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Gov. Brown urges UCLA students to support Prop. 30

October 16, 2012 |  4:39 pm

Gov. Jerry Brown
Gov. Jerry Brown brought his campaign for the Proposition 30 tax measure to UCLA on Tuesday, urging students at a rally there to vote for it or risk facing a substantial tuition increase.

 “Proposition 30 is an opportunity for the people themselves to not only fix California, but to send a message to the rest of the country that we as a people can invest together in our schools, our community colleges and this great University of California,” Brown told a crowd of about 250 during a lunchtime rally at Bruin Plaza at the center of the Westwood campus.

UC officials have warned that annual tuition could rise 20%, or about $2,400, if the measure fails and, as a result, the university budget is deeply reduced. Brown told the students that “you can avoid that tuition hike” by registering to vote, voting for Proposition 30 and persuading family and friends to do the same.

Brown’s proposition would increase the state sales tax a quarter cent for four years and impose a seven-year hike in income tax rates for those who make more than $250,000. It is expected to raise about $6 billion a year, much of it for K-12 schools and community colleges while aiding other state spending.

The Democratic governor, who is 74, joked at one point about his age and how he previously served two terms as governor, from 1975 to 1983. “I used to be governor before you were born, way back in the prehistoric age when tuition was a lot lower,” he said at the rally organized by labor groups and student Democratic activists.  “So I am coming back 30 years later. And I came back for a reason. I saw our state was not going in the right direction.... With your help, we can make it better.”

Julia Sommer, a UCLA sophomore from Menlo Park, said she attended the outdoor event in part because a speech professor asked the class to analyze Brown’s delivery and statement. Sommer, 19, said Brown presented his message so well that he changed her position on Proposition 30 from “slightly yes” to firm approval. “I think he did a great job in confirming what my vote is going to be. He has made me more confident that it is a right decision,” she said.


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Photo: Gov. Jerry Brown speaks to a crowd during a "Yes on 30" rally at UCLA on Tuesday. Credit: Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times