AFTER GOVERNOR’S STATE OF THE STATE, CITIZEN ACTION CALLS FOR SPENDING PUBLIC MONEY ON PUBLIC GOOD
A New York Where All Can Thrive Means Putting Everyday People First Instead of the Wealthy and Well-Connected
January 10, 2023 (New York, NY) — Citizen Action of New York is committed to achieving a society rooted in dignity, safety and opportunity for all. Following Governor Kathy Hochul’s State of the State address, Citizen Action Co-Executive Director Jess Wisneski had the following to say:
“New Yorkers are counting on Governor Hochul to right the wrongs of the pandemic era economy with skyrocketing costs on housing, childcare, groceries and gas. To do so, she will need to hold corporate power accountable through tenant protections, making the wealthy and corporations pay what they owe in taxes, and regulating away from fossil fuels to a clean energy economy. After decades of underinvestment, our communities need lots of public money put into public goods.
“We applaud Governor Hochul’s commitment to fiscal equity for our public schools. The result of 20 years of sustained parent and teacher organizing and advocacy, this funding commitment is crucial to Black, Brown and low income communities across the state. Now it’s time to end the school to prison pipeline by also passing the Solutions Not Suspensions bill into law this session.
“Clearly the Governor understands that the housing crisis is hurting our communities, but her response is to give away millions in public money to private real estate corporations–rather than help New Yorkers being displaced by skyrocketing rents and predatory landlords. New Yorkers have called for the critical components of any housing plan: Good Cause tenant protections from eviction, housing vouchers to help tenants keep up with skyrocketing rising rents, and more robust rights for tenants when the properties in which they live are put up for sale. These must be on the agenda in 2023.
“New Yorkers are working longer hours for dwindling paychecks that fail to keep up with the rising cost of living. Big corporations and their billionaire CEOs are getting richer and richer off of our work, our housing, our health, and our schools, leaving too many families to survive on scraps. The consequences of billionaire greed are felt by all of us in the form of underfunded schools, crumbling homes, poisoned air and water, broken infrastructure, and mass incarceration. New York must create the progressive tax structure that can sustain our state and working families by making corporations and the wealthy pay what they owe to the public they profit from. Without it, Governor Hochul will fail to provide the vision and pathway for New York families to recover and thrive.
“At the end of her remarks, Governor Hochul rightly noted that it has never been more important for New York to protect and enshrine our freedoms because they are under attack. We couldn’t agree more and that is why we stand in strong opposition to her nomination of Judge LaSalle to lead the state’s highest court. We need a Chief Judge who will meet the moment with unparalleled commitment to protect all New Yorkers’ freedoms and rights.
“The Governor now has an opportunity through the Executive Budget proposal to prove that she too will prioritize public goods and corporate accountability. Public money should benefit the millions of regular people who live here and make this state work, not an elite handful of the ultra-wealthy. Citizen Action members across the state stand ready to work with partners in and out of state government who are committed to a people-powered plan to invest in childcare, healthcare, education, affordable housing, and everything else that is necessary to create safe, thriving communities.”