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Tuesday November 8, 2022 — California General Election
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Peralta Community College DistrictCandidate for Trustee, Area 5

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Cindi Reiss

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My Top 3 Priorities

  • Continue the work that of ensuring, then maintaining financial stability (with effective technological implementation) and accountability at all levels throughout the District
  • Continue the work of the functional map of creating and strengthening infrastructural stability, with a strong permanent administration, which will position the District for longevity so that it can serve its communities at the highest levels
  • "Create" a robust post-covid environment by ensuring quality of education through effective outreach, access, equitable outcomes for students; and engaging the District with continued professional development, open dialogue and a culture of value



Profession:Professor/ Accreditation Commissioner/ Incumbent
Art History Professor, West Valley College (2004–current)
Trustee, Area 5, Peralta Community College District — Elected position (2018–current)
Associate Professor, San Francisco State University (2006–2011)


University of California, Irvine Doctorate in Philosophy, Art History (2006)
SFSU Masters Degree, Art History (2001)
University of California Bachelors Degree, Comparative Literature (1996)
University of California Bachelors of Arts, Art History (1996)

Community Activities

Board Member, Daily Bowl (2019–current)
Board Member, Oakland Leaf (2013–2018)


I've been the President of the Peralta Board of Trustees for two years, a VP for one,  and was elected to the seat in 2018. During my leadership, we accomplished much in order to stabilize the District. Peralta has been plagued, for almost two decades, with accreditation, financial, and grave internal issues at all levels. For the first time in many years-- honest, intentional and structural changes are being implemented to ensure that the District is on solid ground for longevity.  In these four years,  we have staved off State takeover of the District;  effected real, structural changes that have taken the District off Accreditation Probation;  responded to creating adequate internal and position controls that  have been continued issues with FCMAT; responded to internal financial controls, FA issues and evidence and documentation that have  been material weaknesses on financial audits yearly ; responded and rebut Grand Jury allegations with evidence...  all amidst the many multiple issues which arose during amost  three years of the pandemic.

In terms of qualifications for the seat, I’ve been a faculty member in the California Community College (CCC) and CSU systems for over  twenty-five years and tenured for the last 15 years at West Valley Community College in the  South Bay. I was VP for my college’s Academic Senate  for six years and very active at the  Statewide Academic Senate (ASCCC), serving on committees such as Governance and Internal  Policies, Legislative Advocacy, Curriculum; co-authoring articles such as  Principles of Sound Faculty Evaluation  , Beyond the Classroom:  Fostering  local and Statewide Engagement in our Faculty , and  Civic Engagement and Civil Discourse:  If Not Now, Then When? ; and presenting on Academic Integrity and AB 1725 at many plenaries,  statewide CCCC CEO and Trustee (CCLC) and  ASCCC events.


Additionally, I have been a Commissioner on the Accreditation Commission for Community and Junior  Colleges (ACCJC) since 2018 and am therefore intimately and experientially familiar with  accreditation, standards, institutional effectiveness, and institutional improvement. This expertise is rare yet important in that I know what is required of California Community Colleges and what best practice models exist in the four areas of accreditation:  Academic quality and Institutional Effectiveness; Student Learning and Support Services; Financial, Human and Technological Resources and in Leadership and Governance.


I have also been active on the CCLC as a member of the DEI (Diversity, Equity and Inclusion) taskforce , giving presentations at CCLC townhalls on DEI and accreditation, as well as reviewing  and contributing to Title V changes re: DEI centered faculty hiring and faculty evaluations. 


These broad positionalities, from the micro to the macro, shape my understanding of the  system. Unlike many who sit in and/or run for this seat, my knowledge is deep and practical within the CCC system, regionally, statewide and locally – but also balanced by a thorough study of documents, data, information and larger context at hand.  

Who supports this candidate?

Political Beliefs

Political Philosophy

As a Trustee for Peralta CCD, my political philosophy is to serve our communities by ensuring we provide a solid foundation which  allows the the four Colleges to advance social and economic transformation for students and the community through quality education, rooted in equity , social justice,  environmental sustainability and partnerships. 

In sum, my philosophy is to fulfill the mission of the District by providing financial, technological, and infrastructural stability and accountability so that the Colleges' classified professionals, faculty, administrators  can accomplish the truly important work of changing students' lives through excellence in education.

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