Cesar Hernandez, the managing partner with the Tampa-based communications agency Omni Public, says he took out three student loans when he attended USF a decade ago. Any relief would be appreciated, he says.
“If you’re going to give a financial institution a break, then you should give like your actual citizens a break, right?” he told Spectrum Bay News 9 while speaking from his downtown office on Wednesday.
The first member of his family to graduate from college, Hernandez says it wouldn’t have been possible for him to attend USF without financial assistance.
“Mom was a cashier. Grandmother was cleaning homes. There was absolutely no way without some assistance that I would be able to continue my education,” he says.
There are more than 43 million student borrowers who are in debt by an average of more than $39,000.
Tampa Bay-area Democratic state lawmaker Michele Rayner says she also took out loans to support her undergraduate and law school education. She supports cancelling $50,000 in student debt.
“If we’re able to give people a bit of some relief, it’s incumbent upon us that we do that,” she says.
Pinellas Democratic state Rep. Ben Diamond supports college loan forgiveness, though he’s not certain if it should be $10,000 or $50,000.
“I want to see them work it out and find a compromise and find an agreement,” he says.
Both Diamond and Rayner are competing for the Pinellas County seat in congress next year currently held by Democrat Charlie Crist, as is Eric Lynn, who worked in the Barack Obama administration.