Re: Prop 187 in California

Michael Forstadt (forstadt@HUSC.HARVARD.EDU)
Thu, 10 Nov 1994 07:55:25 -0500

Concerning Golden's concern for prop 187,

I have also moved from California, where I spent my lifetime until about
a year and a half ago. The recent elections there only follow in the
trends of recent years (anti-immigrant and anti-education). My first
political memory is that of proposition 13, which to me meant that
suddenly my schools had no money to do anything whatsoever. It was only
years later that I found out Prop 13 was a property tax reform measure.
More recently, the "English-only Initiative" was the (more impotent)
precursor to prop 187. In that case, nothing really changed. If the NPR
reports here in Massachussetts are correct, then I doubt proposition 187
will ever be fully implemented if at all. In response t Golden's query, I
don't know how a resident of another state can get involved, frankly.

More worrisome is the political resurrection of Pete Wilson, whom I
ultimately blame for the budget cuts that led to the elimination of the
anthropology department (along with 10 others) at San Diego State
University while I was halfway through my Master's program there.
Although this decision was reversed and I and my colleagues completed our
degrees (many to go on successfully to top graduate programs, in defiance
of Mr. Wilson's strategy), the university system in California remains
damaged to this day.

Note: my current university does not (of course) suffer from any of the
funding problems that typified the California State system. Yet other
students here seem to complain more about student funding than any of my
colleagues in San Diego ever did. What we need here is PERSPECTIVE :-)
Michael S. Forstadt
Harvard University