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6000 New Yorkers petition Governor Hochul to commit $500 million in recurring funding for the City University of New York

Apr 06, 2022

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CUNY USS Chair, CUNY Rising Alliance Campaign Coordinator, and PSC-CUNY President Deliver Petitions to Governor Hochul

New York, NY–5,995 CUNY community supporters, students, and employees have signed a letter calling on Gov. Kathy Hochul and the Legislature to invest “$500 million to hire more full-time faculty, advisors and mental health counselors, to rebuild academic departments and student services and stabilize community college budgets, among many other programmatic issues that have persisted for too long.”

Today, the CUNY Rising Alliance Campaign Director Remy Salas, CUNY USS Chair Cory Provost, and members of the PSC-CUNY executive council, including President James Davis, delivered almost 6,000 physical letters to Governor Kathy Hochul’s Manhattan office.

“For me, the CUNY budget is a yardstick for how New York feels about Black and Brown communities, for how much we together care to provide real opportunity for low income families. For decades we’ve fought for scraps. But this is the year to invest in CUNY. We need $500 million so that our campuses can provide a high quality, accessible education that can change families and truly change the lives of the 500,000 students who attend every year,” said Rémysell Salas, CUNY Rising Alliance Campaign Director.

“CUNY was free and well funded for more than 100 years, from 1847 through 1975. Just as the CUNY student population was becoming majority people of color, the state imposed tuition and austerity, harming the quality of education for the new student body. It’s 2022, and it’s time to reverse these unconscionable decisions of the 1970s. Fund CUNY now!” said CUNY University Student Senate Chair Cory Provost.

“Higher education is fundamental to rebuilding from the pandemic and building a road to economic and racial equity. By funding CUNY and supporting the budget measures proposed by the Senate and Assembly we can not only support the students, faculty, and staff of today but have the groundwork for future generations as well,” said Ayesha Schmitt, NYPIRG Higher Education Coordinator.

“Our members are eager, as the state budget process draws to a close, for a transformative investment in public higher education. The 5,995 letters from students, faculty, staff, and community supporters is an expression of hope for a new day at CUNY and enthusiasm for a New Deal for CUNY,” said James Davis, President, Professional Staff Congress.

“After a decade of defunding our state’s public universities, it is imperative that this year New York invests in the only economic development plan proven to be successful: education. We should be investing in students, not stadiums,” said Senator Andrew Gounardes, New Deal for CUNY prime sponsor.

“The outpouring of support from my constituents and from my Assembly colleagues for the New Deal for CUNY (A5843/S4461) has been astounding. This is the year to launch the New Deal for CUNY with $500 million in recurring funds to hire full time faculty, mental health counselors and academic advisors and to see CUNY on a path to being free again,” said Assembly Member Karines Reyes, New Deal for CUNY prime sponsor.


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