Organizing to win "College For All" in New York's 13th Congressional District

This action is for everyone who lives in New York’s 13th congressional district. (Not sure which district you live in? Look it up here.)

We want to organize people to put pressure on members of Congress (or people who are running to become members of Congress) to cancel all student debt and make public universities completely free. This can take many forms. Reach out to each other, start talking and making plans. Here is some information that you might find helpful.

Great news! Rep. Adriano Espaillat ( D ) has already co-sponsored H.R. 3473 College for All Act of 2019 (this bill would make all public colleges and universities free). Please thank him for supporting free public colleges moving forward.

Rep. Espaillat has not yet taken a position on H.R. 3448 Student Debt Cancellation Act of 2019 (this bill would cancel all $1.6 trillion of student debt). Can you force him to co-sponsor or publically support this bill?

There are two other candidates who are running for this seat in 2020, and their might be more who announced in the future. They are Richard Habersham (D) and James Felton ( D ). Can you force all of them to take a position on these bills and adopt them as a part of their campaign?

Use the comments below to plan and coordinate with each other on a state-wide level.


The Indivisible Guide provides good advice about how to set up a meeting with your members of congress (or the people currently campaigning for office), how to show up at town halls, how to write letters to the editor, etc. We can do all of that and more. Feel free to get creative and come up with your own plans in addition to these tried and true methods.

Use this data sheet :arrow_right: StudentDebt_NY13.pdf (1.1 MB) about student debt for New York’s 13 congressional district.

Use this study by economists at the Levy Institute which outlines several positive effects of canceling all student debt.

The Young Democratic Socialists of America (YDSA) have a great resources about organizing for College for All. If there is a YDSA chapter near you please reach out and coordinate with them.



Checking this out from the user account. Thanks for making this available.

Thank you for these resources. I’d be happy to coordinate with others in the district encourage Rep. Adriano Espaillat to support the two bills.


Welcome @wleah! That’s fantastic!

To start with there are a few actions you can take on your own, like calling Rep. Espailat’s office or writing him a letter about this. If you do that, please report back how it goes.

But ideally it would be great to get some more people involved. It really only takes five or six people who live in the district to schedule a face-to-face meeting with your rep or a member of their staff.

It would also be great to learn more about the other people running for this seat. Are any of them any good? Can we get them to take a public stance on College For All?


I did write a letter Representative Espailat in early November. Of course, I didn’t get an acknowledgement, which I didn’t necessarily expect.

Otherwise, as a novice organizer I admit I am somewhat at a loss - I don’t see further interest from others in my district on this site, and not sure what’s next. Do I continue to send his office letters?
More broadly - Are there others in the 13th district that would be able/willing to join me to schedule a face to face meeting?


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Don’t be discouraged! I think we will see a lot more people in these spaces in the coming months after our campaign officially launches.

Rep. Espailat seems persuadable given that he had already signed on to one of these bills. If he holds any public events you could attend and ask him there.

In the meantime, have you tried reaching out to any of the people running against him? Getting them to support these bills publically can help box in the current officeholders and force them to support it too, or risk getting voted out.