Adjunct Assistant Professor of Film and Media Studies
What de Blasio represents right now is the most progressive voice we’ve heard in New York City in decades. He’s identified the most important issues that affect us where we live in our daily lives, which are issues of economic inequality. He understands that CUNY is central to addressing those issues. He’s also spoken out strongly against stop-and-frisk. The majority of us who live in the city are people of color and we are scared for our children whenever they leave the house.
Professor, Library Department
LaGuardia Community College
For me, Bill de Blasio is a breath of fresh air. He seems to be for education. He’s not in developers’ pockets like Bloomberg. He comes out of a middle-class family and he seems to be aware that many people are struggling.
We would greatly benefit from the extra money he has promised to dedicate to CUNY. We need more time with our students because they are not properly prepared. Many of them have never set foot in a library or written a research paper. To be in a large class is detrimental to their education. They need full-time professors who can spend extra time with them.
Bill de Blasio is clearly the most qualified candidate, and there’s no question in my mind that he is the best choice for working families. It’s been very tough over the last several years without any contract or raises. My concern is that we get a fair contract that includes present and future raises for all our members. If Bill becomes mayor, he will be someone that city employees can negotiate with to get a fair and equitable contract – and that means a lot considering that he appoints one-third of the Board of Trustees.
Associate Professor of Education
We need to bring some sanity to public education. It’s refreshing to have someone in Bill de Blasio whose mind and heart are in the right place when it comes to schools. There’s been a relentless drive for more charter schools, more closings of public schools, more standardized testing.
We need to stop and take stock of what’s working and what’s not. Some charter schools have a 50% teacher turnover rate and that’s a very poor model. De Blasio’s desire to expand early childhood education is a good position to take. Plenty of research shows that the quality of the pre-school education children get is connected to how well students do when they enter regular school. Over time, this would be a critical part of narrowing the achievement gap.
Professor of Urban Affairs and Planning
The themes de Blasio has advanced in his campaign are clearly progressive. His victory in the Democratic primary reflect a deep dissatisfaction with Bloomberg’s pro-real estate policies that led to a rash of luxury housing, gentrification and the privatization of schools and other services.
We need to take this opportunity to organize and become even more committed to a progressive agenda in City Hall because de Blasio, once in office, will have to pacify the bankers and bondholders – or they will blackmail him. Labor and community organizations have to keep up the pressure and maintain an independent voice and not be subsumed into the new administration. People on the inside are needed, but they will be highly constrained by what journalist Jack Newfield called the “permanent government.”
CUNY as an Election Issue: City University Gets Attention in Mayor’s Race