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November 2015
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Whose voices are heard? The role of VOTE/COPE in our college

Sean Tvelia



It’s always tough to ask for money. It’s even tougher when it’s for political contributions, especially in today’s political climate.

So why do we ask and why should you give?

As much as we would like to think we work in an apolitical vacuum, the fact is that we don’t. Year after year the FA has had to fight against those who would like to do the same thing to public higher ed as what they've done to the public K-12 system.

Over the last three years alone, your VOTE/COPE contribution allowed the FA Political Action Committee, along with our NYSUT colleagues, to increase state funding for community colleges, increase local county contributions and stave off the governor’s performance-based funding plan as well as help provide for capital projects such as the new libraries on the Grant and Eastern campuses, the STEM building at Grant, the Lindsay Life Science Building at Ammerman and the new health facility at Eastern.

At a time when most community colleges across the state are dealing with severe budget cuts and faculty losses, our political action has helped the college replace faculty lines and provided sorely needed facilities.

I know what you’re thinking: “Why not just use our dues?” Under state law, union dues cannot be used for political action. So without your VOTE/COPE contributions, the FA would not be able to do the important lobbying we do to keep our institution growing.

Even worse, without your contributions to VOTE/COPE, the only voices that will be heard are those we fight against every year.

If you do not give to VOTE/COPE, please consider making a regular $10 contribution. Click here for the VOTE/COPE form that you need to complete and submit to the FA.

If you already give, thank you. I hope you'll please consider increasing your contribution, even by $1 a paycheck.

For more information about VOTE/COPE or the work of the FA Political Action Committee, don't hesitate to contact me at