A Message from Christina Christie, Wasserman Dean

This coming Tuesday is election day. Please – Vote! As citizens, voting is our most important responsibility. It is the most basic and fundamental act of our democracy. To help you, experts at the UCLA School of Education and Information Studies have developed an online resource with information about how and where to vote, and background related to the issues on the ballot. You can access the site here.

Our votes this year will shape the future of our communities, our state, and our nation. At the state level, among other issues, Propositions 15 and 16 have important implications for the funding of public education and for access to higher education and other institutions. Our voting site offers links to information about all of the propositions. There is also a link to an overview of Proposition 15 by EdSource, and an analysis by the UCLA Civil Rights Project of Proposition 16, which would reverse the state’s ban on affirmative action. The materials include both a policy brief and a summary of scholarly findings on affirmative action bans. You can access the Civil Rights Project resources here.

At the national level, the race for the presidency will determine the future direction of our nation. Education policy has received little attention in the campaign, and there are important differences between the candidates’ positions. You can find information about where Donald Trump and Joe Biden stand on education issues in this comparison in Education Dive.

There is much tension related to this election. The results are consequential for our community and will impact immigration, healthcare, climate change, civil rights and other critical issues. My hope is that even during this polarized time, we will respect one another’s differences, value our democratic processes, and commit to treating each other with respect. We must honor the fundamental principles of our democracy if it is to function and for our community to thrive.

In this issue of Ampersand, I would also like to call your attention to the article about Information Studies Professor Safiya Noble, who took part in a TIME100 Conversation, moderated by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. Issues addressed included the ways in which the internet can be used to amplify hatred and bias against vulnerable populations. This is a critically important field of work. We are grateful to Professors Noble and Sarah Roberts for their global leadership in this area.

As faculty members of UCLA Education and Information Studies, we are at forefront of the most important issues of this decade. We thank you for standing with us as agents of change.

Please be safe and well during this Fall season.