On Thursday, September 14th, former Governor Andrew Cuomo made his first public, political appearance since leaving office in 2021, at the Thomas Jefferson (TJ) Democratic Club, 77 Conklin Avenue. The former governor addressed a packed room of fellow leaders, including State Senators Roxanne Persaud (SD 19) and Kevin Parker (SD 21), Assemblywoman Jaime Williams (AD 59), District Leader Frank Seddio, former Councilman Alan Maisel, TJ Club President Henry Bolus, CB 18 District Manager Sue Ann Partnow and a host of community members. In Cuomo’s speech, he spoke about two major issues he believes are damaging to the Democratic Party.
Cuomo has been praised by many for his vision on issues like marriage equality and abortion rights but especially his leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic, of which New York City was the Nation’s epicenter. His daily briefings were viewed nationally and internationally as everyone looked to New York for guidance. “I think it’s one of the most historical things that’s ever been done by a governor but more importantly by a person making sure he was taking care of his people,” Seddio stated.
The three-term governor, who also served in various positions of government including NYS Attorney General, outlined the two major impediments he foresees for the Democratic Party in the upcoming Presidential Election. “It’s going to be the issue of crime from the last election plus the issue of migrants from this election,” he announced candidly. He warned that the Democratic Party should not repeat the mistake of downplaying the crime issue. Cuomo was even more blunt regarding the current “controversial” migrant issue and delivered an ominous message to his party – “Politically, this is going to hurt us!”
The migrant issue is a hotbed topic that local leaders insist should not be their responsibility for a variety of reasons. As Cuomo emphatically stated, “This is a federal responsibility. Period! Not the state! Not the city!”
Assemblywoman Williams agreed and did not mince words either as she repeated Mayor Eric Adams’ prediction that “the migrant issue is going to destroy our city!” She blasted Governor Kathy Hochul who “came and embraced us here at the TJ Club” during her run for governor but did not bother to consult her or Senator Persaud or any of the other leaders before deciding to house 7,500 migrants in their district, at Floyd Bennett Field. “It’s most disrespectful!” Williams fumed.
According to Williams and other leaders who are familiar with the location, Floyd Bennett, formerly an aviation field, “is one of the most isolated areas in Brooklyn that is a transit desert but overall, a flood zone.” Williams described how she found herself ankle-deep in water after visiting the area on two separate occasions recently, after it had rained. She also expressed concerns about the inevitable, across-the-board slashes that are contemplated for NYPD, FDNY, sanitation, teachers and other vital services in order to facilitate the influx of migrants to New York City.
Williams and her counterparts have already filed a lawsuit to prevent the “tent city” from being erected.