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March 2, 2018

Contact: Amy Hines-Shaikh
Director, Reclaim Higher Education Coalition
Tel: (562) 201-9243

Contact: Jonathan Abboud
Vice President, Santa Barbara CCD Board of Trustees
Tel: (310) 734 9791

California Democratic Party Includes Tuition-Free College In Platform

“$48 Fix” Can Make Higher Ed Accessible to All – And Alleviate Student Debt Crisis

SAN DIEGO, CA – Just as fierce battles waged for endorsements in the races for Governor and US Senator, the California Democratic Party passed its 2018 platform on Sunday that would make California first-in-the-nation to support fully tuition-free public colleges for all. The platform states that the California Democratic Party supports a return to the Master Plan of 1960 by eliminating all tuition and fees at the University of California, California State University, and California Community Colleges for all students. The platform would address the national student debt crisis by providing cost-of-living financial aid while students are in college.

The platforms refers to progressive taxation as a way to finance this return to the Master Plan’s definition of free public college for all residents of California. The $48 Fix is a progressive income tax costing just $48 or less a year for half of the taxpaying population; this would eliminate all tuition and fees at public colleges in California. The $48 Fix policy paper can be viewed at  Advocates can endorse the plan at

“We have been waiting for the Democratic party to articulate young people’s views on this topic for a long time,” said Amy Hines-Shaikh, Director of Reclaim CA Higher Education Coalition, delegate to the California Democratic Party, and a co-author of the resolution.

“The platform would also invest greatly in schools so that students can earn top-quality education in a timely manner,” said Jonathan Abboud, also a delegate and platform committee member and elected Community College Trustee. “Inclusion in the California Democratic Party’s is a clear sign that now is the time to act to bring back tuition-free higher education California,” said Abboud. “Candidates running under the CDP banner must make it a point to support tuition free public college for all and we, the voters, must hold them accountable to it.”

Daraka Larimore-Hall, Vice Chair of the California Democratic Party said:  “100 years ago progressives fought for and won universal K-12 education and the middle class prospered as a result. It is clear 12th grade no longer cuts it. We must expand free education to include public colleges so that everyone can have an opportunity at a successful middle class life.”


We are the Reclaim CA Higher Education Coalition. Our mission is to reclaim the Donahoe Act of 1960, otherwise known as California’s Master Plan for Higher Education. We advocate for a return to its vision of affordable, accessible, quality public higher education for all Californians. In our advocacy, we include all stakeholders, such as students, parents, workers, unions, community groups, faith leaders, educational organizations, elected representatives, and the faculty, staff, and administrators from the higher education systems: the California Community Colleges, the California State University, and the University of California.