Kathy Hochul promises ‘a whole new era’ as New York Governor, pushes for mask mandate at schools

Kathy Hochul
New York Governor Kathy Hochul.
REUTERS/Cindy Schultz

New York Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul, who will become the next governor of the state upon Andrew Cuomo’s resignation in a week-and-a-half promised “a whole new era” for diversity in Albany upon her arrival in office.

Cuomo resigned on Tuesday after New York attorney general Letitia James revealed that he sexually harassed 11 women in a workplace that was deemed toxic.

Hochul told CBS’s Face The Nation on Sunday morning that she will decide the best action to take when it comes to communicating with the victims when she takes over later this month while ensuring that her administration will speak to “all women.”

“I want them to know that they feel welcome to stay in the administration when they’re here, the culture will be changed 1000%,” Hochul said. “I want all women… to realize that this is a place where they’ll have a role. We need their voices, we need their diversity.

“I want by the end of my administration for every woman to say there are no barriers, there is no longer a ceiling.”

When asked whether or not she has spoken with Cuomo, Hochul said that she has been in contact with his team, but the soon-to-be-former governor is being viewed as nothing more than a distraction.

“My goal is to have a smooth transition and hit the ground running literally in a matter of days… we’re going to stay focused,” Hochul said. “I will have no distractions in my administration. We’re focused on what’s doing the best for the people of this state.”

That includes tackling concerning COVID-19 numbers that continue to rise across New York City as a new school year is right around the corner. 

Hochul told CNN’s State of the Union earlier on Sunday morning that a mask mandate for schoolchildren is  “something that I believe has to occur.”

A decision on that along with addressing vaccination rates will come collaboratively with Mayor Bill de Blasio and the incoming mayor, which is expected to be Eric Adams.

“You have smart people, I have smart people,” Hochul told CNN. “How about doing it together and not in competition?”

Hochul is set to put plenty of stock in New York City, disclosing that her Lieutenant Governor will come from the Big Apple to ensure she always has ears to the ground while she’s in Albany.

“I want someone who lives there,” Hochul told CBS. “Someone who understands the challenges first-hand.”

The incoming governor also stressed the distribution of a surplus of money that could help out those in New York City most impacted by the pandemic.

“I want to get the money out to the people,” she said. “There are too many landlords and renters who are suffering. I also want to get the money out to the excluded worker program where people who are immigrants aren’t getting any money because they’re not documented. That money is sitting there unspent.”