Community members stand in support of Prop 55

By Misty Severi

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Representatives from local school districts gather while Dr. Angelov Farooq explains the significance of Prop 55 during a press conference. (Daniel Francis | Viewpoints)

Six faculty members of schools in the Riverside area held signs that read “Help our children thrive yes on 55” at a press conference held by the Vote Yes on Proposition 55 campaign Oct. 20 in front of the Martin Luther King building at Riverside City College.

Proposition 55 is one of the propositions that will be on California’s ballot on Nov. 8. If a voter votes yes on 55 they vote to extend the expiration of the income tax among people who make more than $250,000 a year. This extension is a part of what was originally Proposition 30, a proposition that was put in place in 2012.  

If Proposition 55 is passed, the expiration would extend to 2030 rather than 2018 where it is currently scheduled to expire.

Proposition 30 was put in place to help fund public schools K-12, California Community Colleges and in some years healthcare, however, it was only meant to be a temporary tax hike that would span from 2012 to 2018.

Angelov Farooq, a member of California Federation of Teachers and a small business owner, began the press conference.

“We are all here united because we have an important statement we have to make to our future generations, our youth,” Farooq said. “We have to have a dedicated funding source here in the state to be able to finance the future of our kids education.”

Among the representatives was Mary Figueroa, a member of the Riverside Community College District’s Board of Trustees.

“We need to band together, supporting Proposition 55 so we can open wide the doors of education,” Figueroa said. “We need to insure that all the community college students who want to come to a community college or a higher education system are able to do so.”

Because of the impact the proposition has on community colleges and the support of the Board of Trustees, the Vote Yes campaign chose RCC for their press conference.

“This is a local hub and the coalition partners have trustees here and they’re all very closely tied to this particular need for education all the way through our K-12 and our community colleges,” said Laurel Tamariz, a member of the Vote Yes campaign.

According to the voter’s guide, one of the arguments against this proposition is that they fear it would no longer be a temporary tax hike, that voters who were originally for this tax increase knew it was a short term tax increase for something that was needed at that time.

“Voters supported higher taxes in 2012 because Gov. Brown said they would be temporary,” the voter’s guide read. “State budget estimates show higher taxes are not needed to balance the budget … Tell them no.”

Nahid Ponciano contributed to this article.