tv Gov. Cuomo Inaugural Address on Ellis Island CSPAN January 5, 2019 1:54am-2:28am EST
. >> governor you were reelected with more votes of anyone in the primary general election and i am so proud to be here for you to do the people's work every hour of everyso day please raise your right hand and repeat after me. >> i andrew cuomo do solemnly swear, that i will support and defend the constitution of the united states and the constitution of the state of new york. i will faithfully discharge the duties of the office of governor of the great state of new york according to the best of my abilities so help me
service. actually come to think of it the state now pays them to keep ellis island open. [laughter] [applause] and we are proud to do it because it would be terrible if ellis island closed. that would never happen. [applause] our great chief justice from the court of appeals to reverend richardson thank you so much to your service to new york congratulations to our great partner in albany and our great history making attorneys general first woman
elected attorney general in the history of the state of new york. [applause] and wears two hats also the first person of color elected and for your information the proper protocol for the attorney general is general james so i salute you general james. congratulations. [applause] so a phenomenal state public servant if you ever want to
feel intimidated to enter the hall and hear the applause compared to everyone else the assembly loved him he has been a phenomenal controller god bless you. think you. [applause] and i think my whole family let's give them a round of applause. [applause] and we also have elected officials. but i will be getting with the
greatest to ever serve the state of new york in my opinion. [applause] again, let's give the court of appeals and member of congress and the state of assembly and the senate. thank you very much for being here, congressman charles, mayor david, they brought us such pride all of our brothers and sisters in the labor movement i feel like 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 will do more. today, the first day of this new term and reality, it is a day that not only calls for celebration and perhaps even more importantly my friends, prospective because when you write the history books about this time and place, i believe they will record this period as global and national unrest. a time that for thousands of new immigrants a time that has troubled frightened americans frustrated by economic stagnation and democracy have great new doubts on where our country is headed. is now a fundamental questioning of the viability of the american promise.
it created our nation's founding 242 years ago. it reached full flower right here for our ancestors yearning to breathe free, illuminated by the torch of the great lady in the harbor. it will lift you up to reach new heights, as high as your wings could carry you with equal rights. and american promise that we can work together. this sacred compact is held firm through the centuries and economic depression. through it all, we overcame. we rallied as one and we built the strongest nation.
there is no other nation that can threaten us, americans only threat is from within. it is a growing division amongst us. the threat is when we see ourselves as black or white, we are nativeborn as christians or or muslims , or straight, that my friend is frightening. that is the threat we face today. as our nations once confronted, we now confront a great social depression. frustration turns to fear and anger turns to division. it is impossible to overstate
how dangerous and malignant this condition is. it is like a cancer that is spreading through our society, a disease that causes one felon to attack other cells, to turn one against one another, we see it almost every day now with spreading anti-semitism and the growing number of white supremacists in the in charlottesville, and the rage unleashed in the mass shooting from san bernardino california to florida. we see it in the homophobia that erupted into violence and death inside in orlando nightclub and the cruelty that breeds in the and amenity of the internet and the misogyny
and nationalism that for some now constitutes the political currency of the day. it may surprise you, but i don't force our federal government to cause the underlining fear and frustration. i fault them. i fault them, i fault them for manipulating and using fear and deepening divisions. like looters during a blackout, they do not cause the darkness but they exploited it.
frustration is caused by real problems and there are two options for government leaders to take. the hard but true path is to confront and actually solve the problem. the easy but forced path is to use anger to frustrate someone else and 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. we always knew, we always knew that people will be difficult. pope francis has said
differences among people always scare us. the differences create tension and resolving that tension moves humanity forward. attention has always been with us. they will try to divide and conquer and it is not new or novel. in fact it is old and ugly. new york knows the challenge well and we have lived with it daily. new york has always risen above hatred. when racism or sexism or discrimination rears its ugly head in our face, we come together. all of us united to oppose the division.
when they bring fits of fear and hate and embrace of love and hope. we know that when we come together at our darkest hours, that our finest days can follow. when they write the history books, and they asked 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 that and not defining moment we brought healing and light and hope and progress. let us say, let us say that new york did
not seek to blame or use people's anger but rather chose the hard but true path to resolve the fear by solving the problems that are causing the frustrations in the first place. just as fdr turned the frustration of the depression into a movement to pass the new deal. let new york use the frustration of the social depression to pass a new justice agenda for racial and economic justice and he let's us address our issues, our very real issues with a progressive agenda, not a regressive agenda and an agenda that moves us forward and unites us forward and
together not backward then divided. within my first 100 days, i will propose to the new democratic legislation the most progressive agenda this state has ever seen period. from voting reforms in new york to protecting a woman's rights issues to better gun laws to healthcare projection to legalizing marijuana to protecting the labor movement to a green new deal to 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 middle-class jobs and an economic feature for the next generation and showing us how good we can be at our best when we are together. my friends, our new legislature is thankfully not governed by democrats. i feel liberated, i felt like i was fighting with one arm tied behind my back and we will not repeat mistakes of the past. we know how campaign rhetoric
only aggravates further. new yorkers are smart, they know there is no magic wand or a single silver bullet. my father used to say we don't need ideas that sound good, but rather ideas that are good and sound. 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 does not deliver. if we don't deliver, we fail. but, in new york, failure is
not an option my friends. we will get it done and it won't be just what new york got done at its defining moment but how we did it. the way we are going to do it is by bringing people together, democrats and republicans upstate and downstate, young and old, all of us together. because we believe in new york that we can be people guided by our better rings because new york believes that we are dependent from essential goodness. new york believes that your child's success is my child's success, that your acceptance is my acceptance, that your rejection is mind that your
respect and dignity is my respect and dignity, and that is what we call community and connection. is how do we define great. new york, we defined great by the size of one's heart and the depth of one's character. that's what great means in new york. what makes great, new york great , is that we will not tolerate hate in our state. that's what makes us great. [ applause ]. what makes us
great, what makes us great is that we believe, and our credo is not only i love new york, but new york loves you. that's what new york is all about. [ applause ]. that we reject the path of divide and conquer, and we 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 will we let the woman suffrage movement at seneca falls, and was the first to for woman's equality. we led the way right after the triangle shirt waist factory
fire when we say safety for all workers and workers rights have to be a priority. [ applause ]. we led the way for the gay rights movement after stonewall because we said through equality is the quality and love doesn't discriminate. [ applause ]. we showed the way when new york ended this thing of slavery 35 years before the immense summation proclamation. emancipation crop proclamation. we show the way forward when we reject the 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 with the people in this room did into the history books when we passed marriage equality and we changed it in the courts in this nation when we passed free college tuition so every child can go to college . when we passed the best k family leave program, and the smartest gun control law, and when we raised the minimum wage to $15, the highest in the nation, a 66% increase that goes into effect today and will change lives for millions and millions of americans. that's what we did. [ applause ]. [ cheering ]. that is what we did.
and we believe the promise that attracted 5000 people a day to come from across the globe to the 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 were more of the portable 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, colin powell. [ applause ]. it is the place,
it is the place where rose and joseph amps jewish immigrants from austria arrived, whose brooklyn born granddaughter wood becomes supreme court justice, ruth bader ginsburg. [ applause ]. [ cheering ] care. this is the place, and this is the promise that made america america. and and no one can ever forget that. it doesn't matter how high one is raised or what office ones occupy. never forget where you came from. and never forget or deny this place. because this is the place where richard cawley arrived fleeing starvation in ireland, and whose 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. don't you tell me ellis island isn't real and true and a promise that made america live today because it does. [ applause ]. that is my perspective today, my friends. january 1 is bittersweet for me. it's a happy day, but it's also a sad day. 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 he died soon afterwards. he was true to his word always. he said he would be there for inaugural day and he was there. i took him from his bed that afternoon and we put interest. i loved him so, so, so much. we buried him with the special new york state necktie that i had made special for the inauguration he loved that it was take colors navy, blue, gold and endured 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 ringle's 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, from my grandparents, and it is in my dna. [ applause ]. my grandparents where the people at the southern border today. my mother's parents charles and mary rafael my father's andrea who i was named after came pouring alone through this very hall, their names are on the wall. it was an easy. my grandparents would cry to their dying day when they talked about their journey and the hardship and the people they left behind and the stereotypes and the 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 to this great nation. [ applause ]. and now their son , and that their son went from behind a 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 maybe gone. but he is still with me because i believe his 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 un-american. it violates everything we fought for. it violates everything we believed 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 to 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 the naysayers. help us rise up and let new york say that 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 harbor. they will never close our heart. they will never close this hall of dreamers. they will never disrespect the legacy they left. that it is new york 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's what we will do together. thank you and god bless you. [ applause ]. [ cheering ].