Twenty-two year old Green Jacob Bloom was elected Associated Students president at Humboldt State University in elections held between May 1st and 2nd. A communication major, Bloom ran as part of a nine candidate slate from the Revolutionary Organization of Students for Action (ROSA). All were elected.
With roots in Occupy, a growing California Student Union, and a variety of student activism groups, ROSA emerged as a grassroots consensus based organization representing a diverse array of student viewpoints and organizing around strategic demands. Some of ROSA’s platform includes fighting tuition increases, increasing food quality, sustainability, and greater administrative transparency and accountability.
In addition to his work with ROSA, Bloom collaborated with Occupy Humboldt State to start the Humboldt Student Union General Assemblies; as well as founded the Humboldt State N.O.R.M.L. chapter, the Campus Greens chapter -- and was instrumental in bringing Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein to campus to speak
during her college tour.
Bloom initially registered to vote as a Democrat when he was 18, excited as many young people were at the time by the rhetoric of then candidate Barack Obama. But also like many people, he became disillusioned and felt misled to once Obama became President, and chose to re-register Green instead, because he came to see it as the only party that reflects his values and allows him to maintain integrity in politics.
“I view the main political parties beyond the local level as the PR department for big business interests. I am Green because I believe in transparent and representative political ideologies that do not just support big business,” Bloom explains. “I feel like it’s hard to have any integrity working within a broken system without being compromised by it. Being Green helps me maintain my integrity by visibly embracing transparent and sensible policy minded values.”
Bloom is already working with student activists to implement green reforms. On May 13, the newly elected Associated Students Board passed a resolution calling on Humboldt State University to divest the institution's endowment from companies that directly profit from the sale of fossil fuels. It is estimated that the Foundation has approximately $3 million currently invested in fossil fuel markets.
Bloom is a part of growing crop of young Greens that are taking leadership positions in student government and campus politics across the state. In Napa, twenty-three year old Green Ruscal Cayangyang
was recently re-elected Student Trustee to the Napa Valley College Board of Trustees, and Jena Goodman
and Alex Shantz
have both been elected as Associated Students President since 2011. The same is true in Santa Monica, where Joshua Scuteri
was Student Trustee on the Santa Monica College Board of Trustees for the 2011-2012 school year. Harrison Wills
was AS President that same year, followed by fellow Green Parker Jean
As a result of his election, Bloom has also become an advocate of Ranked Choice Voting (RCV) as a key electoral reform, where voters can rank candidates in the order of their preference, eliminating the need for run-offs. Bloom was elected
with 55% of the vote
in a two-way run-off, after receiving 30% of the vote in the first round April 23-25. After witnessing a stark decline in voter awareness and turnout between the first round and the run-off, Bloom experienced the benefits of RCV on a personal level and became a more vocal RCV advocate. His arguments were well received; the outgoing Associated Students, recognizing the problem, set aside the proper funding in the budget for RCV’s implementation in the coming year (pending the incoming council’s approval.)