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BlogNew Organizing Project (NOP)

Apes and AB131

By August 26, 2011No Comments

By David Cho
New Organizing Project blogger


How in the world does a movie about apes relate to AB131? (Photo Credit:


Don’t you hate it when you go into a movie (after paying 15 bucks for the ticket) with high expectations, but you come out feeling unsatisfied? You went in the theatre with a certain expectation that x, y, and z would happen and that you would come out of the theatre wishing you had paid more than 15 dollars (just kidding). It doesn’t always happen. It’s not your fault. Blame your friend who hyped it up for you before entering the theatre.

I mean, didn’t you feel that way after watching “The Rise of the Planet of the Apes”? I did. Many of my friends urged me to watch it and insisted that it was such an EPIC movie.

I came out of the theatre with Jane feeling like the movie was not worth… 15 bucks (30 bucks total). She was sad the entire night. I’ll be honest; the Computer Generated Imagery (CGI) was spectacular, but I would have been more satisfied watching Planet Earth at home.

Anyway, I promise you this isn’t a rant. I wanted to tie this story with yesterday’s update on AB131. AB131, the second part of the CA Dream Act which would allow undocumented students to apply for state-funded financial aid, was taken out of the Senate Appropriations Committee. It now awaits the state Assembly and Senate, and Governor Brown.

How does AB131 relate to “The Rise of the Planet of the Apes”?. I can confidently say that AB131 coming out of the Senate Appropriations Committee was monumental. Many would agree. AB131 offers a chance for thousands of undocumented high school and college students to finally have an opportunity to tap into a pool of funds that they are contributing as part of their tuition.

I was ecstatic to find that AB131 was taken out of the Senate Appropriations Committee. However, my happiness quickly subsided upon reading an amendment to the bill. The amendment modified the implementation date of AB131 from July 2012 to January 2013, to reduce cost. Though many of my peers were celebrating by massively posting on Facebook and Twitter (and they have every right to feel accomplished), I felt a little disappointed because students didn’t have a say in the amendment.

The fact that AB131 came out of the Senate Appropriations Committee is undoubtedly a huge victory for undocumented youth. In addition to funding, AB131 provides hope to young undocumented students in elementary and middle school that they, too, can go to college. But my feeling after watching “The Rise of the Planet of the Apes” was, in a way, comparable to how I felt after yesterday’s news. Let me be clear: the efforts by relentless and passionate students putting overwhelming pressure on politicians by calling their offices, signing online petitions, assembling in town halls, and rallying at protests was all worth it. I just wish both events were fully satisfying.