Higher-education reforms focus of March 1 rally in Auburn

Downtown Auburn rally to provide foundation for larger rally March 5 at Capitol
By: Gus Thomson, Journal Staff Writer
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AUBURN CA - A grassroots group calling itself the Placer 99% movement will be rallying for higher-education reform March 1 in Auburn. Trish Grenfell, of Placer 99%, said the group will hold a peaceful rally from 2-5 p.m. at the Auburn Clock Tower in Downtown Auburn. That will be followed by a march to the Placer County Courthouse in Old Town Auburn at 5 p.m., she said. “The Placer 99% movement stands up for affordable, world-class education for California kids, K-12 to our universities,” Grenfell stated. Rallies in Auburn and throughout California will be an attempt to build support for a March 5 rally at the Capitol in Sacramento. Placer 99% issued a statement in advance of the March 1 rally saying that the “diminishing middle class needs higher education more than ever at a time when the financial obstacles for middle class/poor students are becoming insurmountable.” “Total student loans in the U.S. are now greater than our country’s total credit-card debt,” Placer 99% states. “Tuition at our institutions of higher learning has exploded since 2000, with a near 300-percent increase in tuition for the UC system.” The administration has ballooned, as well, and so has its salaries, the group contends. The rally in Auburn is part of a statewide effort that will include Occupy Wall Street-type rallies and actions at universities. – Gus Thomson