“Today, Kathy Hochul became the state’s 57th governor and the first woman to hold that position. I join 20 million New Yorkers who are hopeful that she immediately restores integrity, honesty and quality of character to the governor’s office. I wish the new governor success as she forms her own administration and reshapes the Executive Chamber.
As her new administration begins to take shape, I hope Gov. Hochul is mindful of the fact that she represents all New Yorkers, from all backgrounds and regions. The ‘spirit of collaboration’ she referenced this morning should not be limited to certain political parties or special interests. Her door should be open to more ideas, more voices and more constituencies than her predecessor’s ever was.
In her first address, the governor presented a number of priorities that have been on the minds of all New Yorkers: fighting a recent COVID uptick and the Delta variant, getting children back in schools this fall and increasing the rate of vaccinations. While all laudable goals, I would strongly urge Gov. Hochul to learn from the mistakes we witnessed over the course of the pandemic. New Yorkers do not need an extension of the heavy-handed, blanket mandates that used a one-size-fits-all approach and virtually eliminated all local decision-making authority.
I agree with the governor’s assessment of the state’s embarrassing failure to provide critical rent relief to tenants and landlords in a timely manner. The dysfunction and delays have been unacceptable. And she’s correct when she says ethics reforms and transparency in Albany need dramatic improvements. However, we’ve heard those promises for many years and from many elected officials. Time will tell if Albany’s backroom bargaining and closed-door deal-making ever come out of the shadows.
The Assembly Minority Conference stands ready to work with Gov. Hochul in a bipartisan manner to advance the state’s recovery and address several other issues impacting the millions of New Yorkers we represent. As the governor outlined this afternoon, there is no shortage of work to be done. However, Gov. Hochul’s most pressing challenge is to regain the public’s trust that their government operates openly, transparently and in a manner that deserves the people’s confidence and respect. I wish her well in that endeavor.”