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tv   Gov. Cuomo Inaugural Address on Ellis Island  CSPAN  January 3, 2019 11:10am-11:46am EST

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>> a divided government returns to washington with convening of the 116th congress democrats controlling the house of representatives while republicans increase their majority in the senate. this congress has been described as the most diverse in history with 100 new members coming to washington including more women and minorities, join us at noon as the 116th congress gathers into session. watch your member take the oath of office, the election of a new speaker and congress begin its work, new congress, new leaders live on c-span and c-span2.
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>> new york governor andrew cuomo was sworn in for his third term at a new year's day ceremony on ellis island. he said his state would build bridges, not a wall. >> at this time we have jenna, the chief of the court of appeal state of new york, step forward and administer the oath of office to andrew cuomo as governor of the state of new york, accompanied by miss sandra lee and michaela kennedy cuomo and mrs. matilda cuomo.
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>> governor, you were reelected with more votes than anyone in the primary and general election and this evening i am so proud to be here to swear you in, to continue to do the peoples work every hour of every day. please raise your right hand and repeat after me. i, andrew mark cuomo. >> i, andrew mark cuomo. >> do solemnly swear. >> do solemnly swear. >> that i will support and defend the constitution of the united states. >> that i will support and defend the constitution of the united states. >> the constitution of the state of new york. >> in the constitution of the state of new york. >> and i will faithfully discharge the duty. >> i will faithfully discharge the duties. >> of the office of governor. >> of the office of governor. >> of the great state of new york. >> according to the best of viability. >> according to the best of viability. so help me god. [applause]
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>> you may be seated. and please, welcome the governor of the state of new york, andrew cuomo. [cheers and applause] >> thank you. thank you. thank you. thank you very very much. thank you very very much. thank you. happy new year to everyone. great way to start the new year. let's thank the staff of this magnificent ellis island, for keeping it open today for us and for their service.
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actually, come to think of it the state is paying them to keep ellis island open and we are proud to do it because it would have been terrible with ellis island closed. that will never happen. [applause] >> let me thank our great chief judge of the court of appeals. [applause] >> reverend richardson who we will hear from in a moment and rabbi schneider, thank you for your service to new york and your inspiration to all of us. congratulations to my great partner in albany who has been phenomenal. congratulations to our great history making attorney general, first woman elected
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attorney general in the history of the state of new york. [applause] >> and she wears two hats. she is the first person of color ever elected attorney general of the state of new york. [applause] >> for your information i was attorney general at one point, one of those facts no one else would know. the proper protocol for the attorney general is general james. i salute you, general james, congratulations. thomas, who has been a phenomenal state public servant who served in new york state assembly. if you want to feel intimidated come to the state of the state
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and enter the hall and hear the applause of tom done appellee compared to everyone else. the assembly loves him and his applause dwarfs everyone else. he has been a phenomenal controller, 32 years of public service. god bless you and thank you. [applause] [applause] >> i want to thank the rabbi, i want to thank them. let's give them around of applause. [applause] >> we also have our elected official, lieutenant governor mentioned that. we begin with the greatest team that has ever served the state of new york in my opinion,
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headed by alfonso, david, stephanie, jill, let's give them a round of applause. [applause] >> to the court of appeals, thank you for being here. let's give them a round of applause and members of congress and members of the state assembly in the senate, mayor bill diblasio, thank you very much for being here. congressman charles rangel. the lion of lenox ave. mayor david dickens, who brought us such pride as mayor of new york and all our brothers and sisters in the labor movement. i thought you were here but i can't hear you. i don't know. thank you for being here. we have done great work together and we are going to do more. the first day of this new year
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in this new term as we face in a reality. it is a day that not only calls for celebration but even more importantly for perspective. when they write history books about this time and place they will record this period as one of global and national unrest. of time that saw thousands of new immigrants searching our borders in search of hope. of time that saw troubled, frightened american citizens frustrated by economics, stagnation and deteriorating democracy, have braved new doubts about where our country is headed. there is now a fundamental questioning of the viability of the american promise was a covenant that created our nation's founding 242 years ago and reached full flower right
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here in this great bowl, for our ancestors yearning to breathe free, illuminated by the torch of the great lady in the harbor. a land that would work with you, lift you up to reach new heights as high as your wings and your work could carry you, with individual freedom and equal rights for all. and american promise grounded on the theory that we would work together. the sacred compact held firm through the centuries, through world wars, internal dissension and economic depression. through it all, we overcame. we rallied as one. we build the strongest nation on the globe. there is no other nation that can threaten us. america's only threat is from within.
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it is the growing division among us. [applause] >> the threat is when we see ourselves as black or white, foreign or nativeborn instead of as americans. as christians or jews or muslims, gay or straight, instead of as americans. that, my friends, is truly frightening. that is the threat we face today. as our nation once confronted a great economic depression, we now confront a great social depression. people's frustration is turning to fear and the fear is turning to anger and the anger is turning to division. it is impossible to overstate how dangerous, how malignant this condition is.
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it is like a cancer that is spreading throughout our society. a disease that causes one cell in the body politic to attack other cells, to turn one against one another. we see it almost every day in the spreading anti-semitism and the growing number of white supremacist groups, the kkk in charlottesville, the rage unleashed in the mass shootings from san bernardino, california, to parkland, florida. we see it in the homophobia that erupted into violence and death inside and orlando nightclub, in the cruelty that breeds in the anonymity and misogyny and zeno phobia and nationalism that for some now constitutes the political currency of the day. it may surprise you but i don't
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fault our federal government for causing the underlying fear and frustration. i fault them for something worse. i fault them for failure of leadership and government malfeasance. [applause] >> i fault them for manipulating and using the fear and deepening divisions for their own political purpose. [applause] >> like looters during a blackout they didn't cause the darkness but they exploited it. people's fear and frustration is caused by real problems in their lives and there are two options for government leaders to take.
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the hard but true path is to confront and actually solve the problem. the easy but false path is to use the anger to blame someone else. the easiest target to blame is always the people who are different. this federal government has sought to demonize our differences and make our diversity our greatest weakness rather than our greatest strength. [applause] >> we always knew, we always knew that the concept of e pluribus unum e pluribus unum would be difficult. we knew it. pope francis has said differences among people always scare us.
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but the differences create tension, and resolving that tension moves humanity forward. that tension has always been with us and the notion of inciting it, to try to divide and conquer, is neither new nor novel. in fact, it is old and ugly. new york knows the challenge well. with our dense city and diversity we have lived with it daily. but new yorkers always risen above hatred. when racism or sexism or discrimination rears its ugly head in our state we come together, all of us united, to oppose the division. [applause] >> when they bring fear and
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hate, we bring an embrace of love and hope. we know when we come together at our darkest hours, that our finest days can follow. when they write the history books and ask us what did you do in the face of anger and division? what did you do when people were disillusioned? let new york's answer be in that defining moment we brought healing and light and hope and progress and action. [applause] >> let us say that new york did not seek to blame or use people's anger but rather chose
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the hard but true path to resolve the fear by solving the problems that were causing the frustration in the first place. just as fdr turned the frustration of the economic depression into a movement that passed the new deal, let new yorkers, the frustration of the social depression to pass a new justice agenda, advancing social, racial and economic justice. and -- let us address our issues, our very real issues with the progress of agenda, not a regress of agenda. and agenda that moves us forward and united, not down, backwards and divided. [applause] within my first 100
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days, i will propose to the legislature the most progressive agenda the state has ever seen, period? [applause] >> from voting reforms to roe v wade or new york to protect the woman's right to choose, to better gun laws, to healthcare protection, legalizing marijuana, protecting the labor movement, to a green new deal, the real criminal justice reform, we will make history and new york will move forward, not by building a wall, my friends, but by building new bridges and building new airports and creating new
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middle-class jobs, and an economic future for the next generation. and showing us how good we can be at our best. my friends, our new legislature is thankfully now governed by democrats. [cheers and applause] >> i feel liberated. i felt like i was fighting with one arm tied behind my back. we will not repeat mistakes of the past. we know hollow campaign rhetoric and false political posturing only aggravates the frustration.
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new yorkers are smart. they know there's no magic wand the we can wave, no single silver bullet. my father used to say we need ideas that sound good but rather ideas that are good and sound. [applause] >> new yorkers know the difference between rhetoric and results. we either perform by delivering real solutions that restore hope and progress in people's lives or we fail. it is that simple. either the government works or the government doesn't work. either the government delivers or the government delivers. and if we don't deliver, we fail. but in new york, failure is not an option, my friends. [applause]
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>> we will get it done. and it won't be just what new york got done at this defining moment, but how we did it. the way we do it is by bringing people together. democrats and republicans, upstate and downstate, young and old, all of us together. because we believe we can be a people truly guided by our better angels because new york believes our interconnection and interdependence come from our eccentric goodness. new york believes that your child's success is my child's success. your acceptance is my acceptance and your rejection is my rejection, your respect and dignity is my respect and dignity. that is what we call community and connection.
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our official state seal, our official state seal proclaims us the great state of new york. the question before us is how do we define great? in new york we define great by the size of one's heart and the depth of one's character. that is what great means in new york. what makes new york, we will not tolerate hate in our state. that is what makes us great. what makes us great, and our credo is, not only i love new york but new york love you.
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that is what new york is about. the we reject the path of divide and conquer and accept the path that says unify and grow. that is what new york has done time and time again throughout history. whenever this nation was in a dark period. whenever this nation was searching for its soul, they looked to new york and new york showed the way. we show the way when we let the women's suffrage movement at seneca falls and the first call for women's equality. we led the way right after the triangle factory fire when we said safety for all workers and workers rights have to be a priority.
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we led the way for the gay rights movement after stonewall, because we said true equality is equality and love doesn't discriminate. [applause] >> we showed the way when new york ended the sin of slavery 35 years before the emancipation proclamation. [applause] >> we showed the way forward when we rejected discrimination by electing the first congresswoman to the united states of america, shirley chisholm. [applause] >> and we showed the way recently, and they will write what the people in this room did into the history books, when we passed marriage
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equality and changed the discourse in this nation when we pass free college tuition. so every child can go to college. we passed the best paid family leave program and the smartest gun-control law, the save act and raise the minimum wage to $15, the highest in the nation, 66% increase that goes into effect today and will change life for millions and millions of americans. that is what we did. [cheers and applause] >> that is what we did. and we believe the promise that attracted 5000 people a day to
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come from across the globe to this sacred place, through this portal on ellis island, that this is not a faded memory of yesterday but rather a shining beacon for a better tomorrow. [applause] >> ellis island remains the place where mccoy arrived from the poor island of jamaica, whose son was educated in new york public schools and rose to become the united states secretary of state:powell. it is the place where rose and joseph hamster, jewish immigrants from austria,
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arrived, whose brooklyn born granddaughter would become supreme court justice ruth bader ginsburg. [applause] >> this is a place and this is the promise that made america america, and no one can ever forget that. it doesn't matter how high one is raised or what office one occupies, never forget where you came from and never forget or deny this place because this is the place where richard coley arrived fleeing starvation in ireland and his grandson is now vice president mike pence. this is the harbor where frederick trump arrived from germany and whose grandson would become president of the united states.
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don't you tell me ellis island isn't real and true and the promise that made america live today because it does. [applause] >> that is my perspective today, my friends. january 1st is bittersweet for me. it is a happy day but also a sad day. it is the anniversary of my father's death. four years ago his health was declining, but he promised that he would be with us until inauguration day. and he was. he heard my swearing-in over the telephone from his bed and
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he died soon afterwards. he was true to his word always, said he would be there for inauguration day and he was there. i took him from his bed that afternoon and we put him to rest. i loved him so so so much. we buried him with a special new york state necktie that i made to wear for the inaugural. he loved it, the state colors, navy blue and gold and was adorned with the state seal. today i stand here in his shoes. i learned this lesson of america and government from him and from my family. congressman wrangle is right. i didn't get it from a book. i didn't get it from a political science course. i learned it in the kitchen from my father and my grandparents.
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it is in my dna. [applause] >> my grandparents were the people at the southern border. my mother's parents, charles and mary roff a and his father andrea who i am named after, came alone through this very whole. their names were on the wall. it wasn't easy. my grandparents would cry to their dying day when they talk about their journey and the hardship and the people they left behind and the stereotypes and ugliness of discrimination. and the slings and arrows. but they never gave up hope. and they made it. and they would proclaim god bless america as their tribute
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to this great nation. and that their son went from behind the little grocery store in south jamaica on the other side of the tracks where he was born, to occupy the highest seat in the greatest state in the greatest nation in the only world we know, proves the american success story once again and that story has been replicated over and over and over again. my father may be gone but he is still with me because i believe the spirit lives. i can hear his voice and i can imagine his pain and anger if he could see his beloved country today. he would say this is an outrage. this is an american. it violates everything we
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fought for. it violates everything we believe in and he would implore us all, each and every one, to stand against the tide, to fight back, and that new york should lead by example, by the power of our example and lift up new york and show the nation the way forward, show them the better way. and he would be right. and pop, wherever you are, and i think i know where, i think i know where, please give us the strength to fight this good fight, to resist the negative, to resist the hatemongers and naysayers. help us rise up and let new york say the federal government may shut itself down but it will never extinguish the statue of liberty's torch. it will never erase the words of her poem. they will never close our
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harbor. they whatever close our hearts. they whatever close this hall of dreamers. they will never disrespect the legacy they left. that it is new york's duty, it is new york's destiny, it is new york's legacy to bring the light to lead the way through the darkness and i pledge to the people of the state of new york, that is what we will do together! thank you and god bless! [cheers and applause] [cheers and applause]
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>> coverage of the 116th congress on c-span2. still have to deal with the 115th congress which will give out a couple minutes and then work up to 116th, we will begin during the morning into the afternoon and show you highlights of what goes on on the senate floor and give you background of what to expect as the senate starts business today and continues as the government shutdown continues. joining us to start the conversation this morning steve dennis of bloomberg.
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