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San Diego Professor, Students Make Halfway Point In Statewide March

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Aired 4/2/10

San Diego community college professor Jim Miller has marched halfway up California in the name of public education. He's about 200 miles away from Sacramento, the final destination.

— San Diego community college professor Jim Miller has marched halfway up California in the name of public education. He's about 200 miles away from Sacramento, the final destination.

San Diego City College professor Jim Miller, far left, takes a class photos with his son Walt and his classmates at McKinley Elementary School in San Diego.
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Above: San Diego City College professor Jim Miller, far left, takes a class photos with his son Walt and his classmates at McKinley Elementary School in San Diego.

Miller teaches English at San Diego City College. He and a core group of marchers began their trek about a month ago in Bakersfield. The March for California's Future is about the need to restore and increase taxes to fund education and other services.

The activists have made a myriad of stops at schools, churches and community halls along the way. Miller says small Central Valley towns have been receptive to the message despite being more conservative. He says that makes the blisters well worth it.

"Its been good. Literally you'll be in the middle of nowhere, then you walk to a little town, and then you're walking by someone's front yard," Miller said. "We pass them a flier and say 'We're heading to Sacramento.' And they say, 'My god really? You walked 200 miles to get here?'"

Seventeen San Diego college students joined Miller during their Spring Break.

Jose Rodriguez, 24, says he would rather spend his time marching for a good cause than take a spring break trip somewhere. Rodriguez says it was easy for him to connect with Central Valley residents because he grew up a small rural town.

"A lot of the individuals that I met along the way have a similar mentality like people back home," Rodriguez said. "I can relate directly to that. And these are the people that need the most help."

The core group of marchers will make its way into Sacramento in about two more week. The next big stop is Stockton.

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