Tag Archives: feature

css.php

SLU Instructor Jacob Carlson Advocates for Rent Moratorium in NYTimes

Economic pressures of coronavirus bearing down increasingly on people living in the United States. Unemployment has skyrocketed. And rents are due. In a NYTimes opinion column today, SLU Urban Studies instructor H. Jacob Carlson, along with NYU’s Gianpaolo Baiocchi, argued that the moment demands nothing short of a rent moratorium:

We need Congress to enact an immediate, 90-day national rent moratorium — a temporary suspension of rent payments that will keep families in their homes before other dominoes start to fall.

This would be a bailout for people — for the countless families already facing difficulties making their next rent payment and who soon will face the real prospect of eviction. If we do not act now, people will lose their access to housing. The social impact of evictions on individuals, families and communities will be brutal.

They observe that 47 percent of renters spend more than a third of their income on rent, and that, “57 percent of renters could not afford an unexpected expense of $400 with the money they have on hand.” Given the precarious situation renters were in before the crisis, the current situation is utterly untenable. And the measures in place aren’t enough.

The eviction moratorium in states like New York is a crucial start but only delays the inevitable. After June 20, when Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s 90-day stay will have lifted, renters will face unpayable debt of months of back-rent and fees, as well as damaged credit. Housing courts will swell with the backlog, and many people will be evicted. Similarly, while freezing rents going up for lease renewal is useful, it will not be enough for families unable to pay current rent prices.

Read the full column here.

Student Continuity & Distance Learning Updates

During this very difficult period, SLU is guided by two principles: First and foremost, we are dedicated to the health and safety of our students, faculty, and staff. We are doing everything we can to mitigate the impact of the current public health crisis on our School community. Second, we are committed to maintaining the continuity of our academic programs, courses, and services. To meet these objectives, we have transitioned to distance learning and remote work effective Thursday, March 19th.

We thank you for your patience as we continue to develop and improve the systems that will allow our students to complete the semester—and our faculty and staff to carry on their work—remotely. The important point is that we all share a common goal and we are all working together. In that way, we will weather the storm!

COMMUNICATIONS

Although there is no faculty or administrative staff working at our 43rd Street campus, we will all be working remotely and available via e-mail, phone, and various advanced technologies. You can reach a live SLU operator who will assist you or direct your call during regular business hours by calling (646) 313-8300.

DISTANCE LEARNING

In moving to online instruction, we have focused on technologies that are the most effective and the most equitable. SLU’s faculty and staff have been working tirelessly to ensure that the educational objectives of courses and goals of programs can be met through various methods of delivery. Until further notice, courses will be conducted using remote tools including telephone conferencing, email, Blackboard, ZOOM, and a range of other technologies designed for remote learning. Faculty have reached out to all their students to inform them about the mode of distance learning that will be utilized. If you have any questions or concerns regarding your course(s), please reach out to your instructor or call the SLU main desk at (646) 313-8300.

FOR MORE UPDATES AND RESOURCES FROM CUNY, PLEASE VISIT HERE.

Photo by Aaron Yoo via flickr (cc-by-nd)

SLU Writing Center Offers Digital Support Session (4/9)

During this unprecedented time, finding the energy, time and focus to write can be a challenge. With this in mind, we’re inviting current SLU students to a group Zoom session next Thursday, April 9th. The session will be held twice, at 12pm and 5pm. Participants will have a chance to talk about their challenges and receive support and tips for moving forward from their peers and a writing consultant. No need to sign up. Simply email writingcenter@slu.cuny.edu for the Zoom link, and join the session at the scheduled time.

Prof. Stephanie Luce in Labor Notes: “It Didn’t Have to Be Like This”

Here we are: the economy has been shut down, resulting in massive job loss to some and unsafe working conditions for others. This, writes SLU professor Stephanie Luce in Labor Notes, was the result of a horrible decision — lock ourselves down, or put tens of millions of people at risk.

But, she writes, “It didn’t have to be like this.”

We could not have prevented the virus itself, nor the resulting loss of life altogether. But imagine if:

    • Instead of cutting public health budgets and access to health care for decades, we had expanded it by enacting a single-payer health care system—an improved Medicare for All.
    • We had community health centers that did low-cost preventive care, giving people the education and resources to stay healthy to begin with and making a much smaller share of the population at risk for dangerous disease.
    • We had paid sick days for all workers so they didn’t have to come to work when they had symptoms.
    • We had strong unions, high minimum wages, and good benefits, so very few people were poor. Workers would not feel so desperate to work even when sick or in danger, and they could afford basic necessities to keep them healthier year-round.
    • We had a public health philosophy of “an injury to one is an injury to all.” Governments would be ready to step in with testing programs, resources for people in quarantine, and fair access for all to treatment and vaccines.
    • We taxed the rich and corporations and used that money for the public good and building a strong economy. Our economy would be better equipped to sustain shocks.
    • We valued science and scientists, and invested in their research on issues for the public good.
    • We valued international connections and relationships, encouraging cooperation and collaboration on research, education, and treatment across borders, rather than demonizing or punishing entire nations.

Prof. Luce goes on to describe the ways in which, by moving away from the logic of privatization and crony capitalism, we can imagine a different pathway forward. And she starts with history:

Countries have often been forced to implement bold policies during a crisis, whether the Great Depression of the 1930s, wartime, or coming out of war. It was after World War II that many other countries established their national health care systems and their generous safety net programs, on the understanding that any society is only as strong as its weakest member and that collective programs are good for the economy.

The federal government has the ability to take on public debt to pay for big programs. This happened in 2008 when the government came up with $891 billion to bail out the financial system, with almost no strings attached. This is basically an investment in the future: borrowing money from the future to pay for necessary steps now. The economist JW Mason makes a strong case for funding the Green New Deal this way.

According to Luce, there’s yet more we could do via taxes and reduced military spending, all in service of “an economy centered on human need rather than corporate profit.”

Read the full piece at Labor Notes.

Prof. Ruth Milkman Speaks About Workers on NPR

Amid the mounting coronavirus and economic crises, not all pressures are being felt equally. In particular, noted SLU professor Ruth Milkman on NPR’s Morning Edition, the most desperate workers are often those forced into positions that don’t offer paid sick leave at this precarious time:

RUTH MILKMAN: You can imagine that there’s an awful lot of people who have lost their normal livelihoods and are desperate to generate some income to support their families… The whole point of paid sick leave is to not force workers to have to choose between their livelihoods and their health or the health of their kids, but these workers are going to be put in that position.

Listen to Prof. Milkman on Morning Edition here.

Photo by Scott Lewis via flickr (cc-by)

SLU Newsflash: All SLU Public Events Currently On Hold

Due to public safety measures related to the Coronavirus, all in-person events at the CUNY School of Labor and Urban Studies (SLU) have been suspended through at least April 19, 2020.

Planning is underway to hold some upcoming programs – including Organizing 2.0 – as live-streamed web conferences, with all speakers and attendees participating remotely.
Please stay tuned for further information about the ongoing suspension of in-person events, as well as plans for live streams and web conferences. We will send you email updates, as well as add the latest information to the SLU website and to social media.
Questions? Email us: events@slu.cuny.edu
We hope that you and your family stay safe and be well during this public health crisis.

Public Domain photo via flickr