For York and Jamaica
Anthony Andrews, assistant director of student activities at York College, already knows how to build political alliances to bring resources to York College students. He has been active with the union’s Committee on Legislation and was instrumental in organizing to get the college to address its rat infestation (see June/July 2017 Clarion). Now Andrews wants to use his skills as a state assembly member.
Anthony Andrews (Photo Credit: Ellen Moynihan)
Andrews – who has worked in student affairs at York for 28 years and received a bachelor’s degree from York College and a master’s degree in public administration from Baruch College – said that he has worked with local elected officials to secure City Council funds for student resources.
But he believes more can be done to secure capital funding for the campus. The union is currently organizing for more capital investment as well as more state and city funding for operational costs that will increase the number of faculty and staff. In this year’s Democratic Party primary, Andrews is running for the state assembly seat in Jamaica, Queens.
“Medgar Evers College has had major construction and has built buildings over the years,” he said in an interview with Clarion. “Why has Medgar Evers gotten so much attention? Why not York? Because the legislators around Medgar Evers, they work together. That doesn’t happen at York. We have two temporary buildings that have been there since the 1980s.”
Vivian Cook has represented York’s State Assembly District 32 since 1991. For Andrews, she has been a part of a lackadaisical local leadership that has not created the kind of coalitions necessary to bring more resources to the district and the college.
“York College is the anchor tenant in Jamaica,” Andrews said. “Those coalitions [built at Medgar] have not been built with this community and so York College lags behind in infrastructure.”
He added that when one looks at “the track record of things getting done and not done, there’s room for new leadership and new vision.” To the school’s credit, in December, York “unveiled seven capital projects that represent a $29.2 million investment of public funds” according to a CUNY press statement.
A CUNY CANDIDATE
Cook had also garnered attention last year for initially taking a publicly neutral stance on sexual misconduct allegations against then-Governor Andrew Cuomo despite calls for him to resign from members of both state legislative chambers. Cuomo resigned in August after the New York Office of the Attorney General released a report regarding the allegations. Cuomo was long seen by the PSC as one of the main drivers of fiscal austerity in the state, especially at CUNY.
Andrews vows to be an advocate for CUNY if elected.
“We need to be looking at candidates who put students first, and that’s what the New Deal for CUNY is all about,” he said, referring to the PSC-backed legislation to increase faculty and staff at CUNY and to make the university system tuition free. “I am one of those candidates.”