Caucus Chair, the Reverend and Assemblyman Karim Camara Responds to Governor Cuomo’s 2014 State of the State Address

It was a great pleasure and honor to deliver the Invocation at the State of the State. In his address Governor Cuomo outlined the positive trajectory of the state due to his leadership and the leadership of the legislative leaders. Over the past few years we have demonstrated that New York State government can work in a bipartisan fashion for the betterment of the State. 

I applaud the Governor for his commitment to; Youth works, pre-kindergarten, Raise the Age, Women’s Equality Act, access to greater educational technology, 100 million dollar increase in funding for affordable housing, much needed relief to renters in New York City faced with rapidly increasing rents and economic development restoration for upstate New York in today’s State of the State address. 

However, I will also work with the Governor to address the following: 

The success of this legislative session must be measured by whether we increase access to education for the children of immigrants through the DREAM Act, increase state aid to education to fulfill our obligation to the Campaign for Fiscal Equity, and design a new system of state support for nonprofits to replace the Member Item system. Lastly I was glad to have the Governor’s support of marijuana decriminalization last legislative session and I will communicate to the governor why this is still a major priority in communities across the state, despite Mayor Bill de Blasio’s potential reform of NYPD stop-and-frisk policy. 

My colleagues of the Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic and Asian Legislative Caucus look forward to having a productive dialogue and partnership with the Governor this session. We are fully committed to fighting for these issues of justice and fairness that the obstructionist in the Senate have thus far refused to pass.