Magazine article Black Issues in Higher Education

Gore Gets Rousing Response at Howard University Campaign Stop

Magazine article Black Issues in Higher Education

Gore Gets Rousing Response at Howard University Campaign Stop

Article excerpt

Democratic presidential nominee Al Gore worked an easy crowd and shored up his Black vote last month on a campaign stop at Howard University, appealing to a standing-room-only crowd and a group of potential voters who overwhelmingly back him.

Gore gave small nods to higher education -- pitching his college-savings tax-relief plan and noting the important role that historically Black colleges play in educating minorities.

Speaking to a crowd of about 1,600 students, teachers and lawmakers at the historically Black school, the vice president enjoyed a thunderous greeting from a crowd waving Gore-Lieberman signs and chanting "We want Gore! We want Gore!"

At the event, Gore said he wants to hire 100,000 new public school teachers, give big bonuses to people who teach in under-served areas and offer paid leave to teachers for professional development.

He touted another centerpiece of his proposal -- allowing families a tax deduction or 28 percent tax credit on up to $10,000 in college tuition and fees, a maximum tax break of $2,800. He also said he wants to reduce class sizes in the nation's public schools.

Gore's visit to Howard came shortly after Republican presidential candidate George Wl. Bush visited Dillard University (see Black Issues, Sept. 14).

Howard President H. Patrick Swygert says he thought Gore did well by touching on a lot of issues that concerned his students and the Black community at large.

"I would like to see more discussion in this election season in general of the financial support needed to invest in technology," Swygert told Black Issues. "That's a very important issue that's only going to become more important in the future. It's certainly going to be critical to all of us at HBCUs.

"But I take heart in the fact that the vice president has been identified with technology and at the same time, he's wedded technology, higher education and access," Swygert added.

Gore did speak about racial profiling in the wake of the recent police shooting of Howard University student Prince Jones. Howard students largely view Jones -- unarmed and shot six times last month by a Prince George's County police officer -- as a victim of police brutality.

Bonyonoh Wojloh, a Howard freshman from Baltimore, says that Gore's attention to issues that mattered to the students made his speech a success. …

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