Tony Avella, a Democratic candidate for mayor of New York City, will hold an event at Hunter College this Friday to publicize his support for a return to free education at the City University of New York.

CUNY was tuition-free from its founding until 1975, when a fiscal crisis led the city to begin charging its students. (Not coincidentally, tuition was charged for the first time just six years after CUNY implemented an open-admissions enrollment policy.) Avella, who is currently running well behind Democratic front-runner Bill Thompson in primary polling, is the only candidate from either party to support a return to free tuition at CUNY.

Avella is himself a Hunter graduate, and the 11 AM event at 68th Street and Lexington Avenue will take place on CUNY’s first day of classes for the fall semester.

By the way, as Avella notes on his Twitter feed, the first of two primary election debates will be taking place on NY1 tonight at 7 PM.