Congressman Brad Sherman faced a hostile crowd while answering questions regarding taxes and recent budget cuts that have caused tuition increases, during a town hall hosted in the Great Hall today.
“I never promised to make anyone’s life better,” said Sherman. ‘I only promised to fight for what I think is right.”
Sherman, who was elected in 1996, was adamant about his attempts to pass legislation that could help California.
“If we export more products than we import our jobless rate would be down to four percent,” said Sherman. “This would increase California’s income and lower the need to raise tuition costs.”
He spoke to students and staff members about the importance of voting and said it could affect fee increases, during an event hosted by adjunct instructor of political science James Dawson.
“[Fee] increases make it tougher for you to do what you need to do,” said Sherman. “When I was in college it was only $9.”
A student asked Sherman what he could do to bring back the ITAP program offered by the Metro Transit Association.
The ITAP program offered low cost transit passes for college students until the program ended last semester due to a lack of funds.
“I did work to help get the bus way built,” said Sherman. “I will call them tomorrow.”
Sherman encouraged citizens who feel under represented to vote more.
“Through organization you can actually have an impact on the government,” said Sherman. “An awful lot of people who voted in 2008 did not bother to vote in the 2010 elections so it’s not that people changed their minds, some people just didn’t vote.”
When asked about his opinion concerning the controversial Occupy Wall Street protests, Sherman expressed his mixed feelings of support and hesitation.
“I like the sentiment of occupy Wall Street,” said Sherman. “But, at the same time I can’t endorse everything that’s said by everybody that’s in a tent when they themselves don’t agree on everything.
Instructor of Political Science Denise Robb asked about the new filibusters in place that allow senators to delay the voting process.
“The filibusters are the single worst thing,” said Sherman. “We now have more checks, more balances and more delays.”
Assistant Professor of Philosophy and Sociology James McKeever spoke out at the end of the meeting to challenge the audience’s mindset.
“Even though this is a state issue, Obama constantly talks about giving more money to community colleges,” said McKeever. “Either Obama is a liar and he can’t do that, or there is something he might be able to do about the budget cuts federally.”
At the end of the meeting Sherman presented the Student’s Organized for Success (SOS) with a flag that had been flown over the US Capital.
The SOS, which helped promote the event, requested that those interested in the topics covered to continue the discussion in the free speech area of the Mall.
“I think the event was helpful,” said McKeever. “But he didn’t focus on issues of education.
Contributing: Kevin Reynolds