidacy.
Do you live in the district? Want a yard sign? Trustee Area 7 is bounded by Fwy. 99 to the west, McKinley to the south and Fwy. 168 to the east. The northern boundary between Fwy. 99 and Fwy. 41 is Barstow Ave. ; it then jogs north along Fwy. 41 and east again along Herndon Ave to Fwy. 168. This is the first time that only people living in this district will be voting in this race, and the numbers favor a candidate with my background.
I hope to see you at the party.
Teachers, Parents and Students Support
State Center Community College District
Trustee Area No. 7 – Fresno City College
Campaign Kickoff Event
Friday, Sept. 14, 5-7:30 pm
Hosted by Kathy Wosika
Fresno City College Art Instructor, Retired
4586 N. Arthur, Fresno
Southeast Corner of Arthur & Gettysburg
Authorized by Kevin Hall for State Center Community
College District Trustee 2012, FPPC #(pending)
Executive Director, Businessman
Candidate for State Center Community College District
Trustee Area 7 – Fresno City College
A proven community leader, I will expose waste and fraud while investing in our classrooms. Education bureaucracy is too large and our students and instructors are paying the price. Our tax dollars must reach classrooms first to keep the doors open and to support our best teachers.
Thriving community colleges can create the skilled workforce that will grow our valley’s economy and create jobs for Fresno ‘s young people. With my diverse experience working as a small business owner, serving valley agriculture by publishing local farm magazines, working with healthcare and education workforces, and leading several local non-profit efforts, I will bring strong business and leadership skills to our Community College Board.
As the director of a coalition of more than 70 valley organizations working to clean our air, generate green jobs, and create healthy communities, I know from firsthand experience that students educated in a vibrant community college system are essential to Fresno ’s future success. I am committed to making our community colleges an engine of our valley’s economic recovery. Protect your tax dollars, support education, reform bureaucracy: vote for new leadership on our Community College Board. I would appreciate your vote.
WHY I WOULD LIKE TO SERVE AS A TRUSTEE
Our community colleges are the most important educational option available for adults of every age and background. For many it is an escape hatch out of poverty and into opportunity. This opportunity of universal post-secondary education and career technical training is a promise we have made to all of our young people. It’s a promise that they deserve every opportunity in life, and that promise has been broken by the current Board of Trustees. It is time for new leadership.
For the past several years I have worked directly on issues of community-wide concern with manyFresno City College students. Their stories of unnecessary hurdles to their educational goals erected by steep budget cuts are very disturbing, as are their stories of an unresponsive Board of Trustees and administration. As the father of a Fresno City College sophomore, I have listened at the dinner table to firsthand accounts of hundreds of students eager to learn being turned away from school on registration day and from overcrowded classrooms at the beginning of each semester.
This is a failure of leadership. During my years of community advocacy I have seen many unresponsive elected officials who all too often prefer to be led by bureaucrats, relying primarily on their recommendations when writing policies, setting priorities and developing budgets. All too often Trustees fail to actively engage on issues to become true leaders and reliable servants of their constituents. I would strive to become fully engaged with every constituency that is directly or indirectly affected by the decisions of the Board of Trustees and to give voice at the board level to their ideas, concerns and expertise. I would also seek to be a voice to the general public on the critically important role of our community colleges and the need to fully support them.
During this time of economic crisis there has been a surge in demand for affordable options in college education. Soaring costs in the state’s university systems, layoffs in the private and public sectors, and widespread adult illiteracy are pushing record numbers of people of every age to seek technical training, professional improvement, lower division college credits and a basic skills education at our community colleges. Every effort must be made to meet the needs of our current and emerging workforce. Trustees must be flexible in their thinking and quick to respond to the needs of our community.
Unfortunately, during this challenging time our board has amassed a cash surplus that is more than double the amount necessary for a prudent reserve. Projected to reach nearly $40 million this year — a 38% increase in the last four years alone, the board has also overseen a growth in administrative costs while slashing class offerings. The statewide average for cash reserves of 16 other community college districts of comparable size is 12%. Our budget reserve stands at 26%.
Our tax dollars must reach the classroom. Priority must be given to providing as many students as possible an affordable, accessible education; attracting and retaining the best teachers, and limiting growth in administrative costs to only that which is absolutely necessary to support students and classroom teachers.
The son of Irish immigrants, Kevin is the first person in his family to have been born in the U.S. and the first to have graduated from college. He spent his boyhood in the western Fresno County town ofFirebaugh where he attended St. Joseph ‘s Elementary. The Hall family moved to Fresno in 1971 where Kevin attended Tenaya Middle School and Bullard High (Class of ’77). He earned his B.A. in English atFresno State University .
His professional background includes 13 years in the agricultural magazine and farm show industry where he worked as a reporter, editor and publisher. He received national honors for his reporting. Kevin also founded and operated Far West Expositions Inc., a Fresno-based farm show production company. From 2005 to 2009, he worked directly with healthcare workers and teachers as a community and political organizer. Kevin currently serves as executive director of the Central Valley Air Quality Coalition, a valley-wide coalition of more than 70 community-based health and environmental organizations seeking to clean our air, generate green jobs and create healthy communities. He and his wife, Anne Mosgrove, also own and operate San Joaquin Valley Strategies Inc., a strategic communications company.
Kevin and Anne have lived in their home since 1988 where they raised their son, Joey, a student atFresno City College and fourth-generation resident of Fresno .
(Kevin Hall for State Center Community College Trustee 2012, FPPC No. Pending)