PSC Endorses Bill de Blasio for Mayor

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The Professional Staff Congress (PSC) has endorsed Bill de Blasio for Mayor of New York City because of his progressive record and his focus on ending economic inequality.

“We support Bill de Blasio because he stands for an alternative to the politics of austerity that have dominated New York for too long,” said Barbara Bowen, president of the PSC. “De Blasio understands the strategic importance of CUNY and has a vision of its place in a city where opportunity is not limited to the richest 1%. New York must not continue to be the most unequal city in the country. We believe that de Blasio can win and can be part of making the change this city needs.”

PSC’s Delegate Assembly voted to issue the endorsement for de Blasio and for four other citywide and borough offices last night on the recommendation of the union’s Executive Council. Forty city council candidates also have also received the union’s support in a rolling endorsement process that will continue into the summer.

Bill de Blasio’s stances on issues such as housing, poverty and taxation weighed heavily in PSC’s decision. His public education plan was also critical; it reflects an agenda of economic justice and public investment supported by the union’s membership. With a surcharge on incomes over $500,000 per year, de Blasio would fund universal pre-K and afterschool programs for middle school students. Tax dollars that are currently being spent on giveaways to developers and businesses would be redirected to CUNY, under the plan, to provide a new $150 million investment in the University. Tens of thousands of students from low- and middle-income New York families would have a chance for a high-quality college education, and ultimately a better life, if public investment in CUNY were restored.

PSC believes their chosen candidates will support a movement to invest in the public good, protect critical services, and demand a fair share of taxes from the 1%. CUNY would thrive in an environment like that: City funding could finally be increased to keep pace with increased enrollment, students could have smaller classes, tuition could be kept in check, and long-neglected facilities could be repaired and improved.

Three links explaining why de Blasio can make a difference and change the direction of the city:

PSC’s Endorsements for Other Citywide & Borough Offices, 2013

PSC’s Delegate Assembly also voted to issue endorsements for four other candidates for citywide and borough offices last night. The candidates are Letitia James for public advocate, Scott Stringer for comptroller, Robert Jackson for Manhattan borough president and Eric Adams for Brooklyn borough president. Forty-two city council candidates have also received the union’s support so far.

About the Candidates

Letitia James for Public Advocate
A long-time progressive who has represented City Council District 35 in Brooklyn for three terms, Letitia James has earned her endorsement from the PSC. As Chair of the Council’s Committee on Contracts, she demanded an investigation of the disastrous CityTime payroll project. James has also been at the forefront of efforts to preserve community interests in the Atlantic Yard development and in the campaign to end NYPD’s “stop and frisk” policy. CUNY students are among the targets of “stop and frisk,” which humiliates innocent citizens—particularly African American and Latino men.

Scott Stringer for Comptroller
PSC is endorsing Scott Stringer, the current Manhattan Borough president, for the office of Comptroller, because of his record of support for CUNY. He is also a vocal advocate for increasing college access for undocumented immigrant students with the NYS Dream Act, priority legislation for the PSC.

Robert Jackson for Manhattan Borough President

Robert Jackson was an activist in his children’s public schools and an elected school board member long before he was elected to represent District 7 in Manhattan. He was the named plaintiff in the lawsuit charging that New York State underfunded the City’s public schools—the lawsuit that led to the Campaign for Fiscal Equity. PSC is endorsing him for his commitment to public education and his pro-labor pro-CUNY record in the City Council.

Eric Adams for Brooklyn Borough President
As State Senator representing Senate District 20 in Brooklyn, Eric Adams earned the endorsement from PSC for his years of advocating for accessible, high-quality public higher education. He has stood up for CUNY many times. This budget season he called for a significant increase in State funding for community colleges—an increase that was partly enacted. He is a graduate of New York City Technical College and John Jay College of Criminal Justice, and a retired NYPD officer who has organized against “stop and frisk.”

Click here for a list of City Council candidates endorsed by the PSC.

About the Professional Staff Congress

The Professional Staff Congress/CUNY is affiliated with NYSUT and the American Federation of Teachers. It represents more than 25,000 faculty and professional staff at The City University of New York and the CUNY Research Foundation. The union is part of the New York City Central Labor Council (CLC) and affiliated with the Working Families Party (WFP), and participates in both organizations’ endorsement processes.