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San Francisco to offer free community college to residents: mayor

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San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee said on Tuesday the city would become the first in the United States to offer tuition-free community college to its residents, framing the move as a way of helping to narrow wealth inequality in the city.

The $5.4 million plan also includes $500 grants to low-income City College of San Francisco students to spend on books, transportation, school supplies and healthcare, Lee said in a posting on online publishing site Medium.com. Grants of $200 would also be made available to poor part-time students, he said.

“At a time when the political rhetoric is punishing those who are less fortunate, San Francisco has again united around our values and taken the national lead on this important issue of equality,” Lee said.

The mayor’s office did not return a call for comment beyond the posting.

The college charges $46 per unit, according to its website. The plan is to take effect in the fall.

San Francisco Supervisor Jane Kim spearheaded the initiative. Kim was endorsed last year by U.S. Senator and presidential candidate Bernie Sanders in her unsuccessful state senate bid.

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Both she and Sanders ran campaigns that focused in part on dealing with the crisis of student debt, which totals more than $1 trillion in the United States.

During a news conference on Monday, Kim said San Francisco has “the fastest growing income gap of any city across the nation,” citing research from the Brookings Institute.

“We as politicians, as policymakers are responsible for at least trying to reverse those trends. And one of the best ways we can do that is investing in our citizens,” she said.

The plan aims to increase enrollment at the community college by 20 percent.

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The San Francisco Chronicle newspaper reported that funding will come from a real estate transfer tax that was approved by voters last November.

(Reporting by Curtis Skinner in San Francisco)

Report typos and corrections to [email protected].
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‘Talk is cheap’: Internet rejects Trump’s Juneteenth commemoration

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On Wednesday, President Donald Trump honored Juneteenth, the commemoration of the day in 1865 when all slaves were officially freed.

"For millions of African Americans, Juneteenth has served as an opportunity to celebrate the fundamental truth that all people are created equal and that liberty is a right endowed by our Creator," Trump said in a statement issued by the White House.

"Across our country, the contributions of African Americans continue to enrich every facet of American life," Trump continued. "This Juneteenth, as we vow always to uphold the God-given rights of all Americans, we pay tribute to the indomitable spirit of African Americans."

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2020 Election

Florida Republicans concoct a new scheme to make it harder for students to vote

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Florida Republicans do not want to make voting easy for college students — a demographic that leans heavily Democratic.

Former GOP Secretary of State Ken Detzner, an appointee of Gov. Rick Scott, took that to the extreme in 2014, with an order banning county election officials from setting up any early voting sites on college campuses. Last year, following a lawsuit by the League of Women Voters, federal District Judge Mark Walker struck down that order as an unconstitutional burden on students' voting rights. As a result, some 60,000 people were able to vote early on 11 college campuses in Florida in 2018.

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WATCH: Trump supporter arrested for smacking reporter’s phone outside Orlando rally

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A Trump supporter was arrested during an altercation with a reporter and another man outside the president's Orlando campaign rally.

Video recorded by an Orlando Sentinel reporter shows a man wearing a red "Make America Great Again" hat and another man outside the Amway Center, where President Donald Trump officially kicked off his 2020 campaign.

The two men appear to be arguing with one another, although the second man also appears to be angry about something that took place inside the arena, when the man wearing the Trump hat notices the reporter recording them with a phone.

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