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Davis, California

Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Guest Opinion

Four years ago, in the presidential election of 2008, the power of the youth vote helped make history.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, turnout among college-educated voters between the ages of 18 and 29 was 62 percent, an expression of one of the most important acts available to us as citizens in a democracy: voting in support of what we believe in.
This year, with the election just days away, we hear a great deal about diminished enthusiasm for voting. But no matter which candidate you prefer for the White House, I hope to see as many of our students as possible exercise their legal right to vote.
You have worked hard to attend UC Davis and pursue an excellent education and college experience that will equip you with the skills needed to make a difference in your life, your communities and your nation. As part of that experience, it is important that you be informed about the ballot and its consequences, cast your vote and let your voice be heard.
In addition to choices for the presidency, Congress and a variety of state and local offices, the November ballot in California is filled with propositions that will affect all of us in myriad direct ways.Important Choices
For instance, Proposition 30, which calls for a temporary increase in the state sales tax and income taxes on high earners, could determine if higher education in California loses another $500 million in state funding. If the measure fails, it will likely result in tuition increases and further cuts to higher education programs and personnel.
Other measures on the ballot would
  • Require labels on genetically modified food – Proposition 37
  • Abolish the death penalty – Proposition 34
  • Amend California’s three-strikes law – Proposition 36
  • Change how auto insurance is priced – Proposition 33
  • Increase taxes for K-12 education – Proposition 38
  • Regulate labor and corporate campaign contributions – Proposition 32
  • Increase penalties for human trafficking – Proposition 35
  • Change how taxes are calculated for multi-state businesses – Proposition 39
Some of these are complex and require a careful reading to comprehend their true impact. But in a democracy like ours, we all have a responsibility to inform ourselves on the issues and understand the consequences of our votes.Our Commitment to Students
As chancellor, I want to assure all of you that no matter how the election turns out, our campus will set priorities when it comes to budgeting and funding decisions that reaffirm our commitment to you, your education and your overall success and wellbeing.
Educating you is why this university exists. It is the reason UC Davis was created more than 100 years ago. It remains our core mission a century later, and it will drive our actions now and in the future as a public-research and land-grant university.
Our state and nation will undoubtedly continue to face challenges over the next few years. Most experts predict a slow economic recovery. State funding for public higher education remains vulnerable. Poverty and the gap between the “haves” and the “have-nots” are expected to increase.
I invite you to share your thoughts with me about the Nov. 6 election, the challenges facing public higher education in California or other issues of concern to you. Please visit my blog at blogs.ucdavis.edu/common-sense and join this important conversation.
No matter what happens on Nov. 6, members of our campus community, including our alumni and friends, remain committed to doing the best we can to support and protect you. You, our students, are the best hope for the future of our state and our society.


  1. With all due respect, Chancellor, can you please tell us what the UC chancellors’ annual salaries are? I think that if you’re so devoted to the we, the students, as I am sure you are, how about you start out by donating a couple thousand dollars of your salary to students like me who just barely scrape by with a part time job, commute 60 miles a day to come to UC Davis, and are paying outrageously high tuition. UC Davis gave me a $10,000 grant when I was first accepted to the university in May. You know how much that grant is now? $0. That’s right: $0. And it’s by no fault of my own. The UC system claims my parents make to much money. They don’t even make close to 6 figures, yet the University only makes school affordable for the very rich and the very poor; those of us in the middle get thrown under the bus.
    What’s my point in all this? We don’t need Prop 30’s tax increases in order to make college more affordable. There’s nothing that stops YOU from lobbying the California legislature for more UC funds. There’s nothing that stops YOU from donating your salary to the less fortunate students.
    But it really makes your case harder to believe when I don’t see you, nor the University making a hard-fought, concerted effort for students like me, and at the same time making a huge salary every year. I would really like to believe that you have my best interest in mind, but I really cannot under the circumstances I’ve described.
    The rich get richer, and the middle class and the poor get poorer in this state.

  2. Those on death row murdered at least 1,279 people, including 230 children & 43 police officers. 211 were raped, 319 robbed, 66 killed by execution, & 47 tortured. 11 murdered other inmates.

    A jury of 12 people and a judge confirmed for each of these inmates that their crimes were so atrocious and they were so dangerous that they not only did not deserve to live, but they were so dangerous that the only safe recourse was the death penalty. Recognizing how dangerous these killers are, the prison houses them one person to a cell and does not provide them with work, leaving them locked in their cells most of the day.

    Prop. 34 wants to ignore all of this and save money by placing these killers in less-restrictive prisons where they share cells with other inmates. They also want to provide them opportunities for work, where they have more freedom, access to other inmates and guards, and more chances to manufacture weapons.

    Prop. 34 will also destroy any incentive for the 34,000 inmates already serving life without parole to kill again. There would be no death penalty under Prop. 34 and they are already serving a life sentence, so why not get a name for yourself killing another inmate or a guard?

    And they refer to Prop. 34 as the SAFE Act!


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