Elections June 7 | About Linda Wah & Why The PCC Board of Trustees is Important

PHOTO: Pasadena.edu | Pasadena City College Campus

We have an election in the coming days and the role of our representative on the Pasadena City College Board of Trustees is on the ballot. But what exactly is the Board of Trustees, what do they do, and why should we care? The board plays an essential role in PCC’s operations.

It is a seven-member board that represents the seven district areas. South Pasadena is part of Area 5, along with San Marino and Temple City. The board is responsible for initiating and approving policies to support the mission and goals of the college, employing and terminating the Superintendent, ensuring the District has a stable budget to support achieving the goals of the District, College students and faculty.

Linda Wah was appointed to the board in September 2010 and has served 2 terms on the PCC Board of Trustees. Wah has served in a number of leadership positions at the state level including President of the California Community College Trustees Board (CCCT), and has been elected to serve on the National Association of Community College Trustees, where she advocates for resources and educational policies with her fellow board members. Wah has helped lead work on the Trustee Diversity Equity Inclusion initiatives, to eliminate the equity gap in California’s educational system by 2027. Her leadership is also reflected on statewide task forces for Workforce, Financial Aid Reform, and Student Success Metrics. She is a co-founder of the Asia Pacific Islander Caucus (APITA), and the Women’s Caucus (CCCWC).

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On why she is running, Wah tells us, “I am running for reelection to the PCC Board of Trustees for a 3rd term because I am passionate about education for our community. PCC has done an outstanding job educating our students and I know we can uplift our communities together through education, where we can all thrive – this is about us rising together.”

Wah is a 1st generation college graduate in her family. “I grew up in a farming area on the Mexican border, where I saw how education could lift the community from poverty,” she explains, “I was the recipient of early College. I entered college after High School, and later returned as a single mother. I know the diversity of our students and their needs because I was one of those students.”

Wah has an extensive history with public education and community service. She attended numerous public colleges like Riverside Community College, Los Angeles Trade Technical College, East Los Angeles College, California State University Los Angeles, University of California Riverside, and the Inter-American University of Puerto Rico.

Wah is endorsed by many national, state, and local leaders. She says the reason for this is “because I am effective in getting resources and programs that benefit our community.  I am honored to have been elected by my peers at PCC and California to represent them across the nation, which have resulted in bringing Millions in funding for our students for Career/Workforce, Financial Aid, and effectively addressing the pandemic.” She goes on to explain, “because of my work, our high school students now have access to Early College/Dual Enrollment and Career/Workforce Pathway credentials.

As a board member for over ten years, Wah has advocated for Dual Enrollment, which allows high school students to enroll in courses at PCC for college credit. She supports PCC Promise, a program that offers two years of free community college for high school graduates attending PCC. Wah supports extending access to resources to address Student Housing and Food Insecurities through the Lancer Pantry, a food distribution program for food-insecure students and their families. And she supports the Veterans Resource Center, which provides wraparound services to student Veterans and their families and dependents.

On the issues Linda Wah wants to prioritize student needs, ensuring they can afford to take classes, buy textbooks, and transportation. Wah continues to advocate for three programs among others to help minimize the financial burdens PCC students face.

  1. PCC Promise – This program offers free tuition for up to two years for students. In order to qualify, candidates must be either a California resident, an AB 540 student, or an AB 1899 student. Income requirements must also be met.
  2. Career & Technical Education (CTE) – Linda Wah believes in PCC’s ability to prepare students with necessary job skills. CTE provides students with various vocational fields, offering associate degrees in computer science, design technology, welding, and automotive technology among others. The degrees are transferable to programs at CSUs, UCs, and private schools.
  3. Dual Enrollment – This program gives current high school students the opportunity to take classes at PCC to earn college credit. Dual enrollment is available in seven districts and 11 high schools.

Voting at the polls starts on June 7, 2022. For more information on voting visit https://www.sos.ca.gov/elections