Advocacy Day 2019 is THIS WEEK! Check below for updates and info.
“All of us have the power as students to organize together and demand a system that works for us. We have the power to do that today. That’s why we’re here,” said Nathalie Amazan, inspiring hundreds of students, faculty, staff, and community activists to action at last year’s Public Higher Education Advocacy Day 2018!
Now we’re coming up on Advocacy Day 2019, and we’re expecting a bigger crowd, making bigger demands, and sharing an even more powerful day together. Across the state, public education defenders are talking about the campaigns to Fund Our Future and build a Debt Free Future.
We’ve filed bold legislation on both accounts, the Cherish Act to restore funding for public colleges and the Debt Free Future Act to transform our public higher education system to guarantee a debt-free college education to every Massachusetts resident. We have major priorities on students rights, workers rights, and raising revenues too.
Hundreds of lawmakers have co-sponsored these bills, but we need the power of students and workers in the streets and in the State House to turn these bills into laws. That’s why we need you to register for Advocacy Day 2019 and join us at the State House on March 21st!
Some of the great photos taken by students, volunteers, and organizers at Public Higher Education Advocacy Day 2018!
What is Advocacy Day?
Advocacy Day is an annual event where supporters of our public colleges and universities head to the State House to share their stories about high tuition and fee costs, struggling to piece together an income as an adjunct professor, the burdens of student debt on their families and the other challenges we all face because of the high cost of public higher education.
We also share the essential story of education. The story of how we build communities, how we teach future generations, and how we join together to learn about the world. We write that story every day at our community colleges, state universities and UMass campuses.
Your Story is Important
Are your student tuition and fees too high? Do you and your family struggle to afford college? Are you worried about how student debt will affect the future for you and your children? Are you an adjunct faculty member working for low pay and no health insurance? Are you a staff person who has seen their pay erode? Are you concerned that the yearly budget cuts by the state are hurting the education we provide to students?
Your story is important. And legislators want to hear it.
On Beacon Hill, just 10 phone calls can make a difference and get legislation supported and passed. We are showing up in force at the State House on March 5th to share our stories and be the difference. Legislators want to hear from students and working families in their district, and hearing from you could get them to support a vision of high-quality, debt-free public higher education that is affordable for students and treats campus workers with dignity and respect.
So start thinking about the story you want to tell, and we will be working with you to perfect that story as we lead up to the event.
What Are We Demanding?
For years, students, workers, and activists have made it clear that funding cuts to public colleges are driving up tuition and fees, increasing student debt, forcing cuts to essential programs, and keeping workers underpaid and overworked. We know we need to Fund Our Future to stop the cuts through the Cherish Act and that we need to guarantee a Debt Free Future to every person in Massachusetts.
- Pass the Cherish Act this spring
- Pass the Debt Free Future Act this year
- Fund campus budgets to avoid program cuts in the FY2020 budget
Trainings and Materials
Please feel free to watch last year’s training video. We will have an updated version for 2019 soon.
When and Where?
Advocacy Day is on Thursday, March 21st, 2019 and starts at the Massachusetts State House at 10 a.m. There are events in the Great Hall of Flags from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. We will also be supporting on-campus events for people who cannot make it to the State House on March 21st.
9:30 AM to 10:45 AM — Registration
10:45 AM to 11:15 AM — Speaking Program
11:15 AM to 11:30 AM — Mock Legislative Meeting
11:30 AM to 1:00 PM — Visit with Your Legislators
1:00 PM to 2:00 PM — Closing Speakers and Lunch in the Great Hall
Transportation and Food
There will be transportation from the campuses, and we will have lunch ready for you at the State House after you visit with your legislators.
Public Higher Education Advocacy Day is hosted by the Public Higher Education Summit Group and sponsored by the following organizations.
PHENOM (Public Higher Education Network of Massachusetts)
Massachusetts Education Justice Alliance
Center for Education Policy and Advocacy (CEPA) at UMass Amherst
Massachusetts Teachers Association
State Universities Council of Presidents
Massachusetts Community Colleges Executive Office
UMass President’s Office