Gubernatorial candidate and Democratic front-runner Jerry Brown will address the UCSB student body today during his first large-scale university campaign rally since declaring candidacy on March 2.
Brown — who is the current Attorney General of California, former mayor of Oakland and former governor of California — will lecture at noon on the UCen lawn. The event is hosted by Campus Democrats and will also feature former Assembly Member Hannah Beth Jackson and chair of the Democratic Party of Santa Barbara, Daraka Hall-Larimore.
According to a press release, Brown plans to discuss solutions to current challenges facing California, such as the importance of higher education, workers rights and progressive environmental policies.
Brown originally scheduled his campaign stop on April 26 but was forced to postpone the visit due to scheduling complications.
“His schedule was very chaotic,” Ian Blue, communications director of Campus Democrats, said. “But we’re just glad that he is able to make it out to our campus for his first major campaign event.”
Ryan Hirschler, president of Campus Democrats, said event organizers expect a large turn-out.
“[His choice to visit UCSB] represents the importance of the youth vote and his unwavering commitment to education and the UC system,” Hirschler said.
Hall-Larimore said Brown’s visit is relevant in light of the university’s current issues with financial strain.
“I think that, amidst the cuts that have been aimed at universities and the importance of higher education to our economy and the future of our state, it’s crucial that he reach out to the campus community,” he said.
Additionally, Blue said it’s paramount to elect a leader who prioritizes education.
“We really need a governor in office who isn’t going to raise student fees, who is really committed to funding higher education and who isn’t going to continue the policies of Governor Schwarzenegger,” Blue said. “Jerry Brown is committed to keep us going to school.”
According to Blue, the rally is intended to generate support and awareness among students.
“Students need to know who their next governor will be,” he said. “If UCSB students come out, we’ll know it’s successful. If Jerry Brown gets elected in November, we’ll know that we have done our job.”