Wednesday September ,
Corsair Newspaper Santa Monica College
Youth vote important to Decker By Miles Arnold Staff Writer After a 30-minute parking hunt around Downtown Santa Monica and a three block trek west, I was standing in front of “The Yard,” a Santa Monica pub owned by local resident and city council candidate Jeff Decker. Forty minutes, two no-answers and one voicemail later, I had no choice but to stand and wait - I had an interview to do. Decker, who is running for public office for the first time, has been a local business owner for almost 10 years in Santa Monica and hopes to win a fouryear term in the November elections as a councilman for the city. But today he appeared to be running late. I waited, and waited, and waited some more. Then after another 20 minutes, that call came - while I was driving away (of course). He apologized, I pulled over, and we were able to discuss over the phone the upcoming election, his campaign goals and what his future plans are in the event that he is elected to the Santa Monica City Council. One of Decker’s main goals on the campaign trail is to attract the younger crowd. His camp feels that “a surge of young voters” on the national level played a crucial role in the recent election of President Obama, but they also believe that young voters are “unaware of the impact that local politicians make on their everyday life.” Decker believes that Santa Monica College is a great place to spread the word to young local voters. When I asked Decker about his thoughts regarding the ongoing talks of raising the Big Blue Bus ride fare he told me that he “wasn’t sure why the fares were going up” and added that, “finding out why these measures are
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Alfredo Luna Corsair Jeff Decker, 39, is running as as Santa Monica City Council member. A locally based businessman, Decker believes that having a younger perspective gives him an advantage over his opponents.
being taken and finding out where the money will be going is one of the things I will have to figure out once I get into office.” Another topic that has been swirling around the Santa Monica Community of late, and one that could have an impact on the state-funded local education system, is the Y measure that would increase sales tax revenue to $12 million for the “general fund” of the city. When I asked him how he felt about measure Y he commented by saying, “My understanding is limited.” However, he stated that maintaining the outstanding public school system in Santa Monica is one of the things on the top of his list and that “appointing the right fiscally responsible personnel” is a top priority. The new smoking law that was passed recently, Sept. 9, which prohibits smoking
H.I.T. new to College record. There is a need for people to facilitate this change and that is why health information technology is becoming increasingly important, Demorst believes. The program consists of four semesters, each six months long with eighty students graduating per semester. The first semester starts Sept. 27, and upon successful completion of the sixmonth period, students will receive a “certificate of achievement” as a health IT project manager or health IT trainer. According to a report published by the California Health and Human Services,
project managers are projected to earn between $62,300 and $99,680 and trainers could earn between $40,000 and $89,000, This course is done entirely online with each semester made up of seven classes. The classes are about three to four weeks long which requires students to learn a lot of information at an accelerated pace. This means students applying should be motivated or have some kind of background knowledge. According to Demorst, there are available spaces on this course for this semester, and any student interested in the program should contact her directly.
their goals and objectives, and they had the largest kick off meetings. “They were doing, in terms of a first year chapter, way better than chapters that have been established for a while,” said Henton, adding that although the CALPIRG “pilot” year went smoothly, it is always difficult to maintain continuity with programs like this when the AS Board rotates yearly. When CALPIRG’s full funding from the AS Board was removed, they decided it would be better to have their own separate fee to fund themselves. “We told them no,” said Henton. “We couldn’t have something specific for just one organization. We instead transformed it into a studentorganizing fee that could fund a vast array of things.” Vince Slevin, the New Voters Project Coordinator for CALPIRG and the AS director of Budget Management
said that, “the fee was implemented to fund CALPIRG. The cost of having a CALPIRG Chapter here at SMC is $72,000.” “They ratified the vote and added it to the AS fee instead of making it separate. Some people this year want to rescind the fee, but without the Student Organizing Fee, which is our entire funding, I don’t see there being a CALPIRG chapter,” added Slevin. In response to public feeling that CALPIRG isn’t worth the money, Henton said, “My argument [is that] you just approved $21,000 for study abroad students, and $65-$70 thousand last year. That’s…20 students that get 70,000. Whereas CALPIRG benefits everyone here on campus.” Henton continued, “The intention is not to fund them forever from the AS money. The idea is to get them started, then they could go to the system like the other schools.”
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Fee decision postponed by AS
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An environment of obesity
within 25 feet of any apartment door window or vent has caused more than just a bit of controversy in the community. I asked Decker what he thought of the law to which he responded by saying, “It’s definitely something I’m going to have to look into when I get elected,” and added, “I will have to see who is being affected by that law and see if there are any boundaries being crossed.” He also questioned whether or not a law like that is even enforceable. In the weeks leading up to the elections on Nov. 2, Jeff and his team will be holding parties every week on Thursdays up until the Oct. 14 to help encourage the young crowd to get out and register to vote in the community. To find out more about Jeff Decker you can visit his website, www. electjeffdecker.com and you can also find him on Facebook.
things like chips and soda usually have more shelf space, colors and variety. The selections are endless. When we walk into the fruits and vegetables section, we normally see less. According to Cohen, this is done intentionally. Marketers pay to have their items such as soda and candy close to the cash register in order to boost sales. Doubling shelf space and making junk food more accessible increases food sales by 40 percent. According to Cohen, we pay attention to brands and packaging but we don’t realize that these things influence us. It may not be apparent, but our brain has limited capacity to think about more than one thing at a time. This is also a factor that influences what we eat. Cohen explained how an experiment was performed on a group of people to see what kind of decisions people made under a cognitive low. Half of the people were asked to memorize a 7-didgit number and the other half to memorize a 2-digit number. While they memorized the number, they were asked to pick either a fruit salad or a chocolate cake. People who memorized the 7-digit number overwhelmingly chose the chocolate cake; people that memorized the 2-digit number were less likely to choose the chocolate cake. What happened? The people with the 7-digit number spent all of their energy with the numbers that they didn’t make a wise choice. We underestimate the influence of our environment. This is why the environment, according to Cohen is the source of health and illness. SMC student Samuel Kinney, present at the lecture said, “This lecture was great. It reinforced things that I already knew but haven’t taken action about. Dr. Cohen made me open my eyes and pay closer attention to our environment.”