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.