John served as President of the Board of Trustees for three years and Vice President for two years. He was the Chair of the Board's Facilities, Infrastructure, and Technology Committee, which oversaw the construction of two major projects in Chinatown and Ocean Campus.
John worked to smoothly implement the Free City program, which provides San Francisco residents with free tuition at City College. Voters in 2016 approved the program, which is funded by a tax on sales of property over $5 million. The goal was to put the complex program into action without making it harder for students to register.
John is now working to make sure that the Free City program becomes permanent, as voters intended, instead of ending next year. He also pushed back against City Hall bureaucrats when they refused to fund tuition during summer session, in contradiction to voter's wishes. John will continue to fight to make sure City College is free every summer, fall and spring.
John fought to bring the College out of the accreditation crisis of a few years ago. He took many trips to Sacramento and Washington DC to lobby our representatives, and testified before a US Department of Education Committee in Washington DC and before committees of the California legislature. After the courts ruled in favor of City College, John continued the fight until the State of California replaced the leaders of the accreditation commission.
Winning also meant making tough decisions, including bring costs under control, bringing in auditors, and reforming management and hiring new administrators. John is a member of City College's Accreditation Steering Committee, making sure that the College continues to do the required annual planning and documenting.
John passed a Board of Trustees bill that resurrected the Performing Arts and Education Center. A project approved by voters in 2001 and 2005, the Performing Arts and Education Center was cancelled by a special trustee during the accreditation crisis. John has been the Board's leading advocate to build the much-needed Center, which will contain three theaters, backstage areas, and facilities to train students not just in the arts but in the technical aspects of production. The building will also be available to local arts groups.
The PAEC will house Diego Rivera's fresco, Pan American Unity, a 74-foot-long masterpiece created in 1940. The fresco is now housed in an old campus building that could not withstand a major earthquake.
John is now working on the next steps, which include getting a completed design approved by the state Department of the State Architect and raising the funds needed for construction.
Before President Trump was sworn in, John coauthored the College's Sanctuary Campus Policy, one of the first in the state. This policy mandates that campus policy will not cooperate with federal immigration agents, that student records will remain sealed, to provide information on students' rights and resources, and to make sure that undocumented students feel safe on City College Campuses.
City College also wrote and amicus brief for a Sanctuary Cities lawsuit against the Trump administration. The lawsuit won in court, thus preventing the Trump administration from punishing cities and public colleges.