New Jersey City University faculty and students, along with labor leaders, members of various unions, elected officials and others, convened March 13 for the Fund NJCU Rally, presented by AFT Local 1839 inside the campus’ Gilligan Student Union Building.

Here are excerpts from select rally speakers:

“For 93 years, NJCU has provided tens of thousands of students from Jersey City, Hudson and surrounding counties with educational opportunities … In 2029, NJCU will begin its second century. We ask Gov. Murphy to join with the Legislature to provide the funds necessary for NJCU to flourish as it moves toward this anniversary.” — AFT Local 1839 President Barbara Hildner

“We’re going to tell every legislator in the Assembly and in the Senate — we’re going to ask them to vote no on the [fiscal year 2024] budget unless this institution is funded.” — New Jersey State AFL-CIO President Charlie Wowkanech

“I will never have a greater professional honor or privilege than to serve this institution at this particular moment in its history.” — NJCU Interim President Andrés Acebo

“We could have 5,000 people in this room, screaming at the top of our lungs. But if Trenton doesn’t hear you and Trenton doesn’t know you care, it doesn’t mean anything. Your voice and your vote are your power. … We want a plan, we want the money to fund the plan, we want people from the state to come in to make sure we’re funding what we saying we’re going to fund. And if they’re not, we want accountability because that’s what happens everywhere else.” — AFTNJ President Donna M. Chiera

“This is a state that prides itself on having one of the best educational institutions in the country, and we need to make this state keep its commitment to the community of Jersey City. … But it doesn’t happen with simply a tweet or a rally. It happens … through action and engagement.” — AFT President Randi Weingarten

AFT President Randi Weingarten (top) and AFTNJ President Donna M. Chiera (above) speak March 13 at the Fund NJCU Rally. (Photos by Chris M. Junior)

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