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Protesters interrupted a discussion on education hosted by state assemblyman Nathan Fletcher outside his Miramar office on May 13.

Fletcher, a Republican, started the event by saying he hoped for “a calm conversation” about the budget plan presented a day earlier by GOP leaders in Sacramento. Within ten minutes, however, about 30 protesters began a competing conversation on a sidewalk adjacent to the meeting area. Initially, Fletcher invited the protesters, who numbered about 30, to join the discussion.

“We’re not here to join their official propaganda event,” said Jim Miller, a protester and San Diego City College professor. “We’re here for the truth.”

Fletcher said the Republican budget would foster a resurgence in California’s economy and that budget cuts safeguarded education funding.

“His budget relies on fantasy math,” said Miller, who believes the economic growth forecasts in the GOP proposal are too optimistic.

Peter Zschiesche, a trustee of the San Diego Community College District, joined the protest. Zschiesche praised assembly bill 1130, which aims to raise California’s income tax on the top 1 percent of earners in the state by 1 percent. Signs waved by the protesters read, “Tax the top!” and “Vote yes on AB 1130 — it’s your future.”

Other protesters criticized Fletcher’s opposition to the special June election called for by governor Jerry Brown. Jose Rodriguez, a City College student, called Fletcher’s election stance “undemocratic.”

Before the protesters arrived, about 20 people had been in attendance, most wearing white T-shirts that read, “Fletcher loves schools.”

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