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    City College Heroes, Campos Rising, Dem Club Chiefs, and Redmond’s Back!

    Rafael Mandelman

    Rafael Mandelman

    Early indications are that 2014 could be a very good year for City College of San Francisco. On January 2, we learned that Judge Curtis Karnow had granted a preliminary injunction preventing the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) from terminating City College’s accreditation, pending the outcome of the City Attorney’s lawsuit against the ACCJC. Big thanks are due to Dennis Herrera for having the courage to stand up for City College and for putting together such an excellent team of legal eagles — Deputy City Attorneys Sara Eisenberg, Yvonne Mere and Tom Lakritz (gay by the way, and a super-sweet guy) did the heavy lifting.

    Just a few days later, on January 6, House Minority Leader and our very own Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi took time off from battling Republicans in Washington to pay a visit to the Chinatown campus, where several of us joined her for a press conference in support of City College. Pelosi expressed her deep commitment to the College and the work it does and echoed the concerns that have been raised by Herrera, Congresswoman Jackie Speier and others about the unaccountability of the ACCJC in general and its actions with regard to City College in particular. Pelosi’s visit had been in the works for a couple of months, but the timing could not have been better coming hot on the heels of the news from Judge Karnow’s court.

    After the Karnow injunction and the Pelosi press conference, I am feeling more confident about City College’s survival than I have in months. There’s still a long way to go and a lot of work to do, but I do believe we will keep City College open and that we may even succeed in reining in the ACCJC.

    In other news, hearty congratulations are due to Supervisor David Campos, running for the State Assembly, who has picked up the endorsements of the United Educators of San Francisco, the California Nurses Association and UNITE HERE Local 2. San Francisco may not be the labor town it once was, but having the teachers, nurses and hotel workers backing your campaign is nothing to sneeze at. Equality California has joined Team Campos as well. Nice work, David!

    Congrats also to a fellow Bay Times columnist and colleague on San Francisco’s Democratic County Central Committee: Our own Zoe Dunning has been elevated to co-chair the Alice B. Toklas Club. She will be joining the brilliant and delightful Ron Flynn, entering his second year as co-chair. Meanwhile over at the Harvey Milk Club, Tom Temprano will be staying on as president for another year. As a past prez myself, I well know that leading that particular fiery group of activists has its challenges, but it also has its rewards. Wishing Tom more of the latter.

    When he is not busy organizing San Francisco’s queer left, Tom can be found throwing great parties at El Rio and other venues or managing his new bar at 3152 Mission, Virgil’s Sea Room. And, as if that weren’t enough to keep the guy occupied, Mr. Temprano has also started a column in longtime Bay Guardian editor Tim Redmond’s new online publication For those who have been missing Redmond’s byline since he and the Guardian’s new owners parted ways last year, he’s landed on the interwebs and you can now get your daily fix of Redmond’s insights on local politics. That’s after you read your latest online edition of the Bay Times, of course!

    Finally, a shout out to my good friend (also a Bay Times columnist) Stu Smith, who is battling health challenges. Stu’s column includes the line “Profiles in Courage and Compassion,” which is fitting, because Stu demonstrates both characteristics in abundance. We love you Stu!

    Rafael Mandelman was elected to the San Francisco Community College Board of Trustees in 2012. He is a partner at Burke, Williams & Sorensen, LLP.