Speaking last night at the Democratic Rural Conference in Schenectady, Gov. Andrew Cuomo pledged to improve the economy of upstate New York, saying he’s “sick and tired” of listening to the troubles of region without finding solutions.
Cuomo spoke in front of a banner that read “Rural New York is Cuomo Country” and received strong applause from the crowd of upstate Democrats. It’s been a loyal group to Cuomo: They backed him for governor in 2002 in his unsuccessful primary run against Carl McCall, and then picked him again four years later when he ran and won in a crowded primary field for state attorney general.
He acknowledged the group’s support, saying they have stuck by him in good times and bad.
The first-year governor said his administration will work on economic development and lower taxes and regulations that are an impediment to upstate’s revival.
“I’m sick and tired of hearing too much talk in upstate New York about the old days, and the companies that we had, and the businesses that we had and not enough talk about tomorrow and the future, and the businesses that are coming, and the jobs that are coming, and the opportunities that are coming,” Cuomo said in one of the first stump-type speeches he’s given since being elected and perhaps the first one to kick off Cuomo 2014.
“I’m sick and tired of seeing too many young people go to airports to get on a plane to find their future somewhere else because they don’t believe that there’s a future in upstate New York. I’m sick and tired of that, and that’s what’s going to change.”
Cuomo also played to his liberal base after drawing fire from them over his fiscally conservative budget last month that cut state aid to schools and social-service programs, saying New York should once again be the “progressive capital of the nation. That’s what New York does.”
He recommitted his support for women’s rights, environmental rights and marriage equality. Cuomo has pledged to seek making same-sex marriage legal in New York this legislative session, which ends in late-June.
“We led the way and we’re going to do it again,” he said to loud applause to the crowd of a few hundred supporters. “They are going to say New York is the progressive capital leading the way for reproductive rights, and women rights, and environmental rights and marriage equality in the state of New York. That’s what the DRC is all about and we’re going to do it together.”
Here’s some video.