Former ASG president, local activist gain faculty endorsement for Board of Trustees
The College of the Canyons Faculty Association announced the endorsement of Sebastian Cazares Santa Clarita Community College District (SCCCD) Board of Trustees Area 3, and Jerry Danielsen Board of Trustees Area 4. COCFA, AFT, and CSEA endorsed Edel Alonso for the Board of Trustees Area 2 last month.
Three of the five board seats are up for re-election this November. Alonso currently holds the Trustee Area 2 seat after winning it in November 2016 against a long-time incumbent.
A lifelong resident of Saugus, Sebastian Cazares cut his chops as a youth leader in the Santa Clarita Valley, actively engaged in civics on a multitude of levels – local, state, and national.
As the elected President of the Associated Student Government, Cazares witnessed several current COC board members remain near silent on the dais and provide almost no vision or leadership for the college.
He has a profound understanding of the role of the trustee and a public servant and if elected intends to take the role seriously.
“The faculty were impressed that Sebastian has a keen awareness of the problems on campus,” said Wendy Brill-Wynkoop, COCFA, Political Action Committee Chair. “He noted the top-down approach of the administration, who often tries to placate the faculty, staff, and students rather than allow them to truly participate in the decision making on campus. This resonated with the faculty.”
Jerry Danielsen has lived in the community of Santa Clarita for most of his life. He is a community activist, small business owner, a music teacher, composer, and audio engineer who is passionate about supporting public education and the arts.
He ran for the COC board in 2016 and was endorsed by COCFA and AFT but was unsuccessful in the election. Danielsen learned the importance of unions first hand from his wife, who was a CTA member and leader.
After the passing of his beloved wife, Angela, Jerry realized that there was no better way to honor her work than to continue to make public education as strong and accessible as possible in the Santa Clarita Valley.
“Several surveys have revealed a culture of fear on campus and a lack of transparency in the decision making processes. These concerns have fallen on deaf ears of the administration but Jerry expressed interest in tackling these problems,” said Nicole Faudree, COCFA President. “Jerry would like to see the college work collaboratively to find solutions but is prepared to stand alone in order to improve the climate and demand better transparency.”
Standing alone doesn’t appear to be in the road ahead as both Danielsen and Cazares have already collected an impressive list of endorsements including those of current COC trustees Edel Alonso and Joan MacGregor who have been vocal in trying to improve transparency in both decision making and fiduciary matters for several years.