April 2009, Volume 13, Number 4


Students rally for local funding support

State Sen. Alex Villalobos

Students Paula Barbieri and Brandon Janvion

State Sen. Juan Carlos Zapata (left) and State Rep. Yolly Roberson (right)

As the Florida Legislature reconvened in Tallahassee recently, students at Miami Dade College rallied at Wolfson Campus to push for the passage of Senate and House bills that would help the nation’s largest institution of higher education deal with historic cutbacks.

The bills now under consideration would allow the Miami-Dade County Commission to place a referendum on the ballot in a future election for voter approval of a temporary dedicated half-penny sales tax that would support the College. The bills are sponsored by State Sen. Alex Villalobos and State Rep. Juan Carlos Zapata, both alumni. They have the support of many in the Miami-Dade Delegation, including Rep. Yolly Roberson, who was present at the rally with Villalobos and Zapata. In November, a similar statewide measure – which also received wide student and community support – was approved by 62 percent of voters in Miami-Dade County, but failed statewide. The measure required at least 60 percent of approval statewide.

“I got to where I am because I had a strong foundation in education and it began here at the College,” Villalobos said. “This is simply returning a debt of honor to the community and to MDC.”

— Staff Report

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