Resolution to Honor CUNY Distinguished Professor Frances Fox Piven

Whereas, Frances Fox Piven, Distinguished Professor of Political Science and Sociology at the Graduate Center, has been the object of unrelenting scurrilous attacks by Glenn Beck, David Horowitz, and others on the political extreme right, including Tea Party supporters, who blame her and her late co-author Richard Cloward for the current economic crisis; and

Whereas, her detractors have attacked her in every type of media venue, and one of them, a Republican Party activist, even gained access to her apartment by posing as a student; and

Whereas, these attacks have focused on Cloward and Piven’s welfare rights activism and their work to register the poor and minority voters through Project Vote and the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (aka The Motor Voter Bill), as well as their analysis of the promise and dynamics of mass movements that seek racial and economic justice; and

Whereas, these attacks bear witness to the positive impact that Dr. Piven has had on U.S. social policy; and

Whereas, Dr. Piven’s analysis in works such as The War at Home: The Domestic Causes and Consequences of Bush’s Militarism (2004), Why Americans Still Don’t Vote (2000); Breaking of the American Social Compact (1997), Regulating the Poor: The Functions of Public Welfare (1993), and Poor People’s Movements: Why They Succeed, How They Fail (1997) has influenced generations of students, scholars, and the public towards a more robust exercise of their democratic rights; and

Whereas, Dr. Piven has been recognized as a leading scholar by her colleagues in several fields, including The American Political Science Association, the American Public Health Association, and the American Sociological Association; therefore, be it

Resolved, that the Professional Staff Congress recognizes Dr. Piven for her contributions as a public intellectual, and for exemplifying the highest ideals of our profession by her uncompromising scholarship, dedicated teaching and mentoring, and unapologetic public speech and political advocacy; and therefore be it further

Resolved, that the Professional Staff pledges its support to her and all faculty and staff who contribute to scholarly work that is animated by the quest for social justice and democracy.

Resolution approved by acclamation by the Professional Staff Congress/CUNY Delegate Assembly, May 20, 2010