As many of you already know, earlier today PA Governor Tom Corbett, announced a draconian budget that would cut deep into the fabric of PA’s public institutions while handing over huge give-backs to corporations. Last year, Corbett proposed cutting PA’s 14 campus State System of Higher Ed (PASSHE) by 50%. After major pressure from education unions, community organizations, and students that cut was reduced to 25%. Programs were cut. Teachers were laid off. Tuition increased by over 7%. Additional cuts to Pennsylvania K-12 schools led to thousands of teachers being laid off across the state and some public schools systems are on the verge of collapse.
This year, Corbett doubled-down on his gamble to gut the public sector and hand over our Commons to the corporate sector. For 2012-2013 he is proposing an additional 20% cut to PASSHE and upwards of a 30% cut to Pennsylvania’s “state-related” universities: Penn State, Temple, Pitt, and Lincoln. At a time when we should be investing in and rebuilding Pennsylvania for future generations, Corbett seems willing to send everyone but a handful of one percent-ers to the poor house.
And, he’s not just cutting education. Corbett seeks a $320 million cut to the Department of Public Welfare, cutting 650 state jobs, and continued million dollar handouts to corporations — NOT small businesses. According to today’s Philadelphia Inquirer, Corbett proposes to “eliminate a $300 million program that provides temporary cash assistance to more than 60,000 residents who don’t qualify for disability payments. The aid – roughly $180 a month – helps those who are temporarily disabled, are victims of domestic violence, or are caring for an elderly parent.” The attack is here AGAIN, and it’s not going away anytime soon.
Raging Chicken Press was founded to cover activists’ responses to these kind of attacks to working people and the commons. We are here to amplify, agitate, and activate. But we need your help to build this progressive media movement. For decades, the right-wing in this country has understood what it means to build institutions for the long-haul. They have systematically invested in publications, think-tanks, universities, and media outlets. Raging Chicken Press is one small step toward taking seriously the need to build independent, progressive institutions of our own. We want to put Raging Chicken Press on a firm footing that enables us to do the kind of reporting we need to build and sustain our movements. We do not want to be dependent upon advertising revenues to sustain our work. We want to be a community supported institution that is accountable to the progressive community. But, again, we need your help.
I know people are strapped and uncertain about the future. But I’d like to ask you to consider contributing whatever you can to our fundraising drive. Even small donations of $5, $10, $25 helps sustain independent, progressive, activist media. Together we can turn the tide against these attacks by Corbett and his fellow slash and burn corporate-sponsored politicians across the country.
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Bread and Roses,
Founder & Editor, Raging Chicken Press