Saturday, November 27, 2021


Don't want the hassles of Black Friday - consider a refurbished gift this year; day after Thanksgiving travel could be messy - and supporters regroup for recreational marijuana in South Dakota.


Big retailers predict an historic holiday shopping season, but small businesses are not sharing that optimism, and economists weigh in on what s behind the nation's labor shortages.


South Dakota foster kids find homes with Native families; a conservative group wants oil and gas reform; rural Pennsylvania residents object to planes flying above tree tops; and poetry debuts to celebrate the land.

Groups Demand Cancellation of Federal Student-Loan Debt


Thursday, December 31, 2020   

PHILADELPHIA -- Student and community groups will rally outside President-elect Joe Biden's Philadelphia headquarters Monday to demand he cancel all federal student debt on his first day in office.

Organizers of the rally say Philadelphia was instrumental in securing Biden's victory at the polls.

Now, after months of unemployment brought on by the pandemic, many have to choose between paying their debts or keeping a roof over their heads and food on the table.

Lauren Horner, community organizer for the PA Debt Collective, said cancelling student debt would relieve some of the burden on people who have gone months without paychecks.

"Philly residents have much higher debt loads - an average of over $37,000 - than many graduates in other major cities, especially our Black and Brown borrowers," Horner explained.

Biden backed legislation that would cancel the first $10,000 of federal student loan debt, but has not supported a Democratic resolution urging him to eliminate more.

That resolution, proposed by Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., would cancel up to $50,000 of student debt per borrower.

But Horner insists that still wouldn't be enough.

"To cancel all of the debt would be a much bigger and bolder statement," Horner maintained. "And it would keep $11.6 billion in the pockets of over 300,000 Philadelphia residents, in particular."

Nationally, 45 million Americans owe more than $1.5 trillion on student loans.

Biden calls it "questionable" whether he'll have the executive power to cancel even $50,000 of student loan debt.

But Horner pointed out Congress gave that authority to the Secretary of Education, a presidential appointee, decades ago.

"Basically, with a sign of a pen, the $1.5 trillion of federal student loans can be cancelled," confirmed. "So, we're simply demanding that Biden use this power that he already possesses to push this forward."

She added student debt is one factor contributing to the racial wealth gap, and cancelling it would help reduce wealth inequality.

get more stories like this via email

Vicki Harder-Thorne is honoring 30 years of sweat equity her parents put into restoring 80 acres of land in Ottawa County. (Harder-Thorne)


COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Succession is an inevitable process for Ohio farmers, and it can also be an opportunity to re-imagine the land. Vicki Harder-…


HELENA, Mont. -- To honor the Biden administration's steps toward greater ties with tribal nations, conservation groups are calling on it to list the …

Social Issues

PIERRE, S.D. -- Supporters of establishing recreational marijuana in South Dakota say they're pouring all their energy into a new ballot initiative…

Farming is Virginia's largest private industry, according to the state Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. (Adobe Stock)


RICHMOND, Va. -- In central Virginia, permanent access to land is one of the biggest barriers to farming. A new land-trust model aims to secure both …

Social Issues

BOSTON -- This holiday season, consumer advocates are urging Commonwealth residents to consider giving gifts that don't require purchasing anything…

The mission of the 'Buy Nothing Project' is to promote the giving of goods and services within hyperlocal circles. (bfleeson/Pixabay)

Social Issues

AUSTIN, Texas -- Supply chain delays have some holiday shoppers stressed that gifts won't be on store shelves on this "Black Friday," or won't arrive …

Social Issues

DETROIT -- As cold weather moves in, state agencies are working to make sure Michiganders know how to apply for the Michigan Energy Assistance …

Social Issues

NEW YORK -- A team of New York-based filmmakers is producing a documentary about reclaiming Indigenous heritage, told through the experiences of an 18…


Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021