Ian Rhodewalt: Amherst’s support of canceling student loan debt

Published: 6/2/2022 2:16:41 PM
Modified: 6/2/2022 2:14:41 PM

I applaud the Amherst Town Council for making the morally right decision to vote to pass a resolution calling for President Joe Biden to cancel all student debt, and want to thank councilors Pat DeAngelis, Ana Devlin Gauthier, Ellisha Walker and Andy Steinberg for leading on this issue.

It was unfortunate that, during the council’s May 16 meeting, instead of the cosponsors being able to first present the resolution and facilitate a discussion on its merits, or share what led them to sponsor it, a recent New York Times opinion piece published to throw cold water on the robust movement for student debt cancellation, took center stage. This editorial, which cited flawed data from right wing figures and institutions such as Betsy DeVos, the National Review, the Heritage Foundation, and others to make dubious claims about student debt almost derailed the conversation about the resolution on the table.

Amherst’s resolution evolves in part from one that the Western Massachusetts Area Labor Federation, a coalition of over 60 public sector and private sector unions representing more than 30,000 workers regionally, passed unanimously and enthusiastically in January. Amherst’s resolution addresses the fact that student debt cancellation is a racial justice issue, an economic justice issue, and a gender equity issue.

I strongly encourage readers to read the entirety of the resolution on the town’s website. Along with Northampton City Council, Amherst joins Boston, Cambridge, Somerville and Chelsea in calling for student debt cancellation. The NAACP and the National AFL-CIO, two of the biggest organizations fighting for civil rights and labor rights in this country, are advocating for student debt cancellation. Eight attorneys general have recently written a letter calling for canceling all federal student debt held by each and every borrower.

Amherst Town Council is in good company, and this resolution is one more step toward increasing the much needed pressure on Biden to pick up the pen and cancel all federal student debt.

Ian Rhodewalt


Sign up for our free email updates
Daily Hampshire Gazette Headlines
Daily Hampshire Gazette Contests & Promotions
Daily Hampshire Gazette Evening Top Reads
Daily Hampshire Gazette Breaking News
Daily Hampshire Gazette Obits
Daily Hampshire Gazette Sports
Daily Hampshire Gazette PM Updates
Daily Hampshire Gazette Weekly Top Stories
Valley Advocate Newsletter
Daily Hampshire Gazette Dining & Entertainment


Support Local Journalism

Subscribe to the Daily Hampshire Gazette, your leading source for news in the Pioneer Valley.

Daily Hampshire Gazette Office

23 Service Center Road
Northampton, MA 01060


Copyright © 2021 by H.S. Gere & Sons, Inc.
Terms & Conditions - Privacy Policy