There is a race going on right now that will not receive much headlines or attention in the media, but I wanted to bring awareness to the Contra Costa Community College District Board of Trustees Ward V race between De’shawn Woolridge and Greg Enholm. I met Mr. Woolridge recently and the more I learn about him the more I can’t help but admit he excites me in his quest for this seat.
He is running on a straight forward platform which is to collaborate on bringing new resources to the District, expand to a Brentwood Campus, expanding the Career Technical Education, and increase Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics education.
“I want to help shape the future of the Community College District. As a trustee you make decisions about all aspects of the college program and it allows you to protect the community’s vested interest in quality programming at the local Community College level,” said Woolridge.
One of the things that really is important to him is to speak up for voices that are sometimes not being heard which includes the business community which in turn helps college students.
“The business community and workers needing retraining or initial specialized training for certain industries,” said Woolridge. “That is one the purpose of Community College is about. If the business community is not heard, we can’t help them and they need a seat at the table.”
If elected, he has big plans to work with the Board of Trustees. Some of his goals include working towards financial relief initiatives that will lower the cost of attendance, stronger articulation agreements so course units transfer over to their four-year institutions, advocate for digital textbooks to reduce the cost on students while working with local high schools.
With that said, Mr. Woolridge admits the biggest issue is still the budget.
“The overriding issue is always the shrinking budget. We have little influence on what the funding will be before it reaches the District. We need to manage the budget very carefully and with openness. We need to expand the use of grants for additional funding and partner with local businesses to bring in resources,” said Woolridge.
Another big problem is the retention of students with the rising costs.
“Retention of students is also a problem for the district. A great part of the retention problem is the rising cost facing students,” said Wooldridge. “These are some things that can be done to bring relief to students around the costs of attending college.”
He admitted that some of his mentors include Tom Torlakson, CA Superintendent of Public Instruction, Nancy Parent, Pittsburg City Councilwoman, and Jim Craft, Executive Director of STS Academy.
Mr. Woolridge graduated from the University of Pacific in Stockton and holds an Associate’s Degree from Los Medanos and Diablo Valley Colleges. At Los Medanos he was Student President for the 2009-2010 school years and served on the Shared Governance Council, working with the Administration and Board of Trustees. He worked with Tri Delta Transit and the Bay Area Rapid Transit District to provide affordable transportation for students and authored a successful corporate grant that increased funding for College Textbook Reserve Programs.
His record of Community Service includes:
- Contra Costa County Economic Opportunity Council Member (Current)
- City of Pittsburg Community Advisory Commission Chairman (Current)
- City of Pittsburg Community Development Block Grant Sub Committee Member (Current)
- Pittsburg Unified School District Bond Oversight Committee Vice-Chair (Current)
- Contra Costa County Library Commissioner, 2011
- Pittsburg Unified School District School Naming Committee Member, 2011
- Black Caucus of the California Community Colleges President, 2011
- Los Medanos College Associated Student (LMCAS) President, 2009-2010
- Los Medanos College Shared Governance Council Student Rep, 2009-2010
- Community College District Governance Council Student Rep and Constituency Speaker, 2009-2010
- Student Senate for California Community Colleges, Region III Chair, 2009-2010 and 2011
- Pittsburg Unified School District Student Attendance Review Board Member 2008-2011
- Los Medanos College Associated Student (LMCAS) Vice-President of Finance, 2008
- Los Medanos College Technology Advisory Group Student Representative, 2008
You can find out more about De’shawn Woolridge on his campaign website which is full of wonderful information.
Ward V boundaries include:
- Bethel Island