Students and Community in California Take on Big Oil to ReFund Education

​In California, over 80 people participated in the launch of the Higher Ed Not Debt campaign.  There were rallies in Los Angeles and San Francisco demanding that the state reverse decades of state divestment in education and also that companies like Wells Fargo are held accountable for their role in turning Higher Education into a profit center. Higher Ed Not Debt campaign members from the Student Labor Action Project delivered a letter directly to Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf’s house – check out the great video below!

Student Debt National Day of Action Serves a Letter to Wells CEO 6 Mar 2014 from Peter Menchini on Vimeo.

Events were held in Los Angeles and San Francisco on March 6th, hosted by ReFund California, a coalition of community and labor organizations across the state. Despite some improvement in state funding since the passage of Prop 30, the UC, CSU and Community College systems are still far behind pre-crisis funding levels. Faced with the need to borrow more and more, both students and the institutions themselves are burdened with sky-rocketing debt.

The ReFund California coalition wants corporate loopholes closed and big corporations to pay their fair share to funding a strong and healthy California.  Senator Noreen Evans has introduced SB 1017, a bill that would tax oil extraction in the state of California. While every other major oil producing state has such a tax, California does not. If passed, SB 1017 would generate $2 billion per year, which would increase funding for higher education, as well as K-12 and other essential services.

ReFund California is a coalition of groups who have come together to build public and political support for holding big corporations and the 1% accountable to the needs of families and communities and making them pay their fair share to fund education, vital services and solutions to get our economy back on track.

Past Events

Los Angeles: 

College Students and Community Members descended on Occidental Petroleum HQ Demanding That Big Oil Stop Blocking Funding for Higher Education.

 On Thursday, March 6th at 1pm, College students and community members held a rally and press conference in front of the global headquarters of Occidental Petroleum, just blocks from the UCLA campus and demanded that the oil company drop its active, financed opposition to the Oil & Gas Extraction Tax and sign the ReFund Education Pledge.

San Francisco: Students, Teachers, and Community called on John Stumpf to modify Wells Fargo Loans to Reduce Student Debt and withdraw Chevron’s opposition to the Oil Extraction Tax. On Thursday, March 6th at 4:30pm, Students, teachers, and community members held a rally and press conference on San Francisco City Hall Steps to call on San Francisco Resident, John Stumpf to ReFund Higher Ed. They called on Stumpf (CEO of Wells Fargo) to modify student loans to promote Higher Ed, Not Debt, and called on him as as a Chevron Board Member to withdraw Chevron’s funded opposition of the Oil Severance Tax that would generate an additional $2 Billion to ReFund California’s Schools and Services.

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