Citizen Action of New York Responds to Governor Cuomo’s 2021 State of the State Address

Albany, NY – In response to Governor Cuomo’s 2021 State of the State Address, Rosemary Rivera, Co-Executive Director of Citizen Action of New York issued the following statement:

“Even as millions of people suffer through this global health crisis and recession, the richest few in New York have seen their fortunes skyrocket by more than $70 billion during the pandemic. If there was ever a time to tax millionaires and billionaires, it is now.

“The Governor is right: we do need help from the federal government, but what he is wrong about is his refusal to tax the rich. The bottom line is that we must address the root cause of the deep suffering we’re seeing: massive wealth hoarded at the top while everyday people struggle to live decent lives. For decades, we’ve called for higher taxes on the rich and to end state budgets that were balanced on the backs of Black, Brown and low-income New Yorkers. As wealthy as this state is, there’s no reason why we should even be considering refusing children a sound, basic education at such a critical time. There’s no reason why millions of people shouldn’t have health care or be able to feed their families. We have called for reinvestment in our communities in the form of fully funded public schools, health care for all, dignified housing, and depopulated prisons. When the pandemic hit, these same communities were left to fend for themselves. The Governor has not shown solidarity with the millions of workers who were excluded from federal relief or the 1.4 million New Yorkers who are on the verge of losing their home.

“As Covid-19 ravages our state, the real question is whether the Governor is willing to take up the six ‘Invest in Our NY’ bills that will raise at least $50 billion in new, progressive revenue so we are never caught flat footed again and have consistently sustainable budgets to deal with the needs of everyday New Yorkers. We need a commitment from Cuomo and state legislators to tax the rich and rebuild our economy.”