State Assembly Candidate and University of California graduate Eugene Ruyle called for the resignation of UC Regent Richard C. Blum. Candidate Ruyle timed his call to coincide with the Blum Center for Developing Economies Open House on Friday and Saturday, October 5 & 6, part of Cal’s Homecoming.
Noting that Regent Blum is a “symptom, not a cause” of the misplaced values of the University, Ruyle stated that: “By resigning, Blum would not only own up to his own misdeeds, he could begin a process of rethinking the entire structure of the University as the first step in rethinking the way our society itself is structured.” A strong supporter of mass organization and direct action, Ruyle said he looked to Occupy Cal as one of the forces for positive change in the future of the University.
Eugene Ruyle is one of the two candidates for State Assembly in the 15th Assembly District that surrounds the Berkeley campus of the University of California. The 15th State Assembly District runs from West Contra Costa County to Northern Alameda County and includes Hercules, Pinole, San Pablo, Richmond, El Cerrito, Kensington, Albany, Berkeley, Piedmont, and Emeryville, and North Oakland. Much of the district was formerly in Assembly District 14, and the area remains a Democratic Party stronghold. Skinner ran unopposed in 2008 and received over 90% of the vote in the Alameda County portion of District 14 in 2010 against Republican Ryan Hatcher. No Republicans even bothered to run in the June 2012 Primary. This permitted Peace and Freedom Party activist Eugene Ruyle to run as a write in candidate and obtain enough votes to be placed on the November ballot under the new “Top Two” rules created with the passage of Proposition 14 in 2010.
Running with the slogan, “End the Wars, Tax the Rich, Power to the People,” Ruyle supports the working class, socialist, and feminist Platform of the Peace and Freedom Party. A 1963 graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, Eugene Ruyle is Emeritus Professor of Anthropology at California State University, Long Beach. While at Long Beach, Ruyle was a union activist with the California Faculty Association and a member of the Academic Senate. He also worked closely with the local Gabrielino/Tongva Indians in their struggle to save Puvungna, a sacred creation center on the CSULB campus. Administration plans to lease the land for commercial development were ultimately blocked by an ACLU lawsuit on behalf of the Native American community.
As a lifelong educator, Ruyle wants to help build the movement to democratize and de-militarize the University of California in the heart of the 15th Assembly District. Ruyle is a strong support of Occupy Cal as well as Occupy Oakland and progressive social movements everywhere.
Ruyle cited a January 2012 article in Z Magazine by Oakland historian Larry Shoup, and noted that Blum is known as the “alpha dog” of the Regents. A multi-billionaire financier with interests in weapons manufacture, real estate speculation, and private education, Blum is married to U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein who uses her political power to further the couple’s wealth. According to the L.A. Times, Feinstein, as chairperson of the Senate’s Military Construction appropriations subcommittee, supervised and supported the appropriation of over $1.5 billion for two military contractors controlled by Blum: URS Corporation and Perini Corporation.
As major investors in two private educational corporations, the Career Educational Corporation and ITT Educational Services, Blum and Feinstein are also using their power to undermine public education and weaken teacher unions. While Blum presides over tuition raises that force students out of public universities and into his private diploma mills, Feinstein supports school vouchers that use public money to pay for tuition at private or parochial schools.
Candidate Ruyle cited the University’s role in nuclear weapons research as a further example of the misplaced values guiding the University of California: “Every nuclear weapon in the U.S. arsenal, from the Atomic Bombs dropped on the people of Hiroshima and Nagasaki until today, was designed at one of three labs run by the University of California: Los Alamos, Livermore, and the Radiation Lab at Berkeley.”
As an anthropologist, Ruyle also expressed concern about the way in which the University is flouting the Native American Grave Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA). Passed by Congress in 1990, NAGPRA requires all institutions to make their collections of Native American human remains and funeral objects available to the Native American community for reburial. Citing reports that the remains of some 12,000 individuals are still stored in the basement of the Woman’s Gym on the Berkeley campus, Ruyle stated that “NAGPRA represents an effort to address an historical injustice. Some institutions are making good faith efforts to comply with this law, Berkeley is not.”
For more information on Ruyle’s campaign for State Assembly, go to:
Campaign web page: ru4peace.wordpress.com
League of Women Voters Smart Vote web page: http://www.smartvoter.org/2012/11/06/ca/state/vote/ruyle_e
Project Vote Smart web page:nvotesmart.org/candidate/104255/eugene-ruyle
Peace and Freedom Party web page: nhttp://www.peaceandfreedom.org