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 WHO WE ARE

A vampire is loose in the state of California, sucking the lifeblood out of public education, public health, and social services.  This vampire has three fangs:  lost revenue due to tax cuts that privilege corporations and the wealthiest individuals in society, misallocation of revenues to expand prisons, and the allocation of state revenue to support United States military policies.

Government officials, politicians, and pundits proclaim a “budget crisis.”  We counter, “California is not broke.  The budget crisis is the result of a 30 year political strategy called “starve the beast,” a term coined by David Stockman, President Reagan’s budget chief. The “beast’ is government entitlement programs. The budget crisis is an excuse to push through policies the public would not otherwise support.  The budget crisis is a crisis about values, distorted priorities and access to political power.

Vampire Slayers is a working group of faculty, staff, and community members working closely with students and other organizations in the social justice movement. We are based at San Francisco State University with an affinity group at City College of San Francisco.  Vampire Slayers focuses our work on contributing in-depth information, research and analysis, creative public education, and opportunities for dialog.   We are motivated by a positive vision of public education as the foundation of an authentic democracy.  

Our goal is to move discussion and action beyond the mentality of “don’t cut my budget, save my program.  We frame the crisis of public higher education in the context of large issues- the structural deficit strategy, regressive taxation policies, privatization of public goods and services, deregulation, expenditures on incarceration instead of education, elimination of the social safety net, and racist and xenophobic policies of social control.

We want to contribute to building a stronger movement in public education on campuses in our city and statewide, as part of the broader movement for human rights and social justice.   We oppose budget cuts, seek tax justice; demand education not incarceration, equal access to relevant quality education for all communities, justice for immigrants; support for student access and the preservation of ethnic studies, including all liberal arts education, Education is for human development and for the empowerment of an informed and engaged citizenry, not simply narrow vocational or professional training for the market.  We know we must achieve these goals by building unity across all segments from pre-k to Ph.D., as well as solidarity with those affected and other public sector workers.

 

 

We are inspired by the words of W.E.B. DuBois:  “The freedom to learn has been bought by bitter sacrifice…We should fight to the last ditch to keep open the right to learn.”

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