Jumaane Williams and Cynthia Nixon spoke to Brooklyn College students and staff about their visions for New York. PHOTO/ Zainab Iqbal
By M.A. Rahman
Published: September 12th, 2018
With elections approaching their fever pitch conclusion on September 13, gubernatorial candidate and activist Cynthia Nixon, along with potential lieutenant governor Jumaane Williams, visited Brooklyn College’s campus this week.
Though the meeting was arranged with short notice only the weekend before between the Nixon team and the on-campus progressive group Young Progressives of America (YPA), it miraculously bolstered an estimated 120 students and faculty members in attendance.
Speaking at the BC Student Center Solarium Room, Nixon reiterated a number of her points such as the upholding of a higher commitment to education by investing more funding in higher education, work conditions/wages for faculty, and addressing a myriad of other non-CUNY related concerns raised.
Nixon opened by speaking about her own background as a recipient of the city’s public education and about establishing her foothold in politics, explaining how she became gradually concerned and invested in her son’s education.
She noted the stark sight she saw firsthand from her son’s school that made her vow to reform those conditions. “It was so different [from] the school that I had looked at and picked out in the Spring because there had been these massive budget cuts, and they had to let go of the assistant principal and the art teacher and the music teacher and two thirds of the para-professionals,” she said.
Despite being frequently derided by her opponent and current office incumbent Andrew Cuomo for her background and seemingly loose connections to politics, a number of attendees expressed their satisfaction in her background.
“[Nixon’s] so called inexperience is proof to me she isn’t gonna turn back on her promises to please special interests,” one observer at the event said.
Nixon exhausted much of the event’s time, more than she was initially expected to, with her monologue that highlighted many of her other campaign points beyond the scope of CUNY, such as campaign finance reform or social changes. Attendees were ultimately left with little opportunity to ask questions pertinent to their concerns and experiences until Nixon left.
Despite Nixon’s early exit, council member Williams remained for a few more minutes to address the queries raised by other attendees.
Speaking on her thoughts of the event, Corrinne Greene, President of YPA, acknowledged that the event may have served to be more beneficial for the Nixon campaign had more consideration been put into time management.
In spite of this setback, Greene remarked her overall satisfaction of the event gaining so much attention from people of all walks of the CUNY system even though there was so little time to prepare or advertise.
“I hope this isn’t the last time students and faculty are in a room together asking questions and engaging in the processes around the decisions that affect us,” she said.