On Monday morning, I gathered with other members of the Debt Collective in Washington DC to endorse the College for All Act of 2019. Sponsored by Reps. Ilhan Omar, Pramila Jayapal, and Sen. Bernie Sanders, the act would cancel all student debt and make all two- and four-year public colleges and universities tuition free, subsidized by a tax on Wall Street.
The Debt Collective is a membership organization fighting for economic justice that has been advocating student debt cancellation and free college for years. Our demands were initially met with skepticism and incredulity. Now, we’re standing at the Capitol, winning the battle of ideas.
A growing number of people agree that eliminating student debt will improve millions of lives, advance racial and gender justice, and be a boon for our democracy and our economy. But even though loan cancellation is now at the center of public debate, it’s far from a done deal. We need to continue to fight so that visionary proposals can become actual policy.
“Our privatized debt-for-education system has got to go,” my Debt Collective co-founder Thomas Gokey said at the press conference where Sanders, Omar and Jayapal introduced the bill. Gokey warned that the proposed legislation is unlikely to become law unless the public turns up the heat. “No big change like this ever happens without mass mobilization; without ordinary people getting organized to take direct action and engage in civil disobedience,” he said.
Jesus: Hey, Dad? God: Yes, Son? Jesus: Western civilization followed me home. Can I keep it? God: Certainly not! And put it down this minute--you don't know where it's been! Tom Robbins in Another Roadside Attraction