Democratic candidate for State Assembly Chris Holden of Pasadena discussed his political platform and talked about the importance of voting in an intimate meet and greet with about six students last week in the Campus Center.
Holden expressed his interest in getting to know voters on a personal level, which is why he thought it was important to come to the University and hear students’ thoughts and opinions.
“There’s nothing like being able to talk and know what’s on your mind,” Holden said.
Holden, who was a past mayor of Pasadena, hopes to represent District 41, which includes cities extending from Upland to Pasadena.
He is the second longest serving member in the history of Pasadena City Council.
“I hope that people will learn about local politics, things that affect them on a personal level and not these vague theories that occur on a national level,” Aaron Colby, senior political science and speech communications major, said.
Holden said that voters often do not vote for city council members or school district officials, which are the people that work closest to their community.
“A lot of times we focus on the big races and we see voter participation drop in two years,” Holden said.
Holden said that today’s youth resembles the youth of the 1960s because they are starting to be very active and interested in politics.
“Remember and prepare to vote,” Holden said.
One of Holden’s main focuses on his platform is education.
“You didn’t sign on to be here (college) for six years and longer,” Holden said.
Holden says he will support state investments that reduce class sizes and provide better resources for schools.
Holden is also one of the main supporters of the Middle Class Scholarship Act.
The act benefits middle class families that make too much money to receive state financial aid, but do not earn enough to pay full college tuition.
The Middle Class Scholarship Act would also cut tuition in UC and Cal State by two-thirds.
“I like his approach on education,” said Anthony Reyes, president of the Democratic Student Alliance Club.
“One of the reasons that I came to La Verne was because it was cheaper.”
Reyes believes that students going to state universities should also benefit from low tuition costs.
Holden also discussed the importance of voting for ballot measures such as Proposition 30, the schools and local public safety protection act.
Proposition 30, if passed, will tax people who earn more than $250,000 a year and use the revenue directly for California school funding. The measure would also increase sales and use tax by 1/4 cent for four years.
“If it doesn’t pass, it will have a devastating impact an all programs, especially education,” Holden said.
Holden also talked about his opponent, Donna Lowe.
“She takes more of a tea party role,” Holden said.
Lowe believes that the private sector should be in charge of most programs, including education, Holden said.
Other than education concerns, Holden also discussed his support for the Metro Gold Line Expansion, which will connect Pasadena to Los Angeles.
Holden says that this will be an alternative to using the freeway, and will not increase pollution in Los Angeles.
“With high gas prices, I can’t afford to drive to L.A.,” Colby said.
Junior political science major Brittney Boiko, who as an independent voter likes hearing both sides, said Holden taught her to look more into local politics.
“I appreciate how personal he was,” Boiko said.
Mariela Patron can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.