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Op-Ed: Incoming Governor Hochul New Yorkers Are Waiting. What's the Plan Now?

For the past year, amidst a global pandemic, record unemployment and the exacerbation of the housing crisis, New Yorkers can not wait any longer for crucial resources, services and programs necessary to survive. Given the resignation of Governor Cuomo, we stand ready and willing to hear and work with incoming Governor Kathy Hochul to enable New Yorkers to not only recover but to drastically improve the conditions of those most marginalized.


Incoming Governor Kathy Hochul, has the advantage of intimately knowing the plight in upstate New York, while also becoming quite familiar with the downstate region. As social justice leaders across New York State, we believe the residents need a leader who will improve the real divide that permeates the legislature. The question remains if incoming Governor Hochul will bridge that divide by ensuring that we fervently restore faith in the Governor's Office, hold accountable any who helped to perpetuate the toxic culture in Albany, and ensure that there is a real plan for New Yorkers to thrive.


While Incoming Governor Kathy Hochul settles in, the political field is watching from the left and the right wings, waiting to pounce if she doesn’t move with lightning speed to quell the demands of the people.


Yet this is Kathy Hochul’s chance to use her influence and authority to resolve the people’s needs and we are standing by, waiting to work with her as we seek the proper implementation of the statewide Emergency Rent Relief Assistance Program which has been a disaster under the outgoing Governor. We ask now, what is the plan to house the 92,000 homeless New Yorkers as the Delta variant rears its ugly head? What is your stance on Good Cause evictions? What is the plan to eliminate the barriers for economic justice for all women? Will Kathy Hochul keep staff that has at every turn fought to keep the wealthy in power, or will her administration represent and look like New York? It is essential for us to understand your perspectives on the overall conditions of the state and what your priorities will be in your first 100 days.


Will Kathy Hochul keep staff that has at every turn fought to keep the wealthy in power, or will her administration represent and look like New York? Given the increased need to preserve the social safety nets and grassroots partnerships, we hope that Governor Hochul will have the strength to ensure that real estate and corporations do not supersede the voices of marginalized communities from the North Country to the five boroughs of New York.


Reality is, incoming Governor Hochul needs to understand and accept that many women are left behind due to child care deserts like those that exist in her neck of the woods. Women, especially Black and Brown women from Western New York and other communities throughout the state do not have the options needed as day care centers close by the dozens and providers entrusted with our future generations are still earning a $12.50 minimum wage and cannot afford to keep their doors open.


Given the increased need to preserve the social safety nets and grassroots partnerships, we hope that Governor Hochul will have the strength to ensure that real estate and corporations do not supersede the voices of marginalized communities throughout New York State. It is not a matter as to if we will hear from her but how she will respond, New Yorkers lives depend on it.

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Community Voices Heard (CVH) is a member-led, multi-racial organization principally comprised of women of color and low-income families in New York State. CVH tackles tough issues and builds power to secure racial, social and economic justice for all New Yorkers. Through grassroots organizing, leadership development, policy changes, and creating new models of direct democracy CVH is creating a truly equitable New York State. Learn more at www.CVHAction.org

Citizen Action of New York is a statewide grassroots membership organization taking on big issues that are at the center of transforming society—issues that will achieve social, racial, economic and environmental justice in our communities. www.CitizenActionNY.org

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