Things Are Not Looking Good for City College

The Board of Trustees approved taking $21M from the Retiree Health Care Trust Fund to pay for their willful negligence and poor fiscal management of the college and to avoid more class cuts during an election year.

They will be approving cuts totaling more than 1,200 classes a year under one of these four budget scenarios during Trustee meeting right after the November election.

They did the same thing in 2018, when they pretended City College was going to magically gain 2,500 FTES and their budget was going to be balanced during an election year. They lied.


Projected FTES


Time to elect new leadership to the Community College Board and make City College stronger for the next generation. They’ve had plenty of time to right the ship and we need experienced leaders during this time of crisis

To be perfectly clear: this situation could have been avoided - it was the single biggest issue I ran on in 2018 - and nothing has changed (take it from the Interim Chancellor). Our students are suffering because of bad decisions and inexperienced elected officials.

Please help us spread the word and elect experienced leaders.

In Solidarity,


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Immigrants Deserve a Voice in Government

Here's the opinion piece I sent to the SF Chronicle about why everyone in San Francisco should support Proposition C: 

Thank you to San Francisco Board of Supervisors President Norman Yee and Supervisor Shamann Walton for introducing a City Charter Amendment that will allow non-citizens to serve on boards and commissions in San Francisco, and a big thank you to Sarah Souza and the many other activists leading the charge in advocating for this historic opportunity to embrace the voices of our entire community with Proposition C.

I am an immigrant. I was born overseas and my parents brought me to the United States when I was 12. I spent many years after that learning to hide my accent and fearing societal ridicule and state retribution. It wasn’t until moving to San Francisco that I realized that being born and raised overseas isn’t a liability, but an asset. 

Immigrants have the power to see and understand injustices differently. We can compare and contrast more readily. We know what differences “feel” like. And even our brains are wired differently, depending on the languages we speak. 

Immigrants work hard to build community and we work even harder to make it in American society.We fight against inherent and systemic biases. We contribute into the system more than we take out. And we lift up the next generation so they can have a better chance than we did, because not everyone starts at the same place in this Land of Opportunity.

As an immigrant, I have served our country honorably, I have run for office in San Francisco, and I continue to serve our community while thousands of my non-citizen neighbors cannot. I am currently the President of the Veterans Affairs Commission and Co-Chair of the California Democratic Party Resolutions Committee who was elected by the voters of San Francisco Assembly District 17 to serve in the Democratic Party.

I can tell you, unequivocally, that my ability to serve my community is entirely the outcome of a policy decision like the one before the voters this November.

I was born overseas at a time and place when a policy of the United States government granted me the ability to be a citizen without having me or either one of my parents being born on US soil. I am a dual-citizen of Spain and the US by virtue of derivative citizenship and the Citizenship Act of 1978, like my father before me through the Citizenship Act of 1907.

Those policy decisions began, first and foremost, as a moral imperative to right the wrongs caused by war in a foreign country, and the moral decision to take care of the children of US parents born abroad. But relatively few immigrants have the benefit of these and other Citizenship Acts.

Today, we face a different moral imperative: around 700,000 young people in the US cannot serve the communities in which they live because their parents, like mine, brought them to this country as children to give them a better life. The only difference between me and these 700,000 Americans is deferred action by the US government and a policy that can be changed. And here, in San Francisco, we can start to turn the tide and give thousands of immigrants a voice in government. 

We now have the power to change the policy that prohibits non-citizens from serving our community on boards and commissions. This is our moral imperative and the goal of the courageous local activists leading the change with their stories and immigrant voices: to give everyone in our community a voice in the decision-making progress. 

It’s time to grant non-citizens the ability to serve our community on boards and commissions by voting Yes on Proposition C.

Governor Gavin Newsom signed SB225 into law to allow non-citizens to serve on boards and commissions at the local and state levels, and I hope you will support the San Francisco Charter Amendment on the November ballot to extend that right locally. It is a necessary change to ensure our entire community is better represented and able to serve in San Francisco.

Immigrants - we get the job done!

Victor Mateo Olivieri Cristino

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City College to Cut Millions of Dollars from Faculty Lines

I have been posting about the dire financial situation that City College of San Francisco is facing for weeks and it has been picked up and reported by the San Francisco Chronicle and other outlets. I believe it is critical for you to hear directly from the key administrators who are working diligently to right the wrongs of the poor decisions that the Board has made these last 3-4 years (before COVID-19).

The elected Board of Trustees will decide next week to cut tens of million of dollars in full-time and part-time faculty expenses over the next three years, resulting in another round of massive class cuts. Here are their four budget scenarios to be discussed during the next Board of Trustees meeting on October 22 and voted on during the meeting right after the election, on November 12

To be perfectly clear: this situation could have been avoided - it was the single biggest issue I ran on in 2018 - and nothing has changed. This is not slinging mud, this is not Monday night quarterbacking, these are the facts, and now you can hear them from the people actually trying to solve the problems I campaigned on two years ago.

Video 1: Chancellor Vurdien Discusses Dire Fiscal Situation at CCSF

Learn about the dire fiscal situation City College is facing, including the history of how we got here, the fiscal cliff coming up, and what the outlook is from the Interim Chancellor who's leading the college through these perilous times.


Video 2: Deputy Chancellor Gonzales Provides Brief Financial History of CCSF

City College is in dire financial trouble, again, but how did we get here? Dianna Gonzales, a long-time and respected administrator at City College explains some of the key aspects that led us here over these last 3-4 years.


Video 3: Deputy Chancellor Gonzales Explains State Student Centered Formula

Many people think that changes to the state funding formula have left City College impoverished, but that couldn't be further from the truth. Dianna Gonzales, a long-time and respected administrator at CCSF explains how the formula has not affected City College and warns of the future outlook.

I hope that these videos help demystify the absolutely dire fiscal situation at City College and that more and more people will be inspired to spread the word: we need new leadership on the Community College Board.

In solidarity,


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Stronger for the Next Generation

Imagine moving to a country 6,000 miles away, not speaking the language, not knowing anyone, and then trying to make it after barely finishing high school. That was me. 

I didn’t speak English when I moved to the US. I struggled through ESL classes and the public school system, and I had to take remedial English at my community college to graduate late from high school.

I wouldn’t be where I am today without my community college.

Now that I am here, I’m going to do everything I can to help guide City College in the right direction and make sure it’s stronger than ever for the next generation. But we have a lot of work to do...

I don’t know if you saw the Chronicle’s coverage, but City College is once again on the fast-track to losing its accreditation.

I need your help in spreading the word and asking people to vote for change on the Community College Board. Please share my story and remind people to please vote for Victor!

Thank you for all the love and support,


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City College Accreditation at Risk Again

The Chair of the ACCJC sent a letter to the CCSF Interim Chancellor detailing their decision to place City College on enhanced monitoring after finding them to be an at-risk institution (lowest rating) due to the financial mismanagement that has occurred these last few years. Here's coverage of the situation from the SF Chronicle.

The letter is pretty self-explanatory, with the most egregious findings being:

  • Deficits averaging $13.3 Million over a three year period
  • Reduced cash reserves from $53 Million to less than $600K in a three year period (due to heavy deficit spending)
  • -8.3% operating revenue ratio over three years (average)
  • Salaries accounting for roughly 92% of all expenditures 

This notice comes on top of the findings of the dire independent financial audit released earlier this year, the CCSF budget projections that predict massive deficits without a change to the status quo, and an 18% drop in enrollment that has occurred since last fall semester. 

ACCJC Accreditation Letter

These are truly heartbreaking news in the midst of a year which will already go down in infamy.

In solidarity, 


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Get to Know my Story and Please Share it

Word of mouth and social media will greatly shape this election with everyone working from home and not being able to interact with campaigns in person. Every voter in San Francisco will get their mail-in ballots the first week of October. Now is the time when I could really use your help.

Most people don't know who to vote for in my race and many others will pass up the opportunity to vote for the Community College Board. 

You have the power shape this election 

Please help our campaign by posting the video on social media and texting or emailing it to your friends and family

Simply copy/paste the link onto any email, social media platform, or into your text, and send to your contacts before ballots go out on October 5th


Thank you for all the support and love,



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I'm Getting Married!

This Saturday, September 19th, I get to marry the love of my life, so I'll be taking a bit of time off the campaign trail. After that, we'll be in the final sprint to Election Day and I could use all the help you can offer. This year has thrown a lot at us, but I've never been happier to have such a wonderful partner by my side. I look forward to hitting the campaign trail with nothing but the finish line ahead and the most comprehensive plans ever devised to finally steer City College in the right direction.

Meet Shannon K. Hovis, Director of NARAL Pro-Choice California

Sending lots of love during these perilous times.

Please stay safe and healthy,

Victor & Shannon

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City College's Dire Financial Picture

The latest independent City College audit found deeply troubling actions had been approved by the Board of Trustees:

  • Artificially inflated budgets
  • Heavy and recurring deficit spending that began in FY 2016-2017
  • Reliance on temporary stabilization funding to subsidize deficit spending
  • Deficit spending on deeply flawed assumptions of student demand and enrollment
  • The inefficient operation of 9 campuses, one of which is closed and two that serve less than 200 students 
  • The lack of minimum fund balance requirements
  • The lack of sound fiscal management or a budget stabilization plan

City College is also projecting MASSIVE DEFICITS for the next five years:

  • $5.3M deficit on top of an 18% drop in enrollment for the remainder of this year (FY2020-2021)
  • $23.5M (FY2021-2022) - 11.7% of the total budget (before COVID-19 reduction in enrollment)
  • $52.2M (FY2022-2023) - 25.3% of the total budget (before COVID-19 reduction in enrollment)
  • $83.8M (FY2023-2024) - 40% of the total budget (before COVID-19 reduction in enrollment)
  • $125M (FY2024-2025) - 59.2% of the total budget (before COVID-19 reduction in enrollment)

The "structural deficit" City College faces is easy to rectify: elect leaders with the skills needed to steer City College in the right direction

  • Professional experience as an academic administrator and as a professor
  • First-hand understanding of what our students are experiencing
  • Resolve to make the difficult decisions that lie ahead

I hope that you will join me as we fight to remake City College in service of the thousands of students who depend on this pivotal institution to work towards a degree, learn a new skill to better support their families in a post-COVID-19 economy, and take community classes to remain engaged in lifelong education.

I Have the Plans


In Solidarity, 


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Invest In Black Lives at City College

I was on the Golden Gate Bridge the day we marched to support the Black Lives Matter movement. It was a monumental experience that I will never forget. But we can't let moment pass us by and have our words fade in vain.

Yesterday, I spent an hour speaking with leaders from the Black Student Union at City College to discuss their demands and the way forward at City College.

The path seems quite clear to me 

On the Bridge

Here's my statement on the record, for the last CCSF Trustee meeting (8/27/20):

"Black Lives Matter" and "budgets are moral documents" - these two statements are intrinsically linked when it comes to providing equitable access to the quality education we provide at City College, and the Board of Trustees has done next to nothing to support our Black students. If the Board of Trustees doesn’t systematically invest in the support structures our students of color need, they simply don’t care about providing equitable access to education. If the Board of Trustees doesn’t fully fund and support the African American Studies Resource Center, including hiring of a full-time faculty advisor, they don’t care about our Black students. It’s not enough to say "Black Lives Matter" - you have to put your money where your mouth is and Invest in Black Lives. Reinstate LALS 5 for the Fall Semester, reinstate the dully elected Chair of African American Studies, prioritize the funding of the African American Studies Resource Center and a dedicated faculty advisor, and support the demands of the Black Student Union. Nothing short of that will suffice in providing equitable access to education at City College.

We have a lot of work to do to correct generations of systemic racism and institutional oppression, and I truly believe City College is the place where we can begin to systematically Invest in Black Lives today.

Will you help us?

In Solidarity,


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The Most Embarrassing Photo I Will Probably Ever Share

I was a straight out of high school and a first-generation college student, taking English, Anthropology, and EMT courses, and I had no clue about what I was doing with my life (or my hair). But I learned A LOT while attending community college and...

I became an EMT

I spent most of my college days working in the Emergency Department of our local hospital and my summers working with the Minority Medical Education Program at the Medical School, where I attended to thousands of critical patients and helped usher the next generation of students of color into medical school and the allied health fields.


I understand what first responders are going through and I know what it takes to make sure we support them during and after the COVID-19 pandemic, because I was one. At City College, we need to:

  1. Strategically develop public-private partnerships and provide expanded and accelerated certificate curriculum programs to train the next generation of first responders and allied health technology workers

  2. Systematically prioritize the programs that lead to good-paying jobs in the post-COVID-19 economy and scale those programs along with our community programs to ensure maximum availability and a balanced budget

  3. Invest in specialized counselors, student resource groups, and learning communities that will guide first-generation students and undeserved populations into these great jobs in our community 
  4. Expedite the construction of the Allied Health Services Center on the John Adams campus (on Masonic Drive) using a rapid BOOT model

At this rate, City College will close in the next 2-4 years and thousands of students, faculty, and staff will be left out in the cold without a way to get a degree or land a better job in the post-COVID-19 economy.

More than 75% of our nurses, firefighters, and EMTs are trained through community colleges 

I hope that you will join me as we fight to remake City College in service of the thousands of students who depend on this pivotal institution to work towards a degree, learn a new skill to better support their families in a post-COVID-19 economy, and take community classes to remain engaged in lifelong education.

There's a tough road ahead, but I'm confident that we can succeed and put City College on the right path together.


Thank you for your love and support,


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City College in the News - Hindsight is 2020

City College is in dire trouble because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but many people don't realize that the College has been in trouble (and in the news) for a long time due to poor leadership.

I'm running for the Community College Board because the buck stops with the elected members of the Board of Trustees.

The Trustees oversee the budget and the work of the City College Chancellor and the administration, and they are ultimately responsible for the health of the public institution that is supposed to help so many. 

Here's what's been happening with City College these last two years...

City College announces more class cuts for fall 2020

City College closes Fort Mason Center after 40 years of supporting the arts there

City College cuts 863 classes for the 2019-2020 academic year

City College ends its older adult classes, leaving 2,000 out in the cold

City College cuts diversity classes amidst budget woes

City College cuts over 300 classes for spring and summer 2019 to stave off $13 Million deficit after draining all budget reserves

City College asks for $845 Million bond to make up for years of deferred maintenance and fix dilapidated buildings unsafe for instruction

City College Trustees attempt to quietly raise administrator salaries amidst hundreds of class cuts and the firing of faculty and counselors to close a $32 Million deficit

City College breaks promise to lab aides by not proving pay raises to meet SF's minimum wage and cutting their hours

City College faces another dire budget crisis after spending $22.6 Million more than it collected in FY 2018 alone

Free City program loses $5 Million through 2018

We've been hearing the call to "Save City College" or that someone "Saved City College" while our students continue to suffer. Enough is enough.

It's time to elect leaders with the skills needed to turn City College around:

  • Professional experience as an academic administrator and as a professor
  • Real first-hand understanding of what our students are experiencing
  • Resolve to make the difficult decisions that lie ahead

I hope that you will join me as we fight to remake City College in service of the thousands of students who depend on this pivotal institution to work towards a degree, learn a new skill to better support their families in a post-COVID-19 economy, and take community classes to remain engaged in lifelong education.

Ready to Run (with my Fiancee)


There's a tough road ahead, but I'm confident that we can succeed and put City College on the right path together.

Thank you for your love and support,


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In the Past Year...

About a year ago, I took a hard look at everything we had accomplished during our campaign for the San Francisco Community College board, and I told you I would run again.

Here’s what I have been up to in the past year...

In January 2019, right off the bat, I ran for the California Democratic Party and won a seat alongside my slate mates to take 13 of the 14 seats in Assembly District 17


Celebrating Veterans Month legislation with David Chiu

I then went on to author and pass 6 Resolutions at the California Democratic Party Convention in San Francisco:

  1. A More Representative US House of Representatives and Electoral College
  2. Proportional Representation and Multi-Member Districts for California
  3. The Decriminalization of Pregnancy Loss in California
  4. Public Lifelong Learning Model
  5. The Commodification, Regulation, and Protection of User Data
  6. California High Speed Rail project as a Green New Deal Proof-of-Concept

Altogether, in the last three years as a member of the resolutions committee, I have worked with elected officials, trade associations, subject matter experts, and key constituent groups across the state to submit 434 resolutions with appropriate recommendations and amendments to the Party.

I also voted to close a major loophole in Prop 13 and to support Schools and Communities First with the Public Preschool, K-12, and College Health and Safety Bond Act of 2020, and voted to support several other state-wide propositions that embody our San Francisco values. 

And I became the Co-Chair of the CADEM Resolutions Committee so I can have greater leadership of our Party’s direction in 2020.


At the local level, I was unanimously re-appointed by the Board of Supervisors to continue to serve San Francisco as a City Commissioner on the Veterans Affairs Commission.


After getting sworn in by Mayor London Breed 


I went on to organize and host the first Veterans Summit with representatives from 11 City, State, and Federal departments and agencies to better understand the need for programs of economic development, health care, and social services as they relate to the problems, interests, and needs of veterans who reside in San Francisco.

I then authored San Francisco’s Veterans Month Resolution with Supervisors Catherine Stefani and Gordon Mar as the Sponsors, to recognize every November as Veterans Month in San Francisco and urge all San Franciscans to recognize veterans in their community through acts of kindness. Most importantly, the resolution also:

  • Reaffirms the City’s commitment to prioritize the hiring of veterans
  • Emphasizes the need for increased outreach for veterans mental health services
  • Supports the mission and work of Swords to Plowshares, Chinatown Community Development Center, and other veterans service organizations in providing housing, compassionate support, and education services to our veterans
  • Provides unwavering City support for policies and programs that assist veterans in our community


Leading Veterans Month Legislation



On the personal side, I took a position directing the work of over 500 employees for a local company and went back to my roots as an educator, and started teaching political science classes again as an Adjunct Professor.


Celebrating with Shannon Hovis


I celebrated my 40th birthday in April and I got engaged to the love of my life in November, who is the State Director of a national women’s reproductive freedom advocacy organization in San Francisco.


Walking home after our engagement


Together, we have marched for PRIDE, women's rights, the environment, Veterans Day, Memorial Day, and supported non-profit organizations and progressive candidates across the state.

It’s been a great year!

Stay tuned for much more to come in 2020…

Thank you for your love and support,


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It has taken me a long time to write this… I gave everything I had to that election.

I want to begin by thanking everyone that helped the campaign along the way. People from all over the city supported me with their time, their volunteering, and their fundraising. Together, we inspired thousands of people. We reminded them of just how important City College is for San Francisco and, more importantly, we reminded them that our students deserve better. I couldn’t have done it without you. Thank you.

In the end, 101,368 people voted for me. They voted to change the status quo. We fell short.

I have received hundreds of texts, emails, and calls from friends in the last month. People stop me in the street and they tell me “I voted for you!” Words cannot adequately convey these feelings. I have been overwhelmed at times, because I love San Francisco and what we started here, and because I’m sorry I couldn’t get us there.

It’s time to put aside the results of the campaign and focus on what is truly important – making a difference. I have always been driven by the desire to do the most good, whether I was serving our country, teaching in the classroom, or running for office. This is the essence of public service.

Looking ahead to the new year, Assemblymember David Chiu asked me to join his slate of 14 candidates for the California Democratic Party Assembly Delegate election on January 12th. For those of you who live in Assembly District 17, please join me here.

As I pick myself up from this campaign, I want to assure you that I will continue to champion the policy goals we set forth at the beginning of our campaign for City College, continue my work on the San Francisco Veterans Affairs Commission, and remain involved in the city through various Democratic clubs and civic organizations.

I wouldn’t be where I am today without setbacks along the way, I’m used hearing “no, this isn’t for you.” I’ve always persevered, and this is no different.

We ran a solid and principled campaign. Stay tuned for much, much more in the coming years.

Thank you for your love and support,


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One Week to Go and a Video

With one week to go in this campaign, I'm leaving no stone unturned and I hope you can help me: Please sign up to volunteer for GOTV (Get Out The Vote) between now and Election Day.

I'm honored to have earned endorsements from so many strong leaders who inspire me, from Lieutenant Governor (and the next Governor of California!) Gavin Newsom, Board of Equalization Member (and the next Treasurer of California!) Fiona Ma, CPA, Congresswoman and House Democratic Leader (and the next Speaker of the House!) Nancy Pelosi, and of so many others!

As a first-time candidate, so much high profile support has made people take notice of our campaign, but it's your support that has truly fueled our campaign. Your contributions make it so that we can buy campaign materials (we just picked up 2,000 more flyers today!), and your volunteer campaigning made it so that we've visited every corner of the city and reached thousands of voters.

Please help in this final week however you can, whether with a contribution to help pay for those flyers we picked up today, or by volunteering to help GOTV and get those flyers to voters over the next 7 days. Or both!

Finally, I also want to share something I recorded last week about why I'm running for City College. I'm honored to be endorsed by Run For Something, and a couple weeks ago they asked me to create this, and I'm glad I did. Please check out the video and share it on Facebook (or Twitter) to let everyone know that you're supporting Dr. Victor Olivieri for City College Board!

Victor's Run For Something Video

I wouldn't have made it this far without you. Thank you for everything you've done to help make our campaign a success!


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Major New Endorsements!

I am excited to share several major new endorsements for my campaign for City College Trustee: President of the Board of Supervisors Malia Cohen, District 9 Supervisor Hillary Ronen, School Board Member Matt Haney, San Francisco Fire Fighters Local 798, San Francisco Eastern Neighborhoods Democratic Club, Edwin M. Lee Asian Pacific Democratic Club, San Francisco Women’s Political Committee, Gay Asian Pacific Alliance, City Democratic Club, and FDR Democratic Club of San Francisco for Seniors and People with Disabilities.

Our campaign has received an incredibly broad and representative set of endorsements in the race for City College, including nine current and former City College Trustees. Students, faculty, and residents across the city agree that it’s time for positive change in City College.

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