On Friday, November 4th, organizations of students, teachers, parents, and workers sent the open letter below to the 50 corporate elite that sit on the boards of California's public colleges and universities. The letter calls on those corporate elite to sign the ReFund California pledge to make Wall Street pay for refunding public education. The actions beginning November 9th will demand that the corporate elite on the boards of our colleges and universities sign the pledge. Sign up to be there by visiting the week of action page.
November 4th, 2011 Dear board members of California public colleges and universities, Wall Street banks created an economic crisis for our state when their deceptive mortgage-financing scheme collapsed in 2007. Politicians rewarded them with trillions of bailout dollars that have restored record profits and earnings for Wall Street and the wealthy. Many of the corporate elite on the boards of our state’s colleges and universities have done very well recently. So, now – we hope you will agree – it is time for the super-rich and corporations to pay their fair share. The $2.5 billion in new cuts scheduled for December cannot be passed on to students, parents, teachers, nurses, researchers and workers. We have already paid more than our fair share for the crisis Wall Street caused:
- Schools and universities have laid off thousands of teachers and workers because Wall Street corporations and the wealthy are paying less in taxes.
- Students and parents are paying nearly twice as much in tuition for UC and CSU than we paid in 2007 when Wall Street caused the current crisis.
- Hundreds of thousands of students – particularly students of color – have had to drop out or delay education plans.
- Students, parents, schools and universities are paying billions more in interest on loans than Wall Street has to pay for loans from the federal government.
- Cuts in research budgets have set back progress on improving public health, maintaining a safe environment, and many other areas.
We can only have affordable, equitable, and empowering schools, universities, and essential services if everyone pays their fair share. We have united as a broad coalition of students, parents, teachers, nurses, researchers and workers who have paid more than our fair share. We need to both change our tax system and reduce mortgage debt for Wall Street corporations and the super-rich to pay their fair share. Changing our tax system and reducing underwater mortgage debt to Wall Street would end the foreclosure crisis, improve the economy, and boost revenue for education and essential services. As a leader with a key educational institution, we ask you to pledge to support five specific measures for all of us to pay our fair share and use all of the resources of our schools, universities, and state to reverse cuts and tuition hikes. To stand with us, please sign the enclosed pledge form and return it by mail to: ReFund Californiac/o Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment3655 S. Grand Avenue, Suite 250Los Angeles, CA 90007 You can also scan the pledge and email it to email@example.com.By making Wall Street and the super-rich pay their fair share, we can fund the fulfillment of California’s Master Plan and guarantee affordable, equitable, and empowering education for all. Sincerely, Rich Anderson, President, UAW 4123 – CSU student employeesWendy Brown, Co-Chair, UC Berkeley Faculty AssociationXiaoqing Cao, PhD, President, UAW 5810 – UC postdoctoral researchersZenei Cortez, RN, Co-President, CNA/NNU – Registered Nurses at UCCheryl Deutsch, President, UAW 2865 – UC student employeesCarl Friedlander, President, Community College Council of the California Federation of TeachersPat Gantt, President, CSU Employees Union – SEIU Local 2579Mike Garcia, President – SEIU United Service Workers West
Anytra Henderson, Acting President, CUE Teamsters Local 2010
Rick Jacobs, Founder and Chair, Courage CampaignKatherine Lybarger, President, AFSCME 3299 – UC service and patient care workersJelger Kalmijn, President, UPTE-CWA 9119 – UC professional and technical employeesClaudia Magana, President, UC Student AssociationBob Meister, President of the Council of UC Faculty Associations – Professor of History of Consciousness and Political and Social Thought, UCSCDean Murakami, Vice President, California Federation of Teachers – Los Rios Community College faculty memberBahar Navab, President, UC Berkeley Graduate AssemblyMarcos Perez, California Regional Organizer, United Students Against SweatshopsJoshua Pechthalt, President, California Federation of TeachersPablo Rodriguez, Executive Director, Communities for a New CaliforniaChris Rosen, Co-Chair, UC Berkeley Faculty AssociationBob Samuels, President, UC-AFT – UC lecturers and librariansBob Schoonover, President, SEIU 721 – Southern California public and school employeesAmy Schur, Executive Director, Alliance of Californians for Community EmpowermentLillian Taiz, President, California Faculty AssociationDean Vogel, President, California Teachers Association
The free ride is over. Wall Street corporations and the super-rich must start paying their fair share for public education.
The $2.5 billion dollars in new cuts scheduled for December cannot be passed on to students and workers. On November 9th and 16th, we will demand that board members and administrators of our schools and universities pledge to:
- Publicly support forthcoming ballot initiatives and legislation to increase taxes on Wall St. and California’s super rich in 2012.
- Reverse the tuition hikes, layoffs, and cuts.
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To contribute to support the ReFund Public Education Actions, click here