Gov. Andrew Cuomo spoke this morning at Rev. Al Sharpton’s National Action Network rally in Harlem, saying Martin Luther King Jr. preached unity and that New York government is responding to people’s needs.
“When one of us is raised, we are all raised,” Cuomo said to applause. “And when one of us is lowered, we are all lowered. That’s Dr. King’s sense of community — where I want you to do well because we are connected.”
Cuomo, in a nearly 15-minute speech, touted his initiatives for the legislative session in Albany, a progressive agenda that has played well with his Democratic base. He said he would push to increase the state’s minimum wage, pass a women’s rights act and decriminalize a small amount of marijuana that would limit the city’s stop-and-frisk policy.
“I went into government because that was the vehicle to make change for me. That was a vehicle to make a difference,” Cuomo said.
His biggest applause came when he outlined the state’s new gun-control measures, which he signed into law Tuesday.
Sharpton praised Cuomo for passing the first and toughest set of gun-control laws since the Newtown, Conn. shootings last month.
“What has happened in the state of New York has laid a foundation for historic change,” Sharpton said as he introduced the governor.
Cuomo said the new law would save lives.
“Enough innocent people have died. How many times as a society do we have to see tragedy after tragedy after tragedy before we act?” Cuomo said.
Later today, pro-gun activists will rally outside the Capitol in opposition to the new law.