For immediate release
July 8, 2011
Students Protest Higher Ed Cuts, Tax Breaks for Corporations
Students, workers target media exec Monica Lozano, who sits on UC Regents and Disney Corporate board member
LOS ANGELES – As University of California Regents prepare to vote for another tuition hike next week, students gathered today, July 8, to protest drastic higher education cuts, while corporations like Disney win generous tax breaks.
Students and workers targeted their protest at media CEO Monica Lozano, who is the publisher of La Opinion newspaper and a University of California Regent. As a UC Regent, Lozano has approved seven recent tuition hikes, while simultaneously serving on the Disney corporate board, which last year won millions in potential tax breaks.
One such tax break, an Enterprise Zone distinction in Anaheim, could bring Disney more than $1 million in tax savings just by hiring 100 employees throughout the year, including student summer hires. Disney paid Lozano $246,911 in 2010 to serve on its board.
Students called on Lozano to reject the latest UC tuition hike. UC tuition and fees will top $11,000 per year this fall.
"As a UC Regent Monica Lozano is assisting in the devastation of California higher education, while getting paid by Disney, which is getting huge tax breaks," said Joe Silva, a UCLA student. "Disney made $4.4 billion in net profit last year — does it really need a tax break?"
Gov. Jerry Brown had proposed the repeal of the Enterprise Zone program, which costs the state roughly $465 million a year in tax revenue, but doesn’t create jobs, according to a study by the nonpartisan California Budget Project. However, in the final budget deal passed on June 28, the Enterprise Zone tax breaks were left in tact, while $650 million was cut from the UC system, $650 million cut from CSU system and $400 million cut from community colleges.
Students called on appointed leaders like Lozano to start putting the people’s interests above corporate profits.
"Monica Lozano must recognize the struggles of students and workers are all intrinsically related," said Andres Tremblador, treasurer of Students United for Social Justice. "As a leader in the Latino community, she should see that working families are under attack, right under her nose, and she can no longer ignore her role in it."
Meanwhile, Disney hotel workers, who have been fighting to hold on to affordable healthcare at Disneyland Resort, also joined the protests.
"We’re sick of watching corporate profits soar, while the rest of us suffer," said Christina Sanchez, a baker at the Disneyland Resort and mother of a 14-year-old daughter. "Disney gets tax breaks it doesn’t need, then turns around and tries to slash the healthcare of its own workers, some of whom earn as little as $8.89 per hour. This is insane, and people like Monica Lozano should stand up and stop it."
For more information, please call Leigh Shelton 323-533-3864.