Vince Fong speaks about issues within California

Jacqueline Gutierrez , Reporter

Assemblyman Vince Fong spoke in the Levan Center about his journey, homelessness, and answered audience questions on Oct. 9. 

Vince Fong, who was born and raised in Bakersfield, now represents his hometown in Sacramento. 

Fong explained that he sits on the budget committee and that he is the vice chair for transportation. Fong also explained how he deals with the homelessness issue in California and touched on the topic of homelessness in community colleges. 

“We have to build more shelters. There was a lawsuit and Boise, Idaho ruled in a very unfortunate way that you can’t provide services or encourage someone to leave the streets unless there is an available shelter bed. That has complicated the way communities in California offer services,” Fong said. 

Fong stated that in January there will be a bill discussed to allow all colleges and universities to allow homeless students to sleep in their cars in the college parking lots. 

The colleges and universities will also need to provide free security, showers, and toilets for these students. 

“The homeless problem has gotten so bad that the fear is that we will convert every college parking lot into a low barrier shelter,” Fong stated. 

In January, if this bill passes the security, showers, and toilets will not be funded by the state which may cause a raise in the tuitions, stated Fong. 

Fong also discussed that the greatest challenge to form a lasting legislation is that the California government is trying to make the state government more transparent. 

“I believe that the average citizen should know what their state government is doing and so we want to create a third-party neutral person,” Fong said. 

An audience member asked Fong about the controversial topic about the separation of North and South California. 

“I’m not for breaking the state up. There is a growing debate and I think our state can be governed together… we have to figure out how to blend the two parts of the state together,” said Fong. 

Fong stated that the big difference between the North and South of California is not partisan related, but it is the difference between big city and small city.