Monday, May 04, 2009

Bruin Democrats USAC Endorsements 2009

After deliberating for eight hours, as the only student organization who hosted our own endorsement hearings and looked at candidates independently of slate affiliation, Bruin Democrats is proud to offer its endorsement for the following candidates. We hope that the UCLA campus community joins us in supporting candidates that most outstandingly reflect progressive and feasible goals.


Endorsement: Cinthia Flores

Bruin Democrats PROUDLY AND STRONGLY endorses Cinthia Flores for President. With an excellent record and an all encompassing vision, she offers an amazing opportunity to move our campus forward, an opportunity that we, as Democrats, are proud to be involved in. Her platform focuses on student needs and we were particularly impressed with the Bruin Stimulus Plan- an idea that provides real help for students. Her leadership on UCLA boards such as the Student Activities Center Board of Governors, and the ASUCLA Board of Directors demonstrate a firm understanding of the UCLA community. Where her and her opponent differ is in her experience beyond the UCLA campus. Flores has served as a UCLA representative to the University of California Student Association and as one of two undergraduates on the University of California Office of the President's Board of Admissions and Relations with Schools (BOARS). In the latter position, Flores was responsible for representing the student perspective when it came to rescinding the SATII from admission criteria, therefore making 25,000 more students eligible for admission.

We respect the work that has been done by Flores' opponent, Jesse Rogel, and respect many of his proposals such as the Chancellor's Compact, and The USAC Foundation in Kerckhoff. Collectively we felt that Flores' vision for the office and past experience would make her a more effective advocate for pushing her platform ideas such as the Bruin Stimulus Plan, Putting the "U" Back in USAC, and the Responsible Endowment and Sustainability Summit.

Internal Vice President

Endorsement: Shahida Bawa

Bruin Democrats endorses Shahida Bawa for Internal Vice President. After careful evaluation of the platforms presented by the two candidates running for the position, we have decided that Shahida brings forth an array of expertise essential to the work of the Internal Vice President's Office. In particular, her concern and expertise with risk management protocol and liability insurance coverage issues is impressive and makes her the strongest contender for the office.

External Vice President

Endorsement: Susan Li

Bruin Democrats STRONGLY endorses Susan Li for External Vice President. Li has 3 years of experience in the EVP Office and has accomplishments she can claim such as registering 8,519 to vote for the presidential election. We are more than confident in Li to be an effective advocate for students on issues such as access and affordability to higher education. Her work with the Federal and California DREAM Acts are of utmost importance to our club, and she has shown she will be an advocate. She worked with our organization this past year in the office's voter registration efforts, and she served as Assistant EVP. As an the external voice to the UC Regents, the California Legislature, and the United States Congress, we feel that Li will push forth a more progressive agenda that is reflective of the priorities of students and the Democratic Party.

While it is admirable that Megan Ward, Li's opponent, highlights campus safety as one of her top issues, we are concerned that this might be more of a Facilities Commissioner platform.

General Representatives

Endorsement: 1) Jason Tengco 2) Jasmine Hill 3)Thach Nguyen

Bruin Democrats is proud to endorse Jason Tengco, Jasmine Hill, and Thach Nguyen, in that order, for General Representative. We are excited to see the fulfillment of their platforms and are confident that they will work together in making UCLA a better place.

We felt Jason Tengco best reflected the ideals and values of the Democratic Party. We believe he will bring an energizing and refreshing spirit into the General Representative's Office. His plan for preserving Undie Run while making it a charitable event brings together the hopes and wants of the student body in an inspiring way. Further, his experience as an intern in Washington D.C., and as a delegate to the United States Student Association LegCon has prepared him to be an effective advocate on affordability and access issues.

Jasmine Hill may only be a second year, but her past experience and her vision for the future makes us proud to endorse her. During her interview, she came off as extremely eloquent, well spoken, and knowledgeable. She had a presence about her that commanded respect-- moreso than most candiates on either slate. Her LectureLinks program is student budget friendly and sustainable. We look forward to seeing her achieve her platform goals.

Thach Nguyen provided an exciting platform that we look forward to seeing him implement. His plan to implement a Den Ticket exchange program is an innovative way to address a very real student concern. Also, his meal swipes on campus proposal is something that has been done in the past and we are confident that he will be effective in bringing this issue to the forefront again.

Academic Affairs Commissioner

Endorsement: Layhannara Tep

Bruin Democrats STRONGLY endorses Layhannara Tep for Academic Affairs Commission. She was candid and passionate about issues of access to higher education and spoke knowledgeably about academic programs on campus such as the Academic Advancement Program. We were incredibly impressed with her proposal to revamp the priority enrollment system to prioritize non-traditional students such as commuters and parents.

While we feel that Andrew Li Kreitz has a firm grasp of the issues affecting this commission, we have also been extremely disappointed by the way in which he has chosen to handle his campaign. We were specifically bothered by remarks that he has made regarding MEChA. Bruin Democrats is proud to stand as an ally to MEChA, and we feel that such an attack was wildly inappropriate. It is especially worrisome that these remarks came from someone hoping to hold an office wherein he would be representing ALL student groups on campus.

Community Service Commissioner

Endorsement: Farhan Banani

Bruin Democrats strongly endorses Farhan Banani for Community Service Commission due to his firm understanding of the commission. We are confident that he will run a strong office next year and build off of the successes of the current commissioner, Valerie Sien.

Campus Events Commissioner

Endorsement: Joanne Lin

Bruin Democrats strongly endorses Joanne Lin for Campus Events Commissioner. We feel that her experience within the commission demonstrates that she is capable of achieving her platform goals.

Facilities Commissioner

Endorsement: Karli Santos

Bruin Democrats endorses Karli Santos because of her unique vision and ideas for the commission, in particular her desire to work with the LGBTQ community to make facilities more gender neutral. We do however have reservations about her understanding of issues such as sustainability and encourage her to do more research into facts important to the Facilities Commission position.

Cultural Affairs Commissioner

Endorsement: Abigail Faelnar

We strongly endorse Abigail Faelnar for Cultural Affairs Commission. Her unifying vision to bring groups together to work on events such as World Fest is one that we look forward to seeing brought to reality. We are confident that her experience in this commission will help her to achieve her platform goals.

Financial Supports Commissioner


Both candidates presented strong platforms and past experience, but as a club, we were unable to come to a consensus. We encourage all students to do the necessary research and vote for the candidate they believe will provide the greatest opportunities for UCLA students.

Student Welfare Commissioner

Endorsement: Lucy Wu

Bruin Democrats is proud to endorse Lucy Wu for the Student Welfare Commission due to her three year experience within the commission and her extensive knowledge of the organization as well as her concrete plans to expand existing programs. Her success with the Bruin Health Symposium and her use of Democratic ideals through a student feedback system demonstrates her ability to handle her job with expertise. While we appreciate the ideas that Myles Hamby has shared, we are not confident in his ability to retain qualified staff for the commission or to orchestrate the commission successfully.


Bruin Democrats PLEDGE! to support vital programs including the Daily Bruin, the UCLA Marching Band, UCLARadio, and tutoring and retention programs by way of a $12.75 fee increase. Since 1/3 of all fees are allocated towards financial aid, we also believe this increase of the pool of funding for financial aid and grants would be vastly beneficial to the student body at large.