Thursday, January 5, 2012

Bronx leaders react to NYSOS (Update)

The New York State of the State was held Wednesday, Jan. 6. Here are some reactions from local leaders:

Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.:

“I applaud Governor Cuomo for putting forward a strong vision for the future of New York State in today’s speech, and I look forward to working with him and his administration on the critical issues of job creation, education, infrastructure, tourism, public safety and other themes that have been high priorities for my administration.

“What is good for the Bronx is, of course, good for the state. Moreover, the agenda he has outlined reflects the action plan we have set forth for the Bronx, whether it is our recent education summit, our East 153rd Street hotel development proposal, and the expansion of Metro North service to the East Bronx. My office will continue to work with the Cuomo administration on these and other major projects we have planned for the Bronx in 2012, including the redevelopment of the Hunts Point Produce Market—an area where Governor Cuomo has already shown his commitment to our borough through his allocation of almost $30 million in funding through his Regional Economic Development Council." 

State Senator Adriano Espaillat:

“Governor Cuomo continues to demonstrate that he is in touch with New Yorkers’ needs and we share his priorities. As a progressive state senator, I will continue to work with Gov. Cuomo, particularly in areas such as housing, job creation, economic justice, and the treatment of immigrants.
“As someone who led the fight to extend and strengthen tenant protections as part of last year’s rent regulations fight, I am pleased that Gov. Cuomo announced the creation of a Tenant Protection Unit and other measures that will help keep millions of poor and working-families in their homes.
“Immigrants are one of New York’s most important assets. That’s why I am heartened by Gov. Cuomo’s commitment to immigrants and look forward toward working with him as we establish the Office for New Americans.
“We will continue supporting Gov. Cuomo in addressing the challenges faced by everyday New Yorkers. Together, we will build a stronger –and more fair – New York that all New Yorkers can be proud of.”

State Senator Rev. Ruben Diaz
A Bad Start for the New Year:

“Although I may be the lone voice crying in the wilderness, I need to publicly and ardently disagree with New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo and his plans to call for an amendment to the State Constitution to legalize casino gambling.  I also need to express my strong opposition to his proposal in his State of the State Address to build a DNA databank of samples taken from criminal defendants in New York State.

“Like the rest of us, Governor Cuomo must know that by legalizing casino gambling, gambling addiction will increase and more and more families and children will suffer. Rent will not get paid.  Food will not be on the table.  In a State where poverty levels have increased, gambling revenues will not draw from expendable income but from families’ necessities.  Instead of helping the many New Yorkers who already suffer from gambling addiction, this amendment will only continue to destroy their worlds and further exploit vulnerable and poor New Yorkers and their families.

“Governor Cuomo has already legalized gay marriage.  Now he wants to legalize casino gambling.  What’s next – legalizing prostitution and marijuana and drugs – all in good “faith” to make money to raise tax revenues for the State?

“In regard to Governor Cuomo’s hopes to build the DNA database, he must be aware of the racial injustice that exists within New York’s prison system.  It is unsettling how on one hand, the Governor says that he opposes harsh fingerprinting requirements for families who need food stamps, and on the other hand, he wants to expand the DNA databank samples of criminal defendants.  The racial imbalance targeted by both of these rules is clear, and the disregard of civil liberties and privacy protection laws and the implications it gives to the authorities is also clear.

“To some, Governor Cuomo may seem to be unstoppable, but I do not see him as our economic savior.  I see him as quite the opposite.”

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