Outsiders like me might laugh at Texans because of their big-haired governor or their senators who take extended vacations in Albuquerque, but what if you hailed from California?
More than 100 ACU students do, and Calif. Gov. Gray Davis’ insane laws and policies have affected their lives in disastrous ways, prompting some, if not all, of ACU’s voting-age Californians to support his recall.
In effect, the recall-set to take place Oct. 7-has become not only a West Coast issue but an issue for some students in West Texas as well.
Just ask Mark Gibson, senior elementary education major from Irvine, Calif. Gibson, who wants to be a teacher, comes from a family of teachers. His mother, sister and brother-in-law are all educators.
In 2002, when Gray Davis denied the California Teachers Association’s requests for expanded collective bargaining rights regarding curricula and textbooks, Gibson’s family was affected. The educational cutbacks Davis made ballooned the students-per-teacher ratio statewide, among other things.
“Instead of 24 kids in a class you’d have over 30,” Gibson said. “It’s really annoying for the teacher; you can hardly teach at all.
“It’s real frustrating,” he said of Davis’ negligence. “California has more students than any other state; I would think that education would be more important to him.”
Education wasn’t; and business wasn’t either. In February 2002, Davis signed a bill increasing maximum weekly workers’ comp benefits from $490 to $602 a week, a figure that will climb to $840 by 2007. Because of this law, construction managers had to charge considerably more for projects to compensate for increased insurance costs.
Davis’ ridiculous law became a problem for the family of Liz Lawson, senior biology major from San Diego. When her parents began renovations on their aging house early this year, they were shocked to discover that every local company had skyrocketed its rates.
“It was ridiculous,” Lawson said. “It creates problems for me because I’m having to come up with a lot of money for schooling. My dad needs to put the funds toward putting the house over their head.”
Lawson and Gibson said they’d like to see Davis recalled; Lawson has already mailed in her absentee ballot; Gibson isn’t yet registered.
Gray Davis made the issue big by hurting these students and their families in different ways. Most ACU Californians have similar problems, and recalling Davis will help solve them.