The Community College League of California came to Bakersfield College to hold a small meeting regarding how to properly work with elected officials and communicate the needs of community colleges.Thank you Michele Bresso for making this happen.
Invited were trustees, presidents/chancellors, and governmental relations staff. We were a small, but robust group in the Fireside Room at Bakersfield College as CCLC staffers and our very own Amber Chiang talked about the dos and don’ts of working with Sacramento.
This was an excellent opportunity to meet the people who advocate for community colleges in Sacramento on a daily basis, and to meet those doing the work from colleges across the Central Valley.
A recent message to college presidents from the Community College League of California began with this statement, “Now more than ever, what happens in Sacramento affects you and your campus.” This was the tag-line to an invitation to invite Community College leadership to come to Bakersfield College for advocacy training. This training was designed to provide navigational tools through the legislative process and discuss ways community colleges can be more effective in interacting with legislators.
In my introductory remarks, I talked about the leadership of people in Bakersfield, over the last 100 years, who believed in education being the right for all Californians. In 1913, the vision of this small rural community was to create a path to the higher education offered at Berkeley. Decades later, it was a Bakersfield legislator, Dorothy Donahoe, who initiated the work on the California Master Plan.
It seems fitting that the CCLC is promoting the same vision of equity that was articulated right here in Bakersfield in 1913. Joining us from CCLC were staffers Ryan McElhenny, Lizette Navarette, and Teresa Tena.
Amber presented on the governmental relations side of working with elected officials from her role as the immediate past president of the Community College Public Relations Organization, which co-sponsored the regional events with the CCLC. Amber reminded us of some key tips when it comes to advocating for Bakersfield College’s needs in Sacramento, including keeping the CCLC informed as to our efforts and making sure everyone at Bakersfield College remembers it is their job to make sure the College is positively represented.
I was glad to see Scott Lay from the League here at Bakersfield College, and we welcomed the entire CCLC team to campus the day prior to meet in small groups with our faculty and staff, at both the Panorama and Delano campuses. I blogged about a communication from Scott on August 28th. You can find it at https://bcpresident.wordpress.com/2013/08/29/from-cclc-making-the-case-for-equity/.