Political Report: Walters and Sandoval Campaigns; Yes on Prop 15; Yes on Prop 16

Want to review the story of why the UF is so involved in governing board elections this year?  Here’s a great summary in a recent editorial:



Our United Faculty Executive Board has endorsed Proposition 15, “Schools and Communities First,” which would dramatically increase funding for education in California by closing a big loophole in Proposition 13 that has exempted large corporations from paying their fair share in taxes. For details about the campaign, look here: https://www.yes15.org.

We have also endorsed Proposition 16, “Equal Opportunities for All,” that will repeal Prop 209, which banned Affirmative Action in California as a tool for fighting discrimination.  For more about that campaign, look here: https://voteyesonprop16.org.


Following a series of irresponsible and potentially disastrous decisions by three 4CD Trustees, the UF is fighting for change on the Governing Board before it’s too late.  We have endorsed both Judy Walters in Ward 2 and Fernando Sandoval in Ward 5.  More information about both candidates and the campaigns is below.  And we will continue updating this document, so please check back.

The most recent news is this: On September 22, 2020, The Academic and Classified Senates of Diablo Valley College unanimously approved a “Joint Resolution of No Confidence” in Trustees Gregory Enholm, Victoria Gordon, and John Marquez.  The full text of their resolution is here: Joint Senate Resolution on 4CD Gov Board Vote of No Confidence, As Approved, 9-22-20.

Several recent news stories have also addressed recent issues in our district.  This one is from the national publication, Inside Higher Education: https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2020/09/18/uproar-after-contra-costa-board-members-vote-not-renew-contracts.

Here is coverage from the DVC Inquirer: https://www.dvcinquirer.com/news/2020/09/16/college-district-in-disarray-senates-pledge-no-confidence-vote-on-governing-board-ahead-of-chancellor-nomination-and-accreditation-review.

Here is coverage from the CCC Advocate: https://cccadvocate.com/12016/news/gordon-investigated-for-misconduct-harassment-and-mismanagement/


This post seeks to:

1) document the reckless actions of Trustees Gordon, Eholm and Marquez, and share supporting material related to ethics violations and general dysfunction on the 4CD Governing Board; and

2) advise faculty of political campaigns this year to protect our colleges (and let faculty know how they can help)


Some of the background was explained in the August issue of our UF’s newsletter, Table Talk: tabletalkAUG2020.

After the Board voted 3-2 (without justification or precedent, and despite input from faculty, staff and management) not to renew the contracts of our competent CFO and Chief Human Resources Officers, the UF sent this public letter to the Board: Open Letter to Board 2020.

Trustee Enholm sent this public response: Enholm Response to UF,

The Board then voted a second time and again by the same 3-2 votes rejected both contracts.  Many faculty and staff spoke, but Gordon, Enholm and Marquez paid no attention.

Then most recently, the Board voted 3-2 not to renew the contract of Gene Huff, the Executive Vice Chancellor of Administration currently serving with great integrity as our Interim Chancellor.  Again, faculty, staff and managers asked the Board to support Huff, but they ignored all input.

Some believe that the three trustees made their decisions in retaliation for recent handling of complaints related to ethics violations on the part of Board members. (If this is true, their votes not only have jeopardized the financial stability of our district and served to undermine good labor relations and sound, experienced leadership in the middle of a crisis but also exposed the District to potential law suits that will divert money from where it belongs: supporting students.)

Here is the recent investigatory report on ethics violations by 4CD Trustee Vicki Gordon: Ethics Report on Gordon.

Here is a resolution related to the ethics investigation, signed by Trustee Gordon: Gordon Resolution.

Here is a letter from Gordon in which she “categorically denies” any ethics violations, even though she had signed an admission to the contrary! Gordon Letter on Ethics Violations.

Much of the dysfunction on the 4CD Governing Board is reflected in their own self-evaluation, which you can review here: Board Self Evaluation.

For those who might like to witness Board members ignoring input from faculty, staff and managers, the meetings have been recording. The relevant issues of the 8/26 Board meeting start at 1:28 minutes and show how those in attendance have lost confidence in Enholm, Gordon, and Marquez as publicly-elected officials. With between 120-140 people in attendance, those making public comment made inquiries and demanded accountability and an explanation. No explanations were given. The 4CD Gov. Board zoom Meeting of 8/26

The subsequent meeting was described nicely by the President of our classified-professional union, Local 1.  Neal Skapura wrote in an email to all staff:
“I am reporting out from last night’s 4CD Governing Board meeting with the following:
Last night’s Governing Board meeting continued with the same dysfunction – roundly ignoring the objections of employee leadership as it relates to the non-extension of interim Chancellor Gene Huff’s contact and again refusing to answer how any of their past actions over the last four months are in the best interest of the District, its mission, or its goals. At this point, it is fair to say that Enholm, Gordon, and Marquez have abdicated their duty as public officials to protect the institution they were elected to look out for because of their destabilizing decisions. Context for this statement can be found within the zoom recording below as well as emails out from me over the last four months about Board politics.
In addition to the public comments about Board leadership and dysfunction, some commented about accreditation issues caused by the Board and others about their actions as it relates to interim Chancellor Gene Huff’s contract, which was up for vote. You can also hear from two presidents (Susan Lamb (DVC) and Bob Kratovi (LMC) in their report-outs), Gene Huff, and Jonah Nicholas. The public comments start after the Board returns from closed session at about 1:35 minutes. And Gene and Jonah start talking in regard to Jonah’s last financial report at about 1:50 minutes. Constituency groups report out after this and then the focus on Gene Huff’s contract returns again at around 3:37 minute mark with a number of people again speaking – which also provides useful context about the working relationships between labor, management, and Governing Board.”

Lat week the same three Board members seem poised to hire one of the most controversial and scandal-plagues administrators in California as our permanent chancellor! (See the report on our website on Chancellor Candidate Raul Rodriguez!) Fortunately, Rodriguez pulled out of the process and signed a contract elsewhere.  Still,  ENOUGH is ENOUGH!

We need to take immediate steps to replace these reckless Board members, and that means ORGANIZING and ACTION!

United Faculty has endorsed Judy Walters for District Trustee in Ward 2 (Orinda, Lafayette, Moraga, Walnut Creek, Crockett, Rodeo, Hercules).  We also endorsed Ferdnando Sandoval in Ward 5 (Pittsburg, Antioch, Oakley, Bay Point, Brentwood, Bethel Island).

We have also endorsed Proposition 15 and Proposition 16, which also will help our District.  More on those coming soon!

We need faculty to distribute door-hangers in Ward 2, to post lawn signs, to activate their social networks by “liking” Judy Walters’ Facebook Page and sharing posts…

Here is a letter with some information and a form you can complete to get involved and help elect Judy Walters to bring experience and integrity we need to our 4CD Governing Board: Protect 4CD-Help Our Campaign.

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