Statement From Senator Adriano Espaillat in Response to Remarks Made by Former County Executive Steve Levy

Adriano Espaillat

March 05, 2013

While my remarks were obviously made in good fun, I don’t think there’s anything particularly “radical” about passing meaningful campaign finance reform to reduce the influence of special interests in Albany, raising the minimum wage to assist working families, ensuring that women earn equal pay for equal work, or protecting the rights of our society’s most vulnerable.

What’s “radical,” are the race-baiting and anti-immigrant positions you held as Suffolk County Executive - policies that contributed to a hostile environment against Latino immigrants and earned the scrutiny of the U.S Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division.

And what’s “radical,” is the idea that New Yorkers working a full time job should require public assistance to feed their families, or the fact that our state hasn’t experienced a minimum wage increase since 2009. That’s why I stand with Governor Cuomo and the overwhelming majority of New Yorkers that support this proposal.

I’ll continue to work with Governor Cuomo to make sure New York State is a place where communities are bought together, not pitted against each other as you so often attempted to do.