ABC 7: Student Group Supports Minimum Wage Increase

SJSU group pushes to increase minimum wage

Posted by KGO-TV Jan. 23, 2012.

By Karina Rusk

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) — San Jose may join San Francisco in raising the minimum wage. Students at San Jose State University are pushing a ballot initiative to increase the city’s minimum wage to double digits.

At a time when tuition costs have doubled in the past five years and gas is close to $4 a gallon, some San Jose State University students say California’s $8 an hour minimum wage simply isn’t enough in Silicon Valley.

“There’s malnutrition, there’s poverty, there’s homelessness when America has the capacity to so much better and we the people have to be the ones pushing for that,” said Saul Gonzalez from Campus Alliance For Economic Justice.

The student group Campus Alliance For Economic Justice is proposing a citywide ballot initiative to raise San Jose’s minimum wage $2 to $10 an hour.

They point to three neighboring states — Nevada, Oregon and Washington — which all have higher minimum wages and the city of San Francisco which has the highest minimum wage in the nation at $10.24. Supporters of the effort say San Jose needs to follow San Francisco’s lead.

“The people and citizens of San Francisco are more aware of the problems of the people as a mass. And they understand if you take care of the mass, the mass will then take care of the whole,” said Rev. Jeff Moore, from the NAACP in Silicon Valley.

Many small business owners are expected to fight back. Josh McGhie started 4th Street Pizza five years ago. He has about 25 employees, most of them making minimum wage.

“It’s tough in a business like ours to pass that cost onto customers so $2 an hour extra in minimum wage would definitely be a tough blow,” said McGhie.

Voters though could be influenced by the Occupy Wall Street sentiment challenging the 99 percent to speak up.

Once the city approves the ballot language, the student group will try to gather enough signatures, about 20,000, to put the increased minimum wage initiative before voters in November.

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Sociology Students Secure Initiative to Put Minimum Wage Hike on November City Ballot

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The initiative would put a minimum wage hike on the November ballot, boosting the lowest hourly wages in the city from $8 to $10.

Scott Myers-Lipton, Professor of Sociology, (510) 508-5382

SAN JOSE – So much for the idea that young people are disengaged from politics and social justice issues.

A San Jose State University sociology class has succeeded in submitting an initiative to the city government to put a minimum wage hike on the November ballot that would boost the lowest hourly wages in the city from $8 to $10.

The students and their professor, Scott Myers-Lipton, will hold a press conference to talk about their project to help San Jose’s poorest workers at 10 a.m. Monday, Jan. 23 in front of the Tommie Smith and John Carlos statues on campus.

“These are sophisticated students who know how to get things done,” Myers-Lipton said.  He added, “After studying many social problems, the students decided to focus on increasing the minimum wage in San Jose.  They were drawn to this issue because they believe that all workers in San Jose should make a living wage.”

The initiative is now being reviewed by the City Attorney’s office and will be returned in 15 days or less with a title and summary.  Soon after, the petition drive will begin at college campuses throughout San Jose and in the community.  After collecting 19,200 plus signatures, the students will have qualified the initiative for the November ballot.

Press conference on San Jose State students’ initiative to raise the city minimum wage

10 a.m., Monday, Jan. 23

Tommie Smith & John Carlos Statue Garden (near Clark Hall)

Daneil Guzman is standing in front of a doorframe, smiling to the camera wearing a baseball cap and sweatshirt

McNair Scholar Studies Common Stereotypes of Undocumented Immigrants

Daneil Guzman is standing in front of a doorframe, smiling to the camera wearing a baseball cap and sweatshirt

Senior sociology major Daniel Guzman is one of 27 SJSU McNair Scholars being recognized in the program's most recent newsletter

By Amanda Holst, Public Affairs Assistant

Daniel Guzman is one of 27 McNair Scholars highlighted in the program’s most recent newsletter for his research on the common stereotypes associated with being an undocumented immigrant.

My name is Daniel Guzman. I am the son of Mexican immigrants and I will be the first in my immediate family to graduate from college. I am beginning my fourth year at SJSU, and I am majoring in sociology, concentration in criminology, with a minor in Mexican American studies. My research interests and my passions range from learning about racial and ethnic inequality, to sociology of education, as well as learning crime and deviance. With that said, my ambitions in life would be to effectively address the disparities and inequalities plaguing our communities so that more students of color could have the wonderful opportunities and experiences I have been exposed to these last four years in my undergraduate education at SJSU. Obtaining a Ph.D. would enable me to be a more resourceful individual and furthermore it would be a catalyst for change for Chicano males amongst my family and my peers. In my research, I will be tackling the illegal immigration issue and delineating whether or not the stereotypes associated with being an undocumented immigrant are accurate or falsified. The paper has been very difficult to write, yet rewarding, and I am forever grateful for the mentorship and dedication provided by my mentor, Assistant Professor Vera Sanchez. In my spare time when I am not plagued by endless homework assignments, I enjoy spending time with my family and doing extracurricular activities such as playing soccer, basketball, and handball.

“I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life and that is why I succeed.” -Michael Jordan

Above is one of my favorite quotes that inspire me to keep striving and pushing forward despite my many failures and setbacks.

The Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program is designed to prepare underrepresented minorities for graduate education by providing research opportunities  and admissions guidance. Students in the program are required to have a 3.0 GPA, be both first-generation and low-income, and working towards a doctoral degree.

To get a copy of the newsletter, please contact Jeannine Slater at or (408) 924-2540.

SJSU in the News: KTEH Broadcasts Professor Emeritus’ Film, “Lessons From the Real World”

Boulder Creek filmmaker captures different take on education

Originally posted in the San Jose Mercury News May 16, 2011

By Kirsten Fairchilds
Santa Cruz Sentinel

BOULDER CREEK — Working as a documentary filmmaker has helped Bob Gliner see the world.

Not the kind of world a typical tourist might yearn to see, but rather the international destinations an American filmmaker interested in ideas such as social justice and social change would want to explore.

From traveling to Russia in 1986 to examining American stereotypes of the Soviet people during Ronald Reagan’s presidency to heading to Cuba in 1997 to document the effects of the U.S. economic blockade on the Cuban people, Gliner estimated that he’s traveled to 35 countries and made 40 films.

A Boulder Creek resident, Gliner gave his passport a rest for his latest production, which had its Bay Area premiere Sunday and airs again Tuesday on KTEH.

Called “Lessons from the Real World,” the 57-minute film examines how public K-12 schools in Portland, Ore., are weaving social issues through their curriculum as a way to engage students both in and out of the classroom.

Gliner shot the film over a 10-week period last year from April to June. He spent significant time in eight K-12 schools, as well as at Portland State University.

Although “Lessons from the Real World” kept Gliner, 68, relatively close to home, the subject matter he elected to tackle was no less controversial or comprehensive than his previous endeavors.

“I hope this show is widely seen as a way of joining in the debate in what should be happening in education today,” said Gliner, who has also been a sociology professor at San Jose State University for 35 years. “Particularly the debate around No Child Left Behind’ and the updated version, Race to the Top.'”

“In the beginning, the people behind No Child Left Behind’ were well-meaning because they thought students were being left behind,” Gliner continued. “However, in the process of implementing the legislation, they lost sight of the goal and instead focus only on increasing test scores.”

That focus, according to Gliner, has not only been to the detriment of students, but to society as a whole.

“Schools are narrowing the curriculum to just the areas in which students will be tested on,” Gliner said. “Students are getting bored — it’s become a self-defeating process.

“The more schools seem to focus on these areas, the more students aren’t being motivated to become educated citizens,” he continued. “Another equally important consequence is that we’re turning out students who are politically illiterate.”

That won’t likely be the case for a group of Portland students if third-grade teacher Jeremy Thomas can continue with his approach. A teacher for three years at Sunnyside Environmental School — a public K-8 school located in Southeast Portland — Thomas is seen in the film teaching mathematical principles by sending his students out into their community with parental supervision to collect data and graph results around the idea of cycling as transportation.

The students then presented their findings at a Portland City Council meeting, after researching the role of both the city council as well as the members that serve on it.

“Bob’s film showed teachers being true professionals,” said Thomas, in a recent telephone interview after seeing the film. “He showed teachers that are dedicated, creative and willing to innovate — those that are not just going along with a scripted program that focuses solely on test scores.” “I was really impressed,” Thomas continued. “It was really nice to see a portrait of schools that was really positive. I feel there’s been a lot of negativity toward schools and teachers in the media recently.

For Gliner, who’s already hard at work on his next film, a search for something positive in the current state of education was the motivating factor to make “Lessons from the Real World” in the first place.

“What I wanted to show in this documentary is what’s possible for schools to do in terms of curriculum that focuses on social issues and engages the student,” Gliner said. “It doesn’t mean that all schools in Portland are like the ones in the film, but what it does show is that what is happening in Portland is possible anywhere else in the country.

“I like to think that this is an upbeat look at public schools,” he continued. “It shows a way to motivate students to do well.”

Bob Gliner’s “Lessons from the Real World” airs Tuesday at 8 p.m. on PBS station KCSM and at 11 p.m. on KTEH. For more information, visit

Financial Literacy for the Community

Date: April 28, 2011

Time: 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

Location: MLK Library Second Floor Suites

Summary: The sociology 120 students invite all SJSU students, SJSU campus employees and the community to attend the Financial Literacy for Community Development Event. This event offers resources from financial institutions and organizations, private and nonprofit organizations; and will offer workshops on money-related topics such as banking, budgeting, credit, taxation. See below for Workshops offered.