NYC Public Advocate's Statement On The 2022 State Of The State Address

January 5th, 2022

Press Release

"In her State of the State address, the governor mentioned many of the issues facing New Yorkers, and this would represent a strong list of priorities – if the announcements on these issues demonstrated that they would be strongly prioritized. I welcome the discussion of many crucial topics including climate, housing, public safety, health care, and more. At the same time, in many areas, these intentions do not seem to be matched by the investments needed to truly renew the state, and the city I represent. Much of this speech could have been given pre-pandemic, rather than meeting the moment by envisioning a new normal.

"The governor spoke of the affordable housing and homelessness crisis – but her proposal of 100,000 units of nominally affordable housing is not sufficient to meet the need in New York City alone, much less the entire state. That commitment, compounded with a lack of commitment to pass Good Cause legislation and keep New Yorkers in their homes, shows a failure to meet the scope and urgency of the issues New York faces, which was a philosophy reflected across the address. In the area of public safety as well, I appreciated the governor’s pledges on the supply side of gun violence as well as in community group funding, but absent was a broader, bolder vision that reimagines public safety and examines its intersections with housing, health care, education, and other issues.

"I further appreciate the governor’s stated goals on ethics reform, as it remains abundantly clear that we need to eliminate the systems, structures, and incentives that empowered and enabled the previous governor’s abuses. But I also fear that this administration will make many of the mistakes of the last, whether by failing to fully reject the ways of the past or failing to learn from them in responding to the ongoing, surging COVID-19 pandemic.

"As I and others have in the past, the governor recalled the New Deal in her remarks. But absent from this address was a solid foundation of the kind of transformative economy a Renewed Deal for New York could provide. There are common sense, broadly supported measures which would generate sustainable revenue from the wealthiest New Yorkers as a civic responsibility to support struggling New Yorkers – but the governor has not supported these critical steps which would enable the kind of investment we truly need to renew New York.

"Discussion of these issues is important, acknowledged, and appreciated – but that discussion must be accompanied by the political courage to envision and enact transformational change for New York City and across the state."

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