Tucson Progressive

Pamela Powers Hannley, a progressive voice for Arizona

If Richard Carmona Were a Student Today, Would Pima College Accept Him? (video)

US Senate Candidate and former Surgeon General Dr. Richard Carmona makes no bones about his life on the streets of Harlem as the son of Puerto Rican immigrants.

A self-described “street kid” who dropped out of high school, Carmona entered the Marines at 17 during the Vietnam War and got a GED so he could join the Special Forces. At the urging of his military buddies, Carmona applied for college and was rejected by all of them except for one– Bronx Community College.

Bronx had an open admission program for returning Vietnam vets; no transcripts or SAT scores were necessary for admission. That community college opportunity for a street kid from Harlem gave the US a dedicated civil servant, an even-handed Surgeon General, and perhaps a US Senator.

Would Pima Community College have accepted Richard Carmona? Pima had an open admissions program— until they decided to drop it last fall. The new admission rules took effect in March 2012.

How many Richard Carmonas will be denied an education in Arizona because of budget cuts, stricter admission standards, and poor high school preparation? Thousands.

In the video below, Carmona talks about the opportunity Bronx Community College gave him and his support for the DREAM Act.

Originally posted on Blog for Arizona on May 5, 2012.

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About

The Tucson Progressive: Pamela Powers Hannley

I stand on the side of Love. I believe in kindness to all creatures on Earth and the inherent self-worth of all individuals--not just people who agree with me or look like me.

Widespread economic and social injustice prompted me to become a candidate for the Arizona House, representing Legislative District 9 in the 2016 election. My platform focuses on economic reforms to grow Arizona's economy, establish a state-based public bank, fix our infrastructure, fully fund public education, growlocal small businesses and community banks, and put people back to work at good-paying jobs. I also stand for equal rights, choice, and paycheck fairness for women. I am running as a progressive and running clean.

My day job is managing editor for the American Journal of Medicine, an academic medicine journal with a worldwide circulation. In addition, my husband and I co-direct Arizonans for a New Economy, Arizona's public banking initiative. I am a member of the national board of the Public Banking Institute, and I am co-chair of the Arizona Democratic Progressive Caucus, the largest caucus of the Arizona Democratic Party.

I am a published author, photographer, videographer, clay artist, mother, nana, and wife. I have a bachelor's degree in journalism from Ohio State University and a masters in public health from the University of Arizona. I grew up in Amherst, Ohio, but I have lived in Tucson, Arizona since 1981. I am a proud member of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Tucson and the Public Relations Society of America.

My Tucson Progressive blog and Facebook page feature large doses of liberal ideas, local, state, and national politics, and random bits of humor. I also blog at Blog for Arizona and the Huffington Post.

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