The City University of New York teachers’ union, the Professional Staff Congress, is supporting city Comptroller Scott Stringer in his bid to become New York’s next mayor.
Union leadership announced its official endorsement on Friday after members of its Delegate Assembly voted Thursday night for a ranked-choice endorsement Stringer as their top choice for mayor followed by Dianne Morales. Members cited Stringer’s advocacy for a tuition-free CUNY as well as his “record of support for workers’ rights and progressive causes” as the reason for their support during his bid for mayor.
For example, last month, the comptroller’s office released a first-of-its-kind report which analyzed the economic impact CUNY graduates had in 2019 on the state of New York. Stringer’s office calculated that in that year, CUNY graduates earned a combined $57 billion in annual earnings and contributed $4.2 billion in state income tax. The report was crafted in order to convince lawmakers and laymen alike of the potential CUNY could play in the state’s post-pandemic economic recovery.
Stringer also released a $160 million plan to make CUNY community colleges tuition-free last fall and publicly supported state legislation, dubbed the “A New Deal for CUNY,” that proposed decreasing student to faculty ratios across CUNY schools and increasing the number of mental health care providers accessible to students.
The PSC endorsement comes a day after Stringer nabbed an endorsement from the Working Families Party–the progressive party that supported Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and former presidential candidate Bernie Sanders during their respective elections–and days after news broke that the city’s public school teacher union, the United Federation of Teachers, is gearing up to issue a mayoral endorsement for the current comptroller.
“The momentum in this race is shifting as New Yorkers realize that we need a mayor who has support from the growing Left in the Democratic Party but who also has the experience to run City government. Scott Stringer is that candidate; his progressive positions, his history of fiscal management and his workable plan for achieving a free and fully funded CUNY prove it. That’s why we are proud to give him the PSC’s top endorsement and that’s why we will work for him to become mayor,” said Barbara Bowen, president of the Professional Staff Congress.
“New York mayors have aimed too low on CUNY. If there is to be an economic recovery that does more than reinscribe systemic racism and inequality, a transformed and transformative CUNY must be at its center,” Bowen added.
Now the union leadership plans to mobilize its roughly 30,000 members to phone, text bank, and canvass for Stringer during the Democratic primary on June 22.
“I am honored to have the support of President Barbara Bowen and the Professional Staff Congress (PSC) at CUNY. Across the five boroughs, members of the PSC at CUNY are teaching, mentoring and supporting the next generation of New Yorkers. As a CUNY graduate, I know firsthand how CUNY drives our economy and creates opportunities for New Yorkers of all backgrounds to succeed — because my CUNY education prepared me for a career in public service,” said Stringer in a statement. ” Together, we’ll deliver a New Deal for CUNY to invest in CUNY and our educators, so that our public colleges stay a monument to world-class public education for generations to come. I look forward to working closely with members of the PSC to make this happen and build a city for everyone.”