Aug 24, 2021
Kathy Hochul Sworn In as First Female Governor of New York Speech Transcript
Kathy Hochul was sworn in as New York’s first female governor on August 24, 2021 after Andrew Cuomo resigned. Read the transcript of her speech remarks here.
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Kathy Hochul: (06:41)
You’ll soon find that brevity is the hallmark of my administration. I also want to thank everyone for joining us this morning. And particularly, Chief Judge DiFiore, who graced me by wearing the same robe that was worn by the first female Court of Appeals Judge, Judith Case. So there is some symbolism in her attire this morning as well. Also, I want to thank pastor Solomon Dees of Wilburn Temple for gracing us and reminding us of the presence of God here today. I’ve worshiped with him a number of times, and I wanted him to bless this gathering and bless my administration. I also want to thank our leadership. Who’s here today. Our Assembly Speaker, Carl Hasty, majority leader of the Senate, my great friend, Andrea Stewart Cousins. We’ve been on a long journey together and I so look forward to continuing the relationships that we’ve had, but even deepening it.
Kathy Hochul: (07:35)
So thank you, and I look forward to a conversation with you on the pressing issues of the day immediately following. And of course my family and my beloved husband Bill, who’s been at my side for 37 years. My children, Will, Katie and their beautiful spouses, wonderful people, Matt and Christina. I also have a large extended family here, so sorry to you in the back. I came from a big Irish Catholic family with six kids, but I do want to acknowledge my parents. My father is here representing in spirit, my mother. Dad, I’m so honored to see you and that you could make the journey here today, as well as my siblings. So this is an emotional moment for me, but it is one that I prepared for and I’m so looking forward to continuing the work we have to do.
Kathy Hochul: (08:22)
To that end, I spoke with President Biden last night to talk about a number of issues. He pledged his full support to my administration in anything we need. Particularly, I thanked him for the support we’ve received from FEMA and others in terms of cleaning up after Henri and how we were prepared, and I’m going to continue assessing the situation. But I do want to thank the people whose lives were disrupted as well as those who responded, not just to that crisis, but those who continue to fight on the front lines as we fight this deadly pandemic. I also want to thank the hundreds of thousands of state workers, who I have such respect for. And I look forward to letting them know that I will represent them with my heart and soul as well. They are the face of government in many, many communities, and I have my utmost respect for all of them. So I just want to tell you briefly, I’ll be sharing a number of my priorities with all of you, if you would come reconvene again at three o’clock today.
Kathy Hochul: (09:17)
We also talked about how we’ll be combating COVID, getting direct aide to New Yorkers more quickly and changing the culture of Albany. And that’s why I’m looking forward to a fresh collaborative approach. That’s how I’ve always conducted myself, that will be nothing new for me, but as something I’m planning on introducing to the State Capitol. So I’ll be heading to a meeting very shortly with our leaders here. We have much to discuss, we’ll be reporting on that afterward, but at this time I’ll take a few questions and let me call on Marina from AP right now.
Hi Governor Hochul. Do you think that there’s another mechanism for people who want more accountability for Governor Cuomo like appointing a special prosecutor?
Kathy Hochul: (09:58)
I’m going to leave that in the hands of the Assembly they’ve been conducting themselves with great professionalism, and I’m going to allow the continuation of the separation of branches of government and allow them to do their work. Bernadette from the Post.
Hi Governor, thank you. I’m wondering, rent is obviously a massive issue in the state. What will be done to get more money out the door [inaudible 00:10:19] applications quickly, as fewer than a quarter of households for both rent burden and low income in New York City [inaudible 00:10:26] the state comptroller, but what’s being done to reach individuals that have yet to get [inaudible 00:10:32]?
Kathy Hochul: (10:33)
Bernadette, you’ve hit on one of my top priorities. You’ll be hearing more about that this afternoon, but it’ll continue a multi-faceted approach, deploying more people to the crisis, realizing that there’s many people who have not been even aware that they have these resources available to them and connecting them with the landlords. So I will be assembling a team of individuals beginning today to assess this, to wait not one second longer in terms of how we get this relief out to people, it’s there. It needs to be in their hands so they can start getting their lives back in order and reducing some of the incredible stress that these families and individuals are under, it’s absolutely unnecessary. Rami from Univision. You here as well, Rami?
Yes. We want to know what is going to happen with excluded workers in the days to come? And also, we want to know if your cabinet or your staff is going to be part of the minority bill?
Kathy Hochul: (11:33)
Well, we’re doing quite a bit of reach out and I’ll be identifying my administration members as time goes on. I’ve requested and granted myself a 45 day transition period. I think everyone understands that I needed to assemble my two constitutional officers immediately, which I have announced, and these are incredible individuals with great and a lot of government experience. I want people who know what they’re doing surrounding me and I’ll listen to their advice. And so I have my secretary, Karen Keogh has been identified as well as Elizabeth Fine as counsel, but I believe in a fully diverse cabinet, and that is going to be high priority. With respect to the Excluded Worker Program, I’m going to go at that with the same intensity that I am with this rental program. The money’s there, these people were not eligible for other forms of assistance and they’re hurting. And they’re part of the New York family, and I’m going to make that very clear. So I’m making sure we deal with that. Bob McCarthy, Buffalo News.
Bob McCarthy: (12:29)
Good morning, Governor. Is there one particular project, one particular big thing that you would like to accomplish as governor?
Kathy Hochul: (12:44)
I want people to believe in their government again, it’s important to me that people have faith. Our strength comes from the faith and the confidence of the people who put us in these offices, and I take that very seriously. Andrew from NBC 4 please.
Yes, Governor. Thank you very much. You talked about the spirit of collaboration. I know you have spoken with Mayor de Blasio, but throughout the pandemic, the mayor and Governor Cuomo almost never appeared in the same room, despite the fact that their interests could have and should have been aligned. How soon can we expect to see you sitting at a joint news conference Mayor de Blasio, And do you agree with his decision to mandate vaccines for teachers in New York City, will you do that for teachers all across the state?
Kathy Hochul: (13:34)
I’ll be making announcements about that later today, as well as throughout the week as I have a chance to assemble all the stakeholders now that I am officially governor and I have the ability to work with them. We’ll also be discussing this with our leadership from the Assembly and the Senate. This is what collaboration looks like. I have sat down unofficially with Mayor de Blasio, we had some very nice pastries last week and had a great conversation. And he actually called me prior to his announcement yesterday to alert me. And we talked about this era of cooperation, that there’s be no blindsiding, there’ll be just full cooperation because I need his best and brightest integrated with my best and brightest and that’s how we’ll get through this. And for me, that’s just a simple approach, it’s what I’ve always done. But if I can invite you back later this afternoon at three o’clock, I’ll have a chance to address more thoroughly the issues that were raised this morning, as well as some of my other priorities. So thank you very much, and I appreciate everyone coming out today.