The crisis won’t be solved by Patterson’s cuts, but by us

6 Dec

The imperial aspirations of Governor Patterson will not solve the budget crisis. Recently, he has proposed emergency measures that would give him unilateral power to create the next state budget; which was “was rejected practically instantly” (11/25/09, Buffalo News). Public services do not have to suffer, yet the solution requires restructuring and redistribution of funds from the top to the bottom; something that the powers that be have never done without political demands being made by grassroots motion and calling on whatever political insurgency (i.e. progressive legislators) can be mustered.

According to the Buffalo News, on Dec. 3rd, “New York’s Senate has joined the Assembly in approving a measure to reduce the state’s budget deficit by about $2.8 billion” (“NY Lawmakers Approve Deficit Cutting Plan”) and thereafter, the article cited the Governor’s specific desire to cut education and hospital funding. These two sectors are extremely vital to the lives of everyday people, and it is extremely dire when the health and the intellectual growth of a population are sacrificed when according to word of mouth, in the wake of 2008 SUNY tuition increase, the governor ordered thousand dollar wine glasses.

What’s to be done? In Berkeley, CA at UC Berkeley on November19th, the Regents board announced a tuition hike by 32% and the cutting of 38 custodial jobs, and in response according to the San Francisco Indymedia the students occupied the University. The occupation ended on the 21st amongst three days (18th-21st) of planned demonstrations with a tuition freeze and 38 custodial jobs (11/21/09, San Francisco Chronicle). Their occupation was complemented by a 250 strong mass lobby here, in Manchester, England. Under the banners of Unions and the newly formed Manchester for Jobs and Education, we stood against 127 job cuts and the £180 million in education de-funding ($296 million). Across the board, acts of student militancy and organization of both workers and students have begun. To defend our interests, especially in a city with three big universities (UB, BSC, and Canisus College) and a sizeable Community college (ECC) we have to invest our energy towards movement at the bottom.

It could be said that Governor Paterson wants to avoid sending I.O.U.’s to the public and private sectors, like in California However, this radical proposal to save our bankrupt state comes at the time that Pres. Obama, the Democratic Party leadership, and public opinion polls are telling him to step aside.

The demands of the public need to be articulated clearly, because the budgetary process is too important to be left up to legislators; radical action may be necessary, yet practical action is the most efficient action. Nevertheless, practical action must be radical and effective; like with all great transformations partial and moderate means non-existent. As SNCC leader John Lewis said in this original speech at the March for Jobs and Freedom in Washington in 1964: “to those that say we must be patient and wait, we must say that ‘patience’ is a dirty and nasty word”.

Pursuant to those words, Organize everywhere; lives a subversive life because real change is not gradual and our life-services are not their concern, unless we make it their concern. Therein, remember when this seems out of our control: we are not alone.

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One Response to “The crisis won’t be solved by Patterson’s cuts, but by us”

  1. brenda e cawthon December 8, 2009 at 10:57 PM #

    excellent blog, mr. cawthon…where can i sign up 4/the revolution

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