At its January 2022 regular meeting, the Troy Area Labor Council adopted this resolution.
Whereas, the Troy Area Labor Council, AFL-CIO, recognizes our obligation to “responsibly serve the interests of all the American people”; and
Whereas, 58% of New York residents have student loan debt, with the average student loan debt for being $31,155; and
Whereas, student loan debt cuts across all levels of education, and affects borrowers who attend vocational school, technical school, beautician schools, two-year associate degree programs, four-year undergraduate programs, graduate school, state schools, community college, private colleges and universities, and for-profit schools, as well as people who began a program of further education but did not finish; and
Whereas, across the country, women, and Black women in particular, are disproportionately affected by the two trillion dollar crisis of student loan debt; and
Whereas, twenty years after taking out student loans, the average white borrower has paid off 94% of their student loan debt while the average Black borrower still owes 95% of their student loan debt; and
Whereas, “research estimates that canceling student debt would boost the national economy by up to one hundred and eight billion dollars a year and create a million jobs”; and
Whereas, one in five people responsible for paying off a student loan is over the age of 50, and older Americans can be subject to Social Security garnishment if they fall behind on their debt; and
Whereas, education is a right that should be accessible to all and not a commodity that should anchor families with debt for generations; and
Whereas, the Higher Education Act of 1965 gives the president of the United States the power to cancel all student loan debt by executive order.
Therefore, be it resolved that the Troy Area Labor Council, AFL-CIO, calls on President Joe Biden to cancel all student loan debt immediately by signing an executive order, which he can do using the Compromise and Settlement powers of the Department of Education; and
Be it further resolved that the Troy Area Labor Council, AFL-CIO calls on Governor Kathy Hochul, Senators Charles “Chuck” Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, Representative Paul Tonko, Representative Antonio Delgado, our state representatives, state senators, mayors, city and town councilors, and school board officials in Troy and Rensselaer County to call upon President Joe Biden to cancel all student loan debt immediately by signing an executive order; and
Be it finally resolved that the Troy Area Labor Council, AFL-CIO, calls on the Capital District Area Labor Federation, NYS AFL-CIO, and the national AFL-CIO, its affiliated unions, and all other labor organizations in the United States to tell President Joe Biden to cancel all student loan debt immediately by signing an executive order.