For the first time in City College of San Francisco’s 83-year-history, a Latina will sit at the helm of its governing board.
Brigitte Davila, whose family hails from the north-central Mexican state of Aguascalientes, was elected to replace Thea Selby as the board’s president for the 2018-19 school year on Thursday night. Davila, who previously was the board’s vice president, will serve alongside newly minted Chancellor Mark Rocha, who is Latino.
“We are [CCSF’s] first Latino team,” said Davila, adding that in the “age of Trump,” the election immigrant representation in leadership positions is especially significant.
Davila is serving her fourth year on the Board of Trustees. For more than two decades, she has taught in the Latino Studies Department at San Francisco State University.
“I want to make sure we become a Hispanic serving institution. Latinos make up more than 50 percent of public schools, it’s a very Latino state,” she said. “The better educated Latinos are, the better off all Californians are.”
Jorge Bell, dean of City College’s Mission Campus, called Thursday’s election “historic.”
“This chancellor and new president have been committed to making CCSF a sanctuary college within a sanctuary city in a sanctuary state,” Bell said. “I think this will help the efforts of the Latino immigrants and all immigrants that live in San Francisco.”
Also elected to a leadership position was openly gay Trustee Alex Randolph, who is black, and will take over Davila’s post as vice president.
Randolph thanked Selby for leading the college through what the trustees agreed was a “trying year.”
“You stepping up through the first year of implementing ‘Free City,’ through various chancellors and now a permanent chancellor here. We want to thank you for your steady leadership and for taking charge of this college through an interesting time,” he said. “I hope that I can learn a lot from you over the next year and for many years to come.”