At this vital time for our country, progressive leadership at the state level has never been so important. New York, with one of the country’s most progressive electorates, is perfectly situated to lead this resistance. Yet we have utterly failed to do so. More than that, our state government is so enraptured to corrupt real estate money, that we are failing to deliver basic services.
That is why I ask you to join me in voting for Cynthia Nixon for Governor in the Democratic Primary on Thursday (yes, Thursday), September 13th.
Nixon shares our values and a bold, progressive vision for New York. She has spoken in clear, compelling terms about the issues that matter. Cynthia Nixon has called for universal rent regulation for New York tenants, drivers’ licenses and integration for our undocumented neighbors, Medicare for All in NYS (called the New York Health Act), legalization of marijuana, real support for New York’s public schools, and fully funding the significant capital investment needed for a functioning MTA. She has not shied away from taxing millionaires to pay for these plans, or other “difficult” questions about her vision. This is the New York we can be, and we deserve.
Many people I’ve spoken to have concerns about Nixon’s lack of relevant government experience. These concerns have merit. She has been an activist and engaged in New York civic life for many years. But there is no doubt that in a strict comparison of résumés, Nixon has less experience than Andrew Cuomo. But this is not the only question. There is also the question of how each candidate would apply their experience.
Andrew Cuomo is extremely skilled at the art of NY governance. But he uses that skill to harm poor people. I will take a novice who is with workers, tenants, patients, immigrants, and straphangers over an expert at opposing us any day of the week.
Until Nixon announced, Cuomo was the most conservative Democratic governor in the country. He's taken over $50 million in landlord and banker money (including tens-of-thousands from Donald Trump). He has done everything in his power to keep a Republican State Senate. He has blocked drug and criminal justice reform, tenant rights, millionaire taxes, the NY Health Act, attacked worker pensions and more. Virtually every year, he “sweeps” hundreds of millions of dollars out of dedication mass transit funding to the general fund.
Andrew Cuomo’s consistent use of the office to serve the wealthiest has hurt working and middle class New Yorkers, earning him the nickname “Governor 1%”. Equally disappointing, he has become the chief enabler of the pay-to-play culture of corruption that dominates Albany, with several of Cuomo's closest aides and allies convicted of corruption.
Simply put, on economic, housing, and justice issues, Andrew Cuomo has been our enemy – and a very effective one. He has also, to be fair, used his skills for good. He notably showed leadership on marriage equality and gun control. But this is New York State, and it is not 1992. “Progressive on social issues and conservative on economics” is neither good politics nor good policy. New York State – and the Democratic Party - can, and must, do better.
Since Nixon announced, Cuomo has moved to the left on many of these issues. But he makes election promises every four years, and forgets them immediately afterwards. We must be sure Cuomo hears the voice of New York’s progressive majority louder than his real estate donors and corrupt cronies. Vote Cynthia Nixon on Thursday, September 13th.