By Jordan Ward / Staff Writer
Mark Takano, democratic candidate for the House of Representatives and Riverside Community College District Trustee, came to Riverside City College to shed light on his personal experience and political aspirations in a public relations session on Oct. 23 in Room 103 of the A.G. Paul Quadrangle.
The topic of discussion between students and Takano during the session was tuition and his support for Proposition 30 in the upcoming election.
Takano began by describing his personal experiences growing up in Riverside; specifically his family background, schooling and his eventual enrollment into Harvard College.
After receiving his bachelor’s degree in government, Takano worked as a teacher in the Boston, Mass. area. It was during his time as a teacher that Takano noticed the discrepancies between suburban and inner-city schools.
Wanting to expand upon how working as a teacher affected his outlook on life and how he could help students in the public education system, Takano explained his motivation in becoming a teacher after his time in Boston.
“I wanted to become a teacher to understand high school education in the public school system, and do my part in making it better,” Takano said
Returning to Riverside, Takano gained his secondary teaching credential to teach in the Rialto Unified School District.
The 41st Congressional District candidate, Takano’s mission-as defined by his campaign site “is to help states and local governments keep teachers and public safety personnel on the job, and to recognize that Congress must get serious about addressing the budget deficit as well at the national debt, but not at the risk of our economic recovery.” said the campaign website.
Running against him is Republican John Tavaglione; five-term chairman of the Riverside County Board of Supervisor. He hopes to help in the restructuring of government politics and addressing regulation to help the economy in closing wasteful tax loopholes.
The event opened into an open discussion between students and Takano. In response to questions about funding to RCC and unavailable classes, Takano encouraged the student body to promote Proposition 30 in their communities and around campus.
“As your member of congress I believe that we need to support our community college program,” Takano said. “(In reference to Proposition 30) I think it makes more sense to directly fund the community colleges.”
In his closing remarks Takano emphasized what he wants to do for District 41.
“People are counting on me because I am going to fight for them in his district,” he said.