Gov. Kathy Hochul’s next steps are to prove her capability to improve state government


NY Senate Photo | Wikimedia Commons

Jahlil Rush, Production Assistant

Former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo resigned from office in disgrace, but he created history on the way out with his Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul. Hochul must now prove to New Yorkers that her administration will be better than her predecessors.

Hochul became New York’s first female governor on Aug. 24, gaining leadership of a state government in desperate need to get back to business following months of distraction over sexual harassment allegations against Cuomo.

Not only is she taking over a job after a scandal, but she also must combat an alarming rise in COVID-19 cases due to the arrival of the delta variant. Hochul shall make difficult decisions like mask and vaccine mandates.

She delivered a virtual address to New Yorkers at a public ceremony where she laid out her priorities, including battling the delta variant, supplying more financial aid for New Yorkers and combating toxic work culture in state government.

“I’m ready to get to work as your governor to solve the big problems that this state faces. Your priorities are my priorities,” Hochul said.

Hochul’s desire to help New Yorkers receive financial assistance comes as the economy remains in limbo. While jobs lost during the pandemic have slowly made a comeback, the unemployment rate remains high. She should advocate and work with local officials to create job training programs for communities hit hardest by the pandemic

New York has also been struggling to provide federal aid relief to tenants behind on their rent. Only 6% of the $2 billion budget has been released, PIX 11 reported.

Hochul has championed the Cuomo administration’s  progressive ideas,but The New York Times reported that she was a “relatively conservative democrat” during the early days of her career.

Her stance on past policies may prove ineffective in the mission to get New Yorkers to trust her.

During her tenure as Erie County clerk in 2007, she was an opponent of efforts that would provide driver’s licenses to undocumented immigrants. While she was in Congress in 2011, she was given an “A” rating from the National Rifle Association and an endorsement in 2012.

While she has praised signature Democratic issues like samesex marriage and raising the minimum wage, her efforts to gain trust from New Yorkers is going to be a lengthy challenge as she will have to explain her past stances to people who view her as an “unknown quantity.

Hochul has the potential to be better than her predecessor. She has a similar gift that Cuomo had of  capturing people’s hearts with words.

“I want people to believe in their government again,” Hochul said during the short press conference that was followed by her ceremonial swearing-in.

During her tenure as governor, Hochul can work to restore the relationship between Albany and New York City Hall. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and Cuomo’s animosity toward each other played out in front of their constituents during each of their tenures in office.

With the arrival of a new governor and the soon-to-be arrival of a new mayor, New Yorkers will finally be able to see if Albany and New York City can co-exist together.

Hochul has taken a leadership position in an era of politics where being a status quo politician is no longer accepted. She has taken on a mission where her objective is getting people to see how the state government can once again play an integral part in New Yorker’s quality of life.

With the 2022 midterms right around the corner, Hochul needs to leave her days of being Cuomo’s number two behind and show how her leadership skills are just what New Yorkers need in crucial times.