CUNY RISING ALLIANCE call for NYS legislative leadership to fully invest in CUNY Now

NYS Senate President Andrea Stewart-Cousins; NYS Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie;

Dear friend of CUNY:

The City University of New York is threatened with severe budget cuts because the Governor and other legislative leaders are unwilling to tax the very wealthy to fill CUNY’s budget gaps and protect worker’s jobs and student learning.

We are asking you to sign the petition below to pressure legislators to do the right thing; tax those who benefit most from New York's economic system so they begin to pay their fair share. Only in this way can we assure that CUNY will be able to adequately meet the health, economic and educational needs of workers and students during this pandemic.

To: NYS Senate President Andrea Stewart-Cousins; NYS Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie;
From: [Your Name]

Dear Senate Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins and Assembly Speaker Heastie

We, the CUNY Rising Alliance (CRA), are a coalition of organizations advocating for investment in CUNY to assure a quality and free public higher education.

We are calling on you to not raise tuition for students already economically stressed and for you to publicly advocate for the investment that our students deserve and need to assure a quality public higher education. CUNY is the surest path for low-income communities across NYC to have an opportunity to obtain a higher education degree, move out of poverty and become a social and economic force for New York.

We know that Governor Cuomo intends to cut public agency budgets including CUNY’s. We also know there is another way that supports the students of CUNY. We need you to step up as leaders of the NYS Senate and Assembly and publicly support a package of taxes requiring the wealthy to pay their fair share. These taxes along with federal stimulus dollars are needed to protect the present and future education of CUNY students.

Now is the time to address the ongoing inequalities that affect our students and their communities daily and have been made even more severe by the pandemic.
We are therefore calling on you to;
• Raise 10-15 billion dollars in new tax revenue from those who benefit most from New York's economic system
• Raise revenue and earmark part of it for CUNY
• Suspend student educational fees and tuition increases
• Halt and reverse CUNY’s announcement to lay off thousands of instructional and support staff
• Provide immediate free mental health counseling to the many students whose suffering has intensified during the pandemic
• Assist our CUNY Students who are undocumented by expanding funding to the CUNY Citizenship Now! Program

The time is now to go all in and support the City University of New York.