By Hellen Zaboulani
Governor Andrew Cuomo is taking on the new wave of “progressives” who have become outspoken spokespersons for the state. Apparently rising stars like Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York have started to quirk him. The newly elected leftist state senators have at times referred to the governor as an obstacle rather than an ally. The governor is now making it public that the feeling is mutual.
The governor wrote an op-ed earlier in the month, featured in the NY Daily News, about how the other progressive lawmakers in New York City have failed on several issues, only offering “bumper sticker” solutions. “New York City is the progressive capitol, but homelessness today is worse than it was under the Republican and independent administrations of Rudy Giuliani and Michael Bloomberg”, wrote Gov. Cuomo.
“Meanwhile, the Legislature is one of the nation’s most progressive, but we still don’t increase funding to poorer school districts — our top social justice and equity priority — without simultaneously raising funding to richer districts,” he continued. The governor also pointed to the “Rikers Island replacement debacle” calling it “a national disgrace”. He also wrote about “the incompetence of NYCHA”, which allows “children being housed without heat and exposed to lead poisoning, without any coherent solution.”
As per the NY Times, the governor took the opportunity to critique the younger progressive wing, in an effort to get like-minded Democrats to upgrade their platforms for the 2020 presidential campaign with real ideas. “True progressives understand that if we fail to perform or pursue misguided, uninformed or unworkable priorities, we make government look incompetent, proving Republicans right and losing the vital public support we need to gain”, Cuomo wrote in his op-ed.
Mr. Cuomo, the third-term Democratic governor in the deep blue state of NY, said he was tired of hearing about the ideals and wanted to get things done. “I believe I am the most progressive, or one of the most progressive leaders in the state,” Mr. Cuomo said in a recent radio interview. He said several of the senators and representatives in his party are full of “aspirational goals with no realistic plan or knowledge or analysis.” “I like to say you can’t be a progressive without making progress,” Mr. Cuomo explained. “I am the left”.
“Progressivism is not about the ability to make promises, but about the ability to deliver them,” he said. “While this distinction may be too subtle for the Twitter dialogue of today, it makes all the difference. How we define a true progressive will determine our electoral — and more importantly our governmental — success,” the governor wrote, ending off his op-ed.