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The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

Trustee Abboud uses birthday party as fundraiser, raises $600

Michaela Wahlstroem
Jonathan Abboud poses for a portrait at on of his favorite places in Isla Vista at the corner of El Embarcadero Rd and Del Playa Rd in Isla Vista, Santa Barbara (Calif.) on Thursday, March, 16, 2017. Abboud is the Vice President of the Board of Trustees at Santa Barbara City College and went to the National Legislative Conference for Community Colleges to advocate for City College.

Board of Trustee Member Jonathan Abboud made an effort to utilize his free time in a way that was also productive towards his professional goals.

To celebrate his 25th birthday he hosted a party on Sept. 9, at his house in Northridge, asking each person who attended to pay $25. Abboud and the Reclaim California Higher Education group intend to use the funds to further the goal of implementing tuition-free education for all students at public California colleges.

The Coalition commends Abboud’s determination to achieve its shared goal and his focus on helping students.

“He is a very driven and determined member of our partnership,” said Amy Hines-Shaikh, Director of the Coalition. “He always has students in the forefront of his mind and makes sure that we’re very grounded in helping students.”

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Abboud’s birthday party raised about $600, though he is not yet sure how it will be used to move toward the goal of tuition-free education.

“We haven’t discussed how we want to use it yet as a group, but I know one thing we should be doing is promoting our events and websites more to make us more visible,” said Abboud.

The Reclaim California Higher Education Coalition is an advocacy group whose mission is to “reclaim the Donahoe Act of 1960. . . [and] return to its vision of affordable, accessible, quality public higher education for all Californians,” according to their website.

In January, the group released a report which concludes that to make state colleges tuition-free for in-state students, the median income California family would only pay $48 more per year in taxes. Two-thirds of state households would pay less than $150 more per year.

The means by which they propose this additional taxation is through an increased annual progressive income tax. Progressive income taxes take a larger percentage from higher-income individuals than lower-income individuals.

“We don’t want people with lower incomes to pay the same amount as people with higher incomes,” Abboud explained.

He added that ten percent, say, of a lower income family’s wealth may be the difference between being able to pay for essentials like food and/or rent and not being able to pay for such essentials. For a higher income person, this is much less likely to be the case.

Abboud attended an annual convention of the California State Democrats in May to endorse tuition-free education for all Californians through the means of a progressive tax.

He stated that the conference went well. There are now over 140 delegates in the party supporting the resolution of tuition-free education he advocated for, and now it is the official stance of the party in resolution form.

“Now we’re working to get the platform of the party changed,” said Abboud.

People can learn more about the efforts toward and data supporting tuition-free education at

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