Yesterday, John Brooks declared victory over Michael Venditto after the recount in SD 8, bringing the number of Democrats in the State Senate to 32. This morning Senate Democratic Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins called for Democratic unity to create a Democratic Senate majority.

Karen Scharff, Executive Director of Citizen Action of NY, said:

“Governor Cuomo has spent the last three weeks promising to oppose President-elect Trump’s wildly regressive, anti-immigrant, anti-worker agenda. Now he has the opportunity to act on his words by making sure State Senate Democrats are united come 2017 – New Yorkers will be watching to see if he rises to the occasion.

At a time when millions of New Yorkers are scared about what the future holds for their families and communities, there is no time for political games. The Senate Republican majority has stood behind Donald Trump from Day One. Day by day, we get a better sense of what that means: a Secretary of HHS who not only wants to repeal the ACA, but also wants to dramatically cut Medicaid and turn Medicare into insurance vouchers, a Treasury Department led by one of the hedge fund profiteers of the 2008 economic crisis that decimated New York’s economy and an immigration policy that tears families apart and uses our worst fears to divide us.

If Governor Cuomo wants to protect New Yorkers from these dangerous policies, and make our state a national leader, he will unify the 32 Senate Democrats into a State Senate majority that will fight Trump.”

Lisa Tyson, Director of Long Island Progressive Coalition (LI affiliate of Citizen Action of NY), said:

“Long Islanders elected John Brooks because they are fed up with the corrupt business as usual in Albany.

With 32 State Senate Democrats now in the majority, the responsibility rests squarely on Governor Cuomo to bring every New York Democrat together to take on a Trump administration poised to dismantle our health care system, roll-back basic environmental protections and fuel corporate profits at the expense of working people.

We need a state government that can take real action to defend our communities – not a Senate allied with the extreme right-wing administration in control in Washington.”