Mike Groll / NY Governor Office
As the new Secretary of State for New York, it is an honor to say that New York is experiencing a time of economic and social change and rebirth. I was part of the recent presentation of the State Message that Governor Kathy Hochul gave and in which she shared her vision of government that directly benefits New Yorkers; a vision that shows an agenda with programs aimed at revitalizing the state after the COVID-19 pandemic that has changed the expectations of our community that is now ready to begin a new stage of development and progress.
And it is that Governor Hochul’s government agenda directly benefits all New Yorkers and our immigrant community since most of these programs offer us a positive change and with many advantages for our families and communities. The programs proposed by our governor include issues of housing, education, taxes, social equity, and economic revitalization in all regions of our state.
Our Governor Hochul knows that the pandemic left behind many human, economic and social losses that today we are working hard to overcome. Those losses created a challenge we face today in building a new New York.
Everything is possible at a time when we are experiencing another stage of the pandemic. This is not the time to despair, but to take advantage of the great possibilities that we have on our way. We must first control the virus. New York is doing everything it can to keep communities healthy – we continue to recommend vaccination for everyone eligible. We have vaccination sites available throughout the state and the population needs to be vaccinated to create a healthy society. In addition, there are sites available to get tested in every region of New York to prevent contagion and this is how we are sending more than 37 million home tests to residents to help control the contagion of Omicron.
In the midst of it all, the state is working on implementing programs to improve the environment, the economy, education, transportation, social services, and make New York a leader in job creation and maintenance.
We also seek to offer better working conditions to health employees so that our state becomes a national example in that area since they have worked hard and have shown that they are indispensable in our daily lives. Likewise, New York will offer training and job opportunities for teachers that are an important part of our children’s education and the job advancement that New York State is creating. Our state remains open to providing jobs and economic growth for nearly 20 million residents.
With a community of more than 4.5 million immigrants, our state will continue to offer relief and development programs through the Office for New Americans, ONA, which I lead. We have seen how ONA responded to those affected by Hurricane Ida and offered financial assistance to immigrants who lost everything. With Governor Hochul, ONA enters a new stage of growth and more help for new Americans. In addition, New York has nationally recognized programs such as the Liberty Defense Project, which, administered by ONA, offers legal representation for immigration cases at no cost. This program will have more financial resources to expand its services to more immigrants throughout the state.
New York again rises from the ashes to offer economic growth, a better quality of life for its inhabitants, job expansion, better transportation, creation of social programs that help the needy, tax cuts for the middle class and better alternatives for a better to live. Our state, under the guidance of our Governor Hochul, will continue to be the economic-social engine of our nation and the world.
Robert J. Rodriguez is the Secretary of State for New York