Former presidential candidate Andrew Yang is among several mayoral candidates who responded to The Envoy’s survey on CUNY policy. The following are Yang’s raw answers to the survey. To read the article about all of the mayoral candidates’ survey responses, click here; and to read about a all Yang did with CUNY student leaders, click here.
1. What role do you believe the city and state should play in funding community colleges? Should such colleges be tuition-free?
CUNY is a jewel of public education in our City, and an example around the country. Such colleges should absolutely be tuition-free for anyone who lacks the means so that all New Yorkers have access to a top-tier public education regardless of their ability to pay.
2. What role do you believe the state should play in funding senior colleges? Should such colleges be tuition-free?
I will advocate in Albany for the State to increase funding for public senior colleges in New York.
3. How would you expand job opportunities for CUNY students and graduates?
Employers should be standing in line to hire CUNY students and graduates. And, we have to make sure that employers are ready to stay in New York City because they know the best talent is right here. As part of my larger jobs agenda, I will do everything I can to ensure that employers of all kinds are ready and willing to do business in New York, and that they hire the best that our City has to offer. We should build pipelines to local employers. CUNY graduates need to be at the top of the list.
4. Would you expand mental health and wellness funding and services for CUNY students? If so, how?
Mental health services, especially as we slowly emerge from the pandemic, are so critical at all CUNY colleges across the City. I will look to evaluate the reach of mental health services on and off-campus that are available to students, and ensure that the City’s larger mental health infrastructure can meet the needs of the student population. As someone who sought therapy myself, I know how important accessible services are.
5. How would you support CUNY students experiencing food and/or housing insecurity?
CUNY students’ experiences reflect the broader inequities in the five boroughs – our plan to bring New York City back will ensure that addressing the fragility of our economy is front and center. On housing, we will make sure that we protect tenants and ensure they stay in their homes, address the homelessness crisis once and for all, and create far more deeply affordable housing in neighborhoods all across the five boroughs, with every neighborhood doing their fair share. Safety net programs like SNAP and Medicaid are critical, but not enough. A priority of my Administration will be the largest municipal cash relief program in the country, providing 500,000 New Yorkers with direct cash relief, focusing on folks who need the help the most. Cash relief would be additive to any existing benefits that people already receive, hoping to bridge the gap between existing benefits and the real cost of living.
6. How would you decide who to appoint to the CUNY board of trustees?
Diversity and representation are key to all appointments to Boards and Commissions that I would have jurisdiction over as Mayor. It’s important to me that the CUNY board is prepared to help move the system through one of the most critical challenges that our City and the CUNY system is facing – students have paused their education, are hesitant about the job market that greets them on the other side, and the system itself continues to face a massive budget crisis. Our Board must be ready to balance CUNY’s budget while restoring the promise of the system.