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Exclusive video: State Senate leader sits down with unannounced student protesters

on March 1, 2010

More than a dozen students from several University of California campuses arrived unannounced at the office of California Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento) on Monday. They asked Steinberg to sign a statement that he would only support a budget that increases public university funding and allocates additional funding for multicultural student programs. Steinberg didn’t sign, but he sat down with the students for a discussion, and invited them to meet with his staff for a follow-up. The video posted here is exclusive tape shot of the students’ conversation with Steinberg.

The students fared better than a separate group that approached Assemblyman Jim Nielsen (R-Yuba City) with the same statement, but were turned away. Five refused to leave and were arrested by police; all were released later Monday evening.

The two groups of students were in Sacramento as part of a larger education advocacy event organized by the University of California Student Association, but said they acted independently of the UCSA when they approached Steinberg and Nielsen. Throughout the day, hundreds of UC students held scheduled meetings with legislators, asking them to support increased education funding, and participated in a rally and march around the state capitol. The event precedes what is expected to be a major day of protests on March 4 when students and teachers will hold demonstrations throughout the state to support increased funding for education.

In the second video, posted above on the right, Gabi Kirk, one of the students arrested in Nielsen’s office, speaks about her experience. Nielsen was released Monday evening after being booked on misdemeanor charges of disrupting state business and demonstrating without a permit.


  1. Dieu Huynh on March 2, 2010 at 12:08 pm

    We need to change the current budget and revenue vote rule. Currently, you need 2/3 of the legislature has to vote together to pass a budget, or raise any revenues. Because of this, even though the majority of Californians want to support education, the minority 1/3+1 in the legislature can still hold up the budget.

    28 out of the last 32 budgets have been late, and every day it’s late, the state loses 40 million dollars. Because of the undemocratic rule, we now have minority rule, and our dysfuntional state is going down the drain…

  2. Dieu Huynh on March 2, 2010 at 12:11 pm


    “All legislative actions on revenue and budget
    must be determined by a majority vote”

    Also known as the CA Majority Rule Campaign, it changes two words in the
    California Constitution: “Two-thirds” becomes “a majority” in two places.
    That’s all it takes to make California sane and solvent again.

    Join the Students’ movement. We have 20+ chapters at the colleges.

    The non-student movement:

  3. […] protests have begun ahead of March 4. On Monday, more than a dozen UC students headed to the state capitol to try to convince lawmakers to allocate more funds to higher education. Last Friday, what started […]

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