|Over the past few weeks, Governor Andrew Cuomo has garnered fawning attention for his management of New York’s coronavirus response. There have been daily press briefings, and primetime interviews, and even calls that he run for President.|
But many New Yorkers on the ground know better. Yes, he’s calling for safety and solidarity on the national stage. But back home, Cuomo just shoved through one of the worst budgets in state history—a budget that makes a mockery of both those values.
Not only does Cuomo’s budget cut education funding at a time when shuttered schools are struggling to stay afloat. Not only does it roll back hard-won criminal justice reforms, even as our prisons are ravaged by coronavirus. Not only does it neglect any funding for climate change, that other global crisis that ultimately threatens far more lives than COVID-19. But also Cuomo’s budget makes deep cuts to Medicaid, the social service most critical to making sure working class New Yorkers survive this pandemic.
And amid all these cuts to life-saving social services, Cuomo doesn’t even have the guts to raise taxes on the top 1%. Instead, he’s chosen to foist the longterm fallout of coronavirus onto the everyday New Yorkers already reeling from its impact. This isn’t leadership. This is cowardice.
But while Cuomo may already have pushed through his immoral budget, there is one thing New York’s political leaders can still do to offset the immense harm it will cause.
Demand that the Governor and state legislative leaders suspend all rents and mortgages now!
After jeopardizing the health and safety of millions of New Yorkers with their elitist budget, the absolute least they can do is help low-income New Yorkers stay in their homes. It is immoral to demand payment from people who have lost income through no fault of their own. A rent/mortgage moratorium is vital to keeping our state safe and our economy stable.
Tell Cuomo to make up for his atrocious budget: pass a rent freeze for all New Yorkers now.
Governor Cuomo has exploited this moment of crisis to take advantage of working class New Yorkers, and he’s got A LOT to answer for. He can start by making sure New Yorkers aren’t required to pay rents and mortgages during a worldwide pandemic. If he wants to be remembered as a hero, he needs to stop acting like a villain.
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P.S. RootsAction is an independent online force endorsed by Jim Hightower, Barbara Ehrenreich, Cornel West, Daniel Ellsberg, Glenn Greenwald, Naomi Klein, Bill Fletcher Jr., Laura Flanders, former U.S. Senator James Abourezk, Frances Fox Piven, Phil Donahue, Sonali Kolhatkar, and many others.www.RootsAction.org