Published in Chabot Spectator, October 23, 2012

Oakland Community Organizations (OCO) members set up at Chabot College cafeteria on Tuesday, Oct. 16, to share vital details about Propositions 30 and 32.

OCO is a faith-based organization representing 40,000 families and 60 plus schools, mosques, synagogues and churches.  Through their wide involvement with the community, they are focusing their energy on raising awareness about new propositions.

This November, the group is specially focusing on encouraging college students to vote, which is necessary in order to create change in the community. Their goal is to stop the cuts to education, health care and public safety in Bay Area communities.

Prop 30 (the Schools and Local Public Safety Protection Act) will raise between $6 billion and $9 billion a year, 90 percent of which comes from individuals with incomes of $250,000 or above.

Aside from encouraging, as well as helping college students register to vote, OCO is also raising awareness on Proposition 32, which they stand against.  Proposition 32 prohibits union and corporate contributions to candidates and their committees.

Cardero explained that “Union workers provide a membership fee, which is used by their union to provide campaign donation to candidates.”  Undocumented workers are unable to vote, and “their contribution is a way of supporting a candidate that is fighting for them,” added Cardero.

These propositions highly affect students of all ages and backgrounds, and for the most part, students of age to vote have the power to dramatically change the outcome of the upcoming votes on new measures.  This is mainly why non-profit organizations such as OCO are deeply involved with college campuses, and are raising awareness among those capable of making that change.

Manual Santos has attended classes at Chabot for one year and wasn’t registered to vote.  “I really don’t have a full time job, so I get financial aid and that was a few weeks late this semester.  If funds are gonna be cut again I might not have money to stay in college.”

Being involved is the first step in making a change, and every vote counts.  For more information about OCO and organized community events, contact 510-639-1444, or visit http://www.oaklandcommunity.org.