The Blum Center Take-over group calls for:
1) UC Berkeley Chancellor Dirks to publicly renounce Janet Napolitano.
2) For all those in solidarity to cancel classes tomorrow (Friday, Feb
14), and for people to build a strike in support of Napolitano’s
resignation and for the democratization of the University.
3) Full amnesty for all those reclaiming campus space, including those who have taken the Blum Center.
Why we are taking the Blum Center:
Richard Blum, the primary funder and namesake of the Blum Center,
represents and acts as a driving force of privatization and
reorganization of the University of California system. As an investment
banker, Blum profits from the fact that the UC is no longer funded
primarily through the federal government. As a central figure in pushing
away from federal subsidization of education, and therefore a
completely affordable or free public education, Blum and other bankers
and financiers on the board of regents--including Monica Lozano--have
compelled the University to take out massive bonds from private banks to
compensate for this lack of funding. Public funding is legally allowed
to go to only educational resources bonds, and the tuition system that
allow this process to happen can be used for whatever the regents want.
In many cases, this money is tied to companies that these regents own.
For example, Blum owns the equity management firm Blum Capital, which
has massive investments in the companies that do all of the construction
at the UC. To those who believe in a public and democratic education,
this is seen as legalized fraud and corruption.
Blum and Janet Napolitano’s Special Relationship:
UC regent Richard Blum was central in proposing Janet Napolitano.
Richard Blum’s record includes firing Robert Dynes in 2007, leading the
search for Mark Yudof, and encouraging Yudof's resignation before
overseeing the "search" for a new UC president. Although the Regents
state that this was done through a headhunting agency, Blum was
instrumental in making the final decision. We conclude that central
decisions for filling the highest-ranking positions in the UC system
continue to be made by those who stand to profit from privatization.
Blum’s interest in keeping a business-as-usual that allows for massive
profits for companies to which he has ties indicates Napolitano’s
appointment as a means to continue this process of implementing policies
of social control during her time in DHS.
Blum’s 12 year
term as a UC regent ended in January. His reappointment by Jerry Brown
for a second 12 year term this past January shows that the regents, like
him, will continue to retain power unless there is a social response to
The appointment of Napolitano exposes the
undemocratic process by which the UC system makes decisions. In order to
address this structural problem, we demand a restructuring of this
process which includes: a) a campuses-wide election for all future UC
regents and presidents; this includes having the ability to nominate,
endorse, and campaign for candidates b) the power to impeach both UC
presidents and regents c) a general democratization of the regents to
include actual participation of students, faculty, and UC workers in the
central decision making processes of the University.
on all students, faculty, and staff to join us, to take action in the
coming days and weeks, and to demand the restructuring of the decision
making process in our university system, so that we can make the promise
of a public education a reality.