Northern California Students Matter Too! Build a University of California in Redding.

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Redding Friends
Redding Friends signed this petition

The students in Northern California have been without a public university far too long and both need and want the University of California to build a campus in Redding.

Redding, CA is the biggest city north of Sacramento with a population of 91,850. Redding needs and wants a University of California, and, the University of California needs a new campus. The University of California is overcrowded and they routinely turn students away.There is also a big need in the state of California for more STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) themed campuses to train workers for 21st century careers. By building a science and tech-based campus in Redding the UC will be able to increase its admissions, build a cutting edge program in a crucial area of need for the state and create new opportunities for students in Northern California, many of whom would be first-generation college students.

Equal treatment for children in unequal situations is not justice.
Governor Jerry Brown

The students in Redding have some of the highest test scores and graduation rates in the state, however, most will never be able to attend a University of California due to distance and economic barriers. The California Master Educational plan states that education should be equally available to all. Equal access to education begins with making college accessible. There are no University of California campuses located north of Sacramento. The closest UC is in Davis which is about 350 miles round trip. Another obstacle that the students face is that most of the existing campuses are located in cities like Berkeley, Los Angeles, Irvine, Santa Barbara, San Diego, etc., where the cost of living is much higher than what the typical family from Northern California can afford.

Higher education can’t be a luxury, it’s an economic imperative that every family in America should be able to afford. President Obama

Redding wants the next University of California to be placed in its city. The city and its neighbors began as logging and mining communities, however, as natural resources depleted, their sources of revenue have dwindled away. The poverty rate is 19% while the state average is 15%. The median household income in Redding is $44,242 while the state average is $61, 904. Redding has tried to bring in high-tech manufacturing and computer companies. For example, the city of Redding built Stillwater Business Park in 2007, a 700 acre business complex for offices and industrial companies, but it has not attracted any companies due to the fact that there is a severe shortage of residents holding an advanced degree, especially in STEAM. Only 18% of the adults over 25 in Shasta County hold a BA degree or higher, the state average is 30%. Of those people in Shasta County who have a higher education degree, many are held by people who moved from other areas of the state for management positions or by those who come to the area to retire. The situation is even worse in some of the surrounding counties, for example, only 13% of the population over age 25 have an advanced degree in Lassen County.

As a nation, we have to make college more accessible. 
Arne Duncan – Secretary of the Department of Education                   

Students would want to attend a university located in Redding. Besides the lower cost of living and beautiful scenery, there are plenty of things to do in Redding. Recreational sports nearby include boating, fishing, wakeboarding and skiing. Inside the city are malls, theaters, museums, the Sundial bridge, miles of walking and biking trails along the Sacramento river and more. As for accessibility, I-5 runs right through Redding from north to south and highway 299 and 44 run through town from east to west. Redding also has its own airport, Amtrak station, Greyhound bus station, and a public transportation bus system, in addition to its excellent bikes and trail system for eco-friendly commuting.

A University of California STEAM campus would also be great for the state of California. Billions of dollars are lost each year due to the exodus of tech and manufacturing companies relocating out of the state. The high costs of real estate and the lack of space in the Bay area and the LA basin are a major reason why they leave. Redding, Ca and the surrounding communities have lots of inexpensive land and plenty of room for growth. Many of these companies stated that if the population of Redding had more advanced degree holders in science, technology, math and engineering abilities to operate sophisticated machinery and software they would have relocated to the northern section of the state.                         

There should be equal access for Californians to higher education.
California Master Plan for Higher Education            

Education opens doors, give Northern California students an equal access to a University of California. The citizens of Redding have built a beautiful community to house a public university and there is a great need for an educated workforce in the science and tech areas in the state. A STEAM themed campus would help heal the struggling local economy and strengthen California as a whole. Building a University of California in Redding is the right thing to do at the right time, for the right reasons.