When Kathy Hochul had to suddenly assume the post of governor last August following the resignation of Andrew Cuomo by the allegations of sexual harassment, he knew that the strongest challenge he would face would be to lead the recovery of New York after the worst crisis in its history due to the coronavirus pandemic. And after more than five months in power, that remains the number one priority of your Administración.
By offering this Wednesday its first ‘State of the State’ speech, the president began her speech by prioritizing the COVID-19 crisis, something that was to be expected as New York is entering its third year of the pandemic.
“When I took office, we immediately enacted a comprehensive pandemic plan and continued to adapt as new variants like Omicron emerged. We are doing everything we can to keep New Yorkers healthy: establishing policies that have made our vaccination rate one of the highest in the country, activating a military-style operation with vaccination and testing sites, deploying the National Guard in our hospitals and nursing homes, and sending 37 million tests statewide, “the Governor listed.
The state leader emphasized: “We as New Yorkers will control the pandemic, the pandemic will not control us.”
Hochul made history by being the first woman to deliver this speech, and she underscored it by saying, “I am well aware of the importance of this moment as this is the first time in New York history that a woman has delivered this annual speech. But I didn’t come here to make history. I came to make a difference ”.
And as is the objective of these speeches, the president listed the plans and measures that will guide the challenge of her mandate, which ends on December 31, although she will compete in the June Democratic primary to seek re-election and remain in power as of January 2023.
Promised increase the health sector workforce by 20% in five years, create a train connecting Brooklyn and Queens, pass laws to combat climate change, increase affordable housing in the next five years, and other plans that span up to 10 years.
Specifically he proposed: rebuild the health care economy, protect public safety and take strong action against gun violence, invest in people and communities, make housing more affordable and equitable, make New York a national leader in climate action, and green jobs, rebuilding the teaching workforce and reinventing higher education, and undertaking critical reforms to restore New Yorkers’ faith in their government, among other measures.
Hochul’s speech coincides with the beginning of the sessions of the State Legislature in Albany, which run through June, and its proposals are expected to be discussed by amble members and state senators in the coming months. However, he did not touch on the controversial issue of bond law reform that many hope will be reviewed by lawmakers again.
During the speech, the president mentioned New York City seven times, and at least once made reference to Mayor Eric Adams, when talking about his plans to combat weapons and the increase in crime, and referred to how the Police The State and the NYPD will work together to stop gun trafficking.
In addition to the crime, Hochul referred to NYCHA and the remarkable crisis of the homeless.
A new age
Perhaps one of the aspects that stood out the most in the speech is that Hochul insisted that this was a new era for New York, not only because she is the first woman in history to assume the highest position, but because the ‘business’ of governing will be done in a different way from how they were done in the past.
“What I propose is a whole new era for New York. The days of governors disrespecting the role of the Legislature are over. The days of New York City Governor and Mayor wasting time petty rivalries are over. The days of New Yorkers wondering if the government really works for them, are over, and the days when there were three men in the room, are clearly over, ”Hochul emphasized, referring to that last point in which the three main charges of the State had always been led by men.
“We know that women are always held to a higher standard. So I know that I must not only meet but exceed expectations so that this is no longer a historic achievement, but the norm. Then we will do things differently. From now on: we will share the success. We will find common ground. We will restore confidence in this government, because it has eroded for too long, ”the president stressed.