By Maryssa Mataras
As you may know, the New York government is currently debating the state’s budget for the next fiscal year right down the road in Albany. As a Democracy Matters member and Union student, I’m writing to inform my peers about the budgetary issues that are plaguing not just New York, but our entire nation.
The proposal to cut Title X funding is a hot-button issue right now. Title X funding provides for family planning programs, reproductive health care, and medical examinations to low- and medium-income families.
Republicans in the House are proposing to cut the Title X funding by $327 million. About a quarter of the money from Title X is appropriated to support Planned Parenthood. With 850 facilities nationwide, the future of Planned Parenthood, which has been around for almost a century, is now in danger.
Why is funding for Title X being threatened? Because politicians are too easily influenced. Large corporations and rich citizens donate to their campaigns and their voices are heard louder than those of low-income families (the one’s that benefit the most from Title X). This corruption is plaguing our government.
This is not directly targeted at Republicans. There are some, like Chris Christie, the Republican Governor of New Jersey, that are strategically cutting the budget. For instance, in decreasing the state budget, Governor Christie has proposed an assessment system in which the effectiveness of the school will be assessed in exchange for spending more money on education in low-income neighborhoods.
Democracy Matters is a national non-partisan organization with a chapter right here on campus that seeks to get the money out of politics and restore our democracy, giving power back to the people. There are powerful and inspirational politicians in office today, but many are still being affected by the influence that money has on politics.
If you are interested in joining the Democracy Matters chapter at Union please contact me, Maryssa at firstname.lastname@example.org. With New York State considering a public financing option supported by Governor Cuomo, we have the potential to change this corruption in our government.