The midterm election results have instilled a sense of hope on both a national and local level, Democrat New Yorkers said Wednesday.
The “blue wave” promised by Democrats nationwide ahead of Election Day partially came to fruition on Tuesday, with the party taking control of the House of Representatives and Republicans maintaining control of the Senate.
In New York, Democratic politicians reigned supreme, with Gov. Andrew Cuomo and state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli each sailing into a third term in office, New York City Public Advocate Letitia James winning the attorney general race and the party securing a majority in the State Senate and Assembly.
While not particularly surprising in a state where registered Democrats outnumber Republicans more than two to one, left-leaning New Yorkers on Wednesday said they’re hopeful that more progressive policies will be enacted in Albany.
Canarsie resident Juliet Smith, 39, said the issues most important to her include education, health care and homelessness. Nationally, Smith said she’s glad the midterms have restored balance to Congress.
“I’m really happy it’s over. I couldn’t be more elated,” she said, adding that she likes the split between the House and Senate. “It’s better like that. Everybody has to have a point a view and they must be able to express that point and not just one person and one party determines everybody’s fate.”
“Die-hard liberal” Lawrence Goldhuber, 57, said President Donald Trump has put the country in a “perpetual state of conflict.” Ultimately, the Hell’s Kitchen resident said he’d like to see more humanity in how people treat each other.
Mayor Bill de Blasio, speaking at an unrelated event Wednesday, said he believes the state’s leftward swing shows “real movement” in the state’s values.
“In terms of the state: The fact that we not only have a Democratic majority in the State Senate, but a resounding Democratic majority, is going to allow for a host of promise in the state,” the mayor added.
Promise, perhaps, for the passage of the Reproductive Health Act and the Comprehensive Contraceptive Coverage Act, said Laura McQuade, president and CEO of the Planned Parenthood NYC Votes PAC.
Both pieces of legislation would heavily bolster protections for women’s reproductive health and rights, which many left-leaning New Yorkers feel are under attack by the Trump administration, especially with a conservative majority in the U.S. Supreme Court.
“I don’t think that you can overstate how big the shift will be in Albany starting in January,” McQuade said. “I think there’s real unity in a way that we’ve never seen before.”
On a federal level, Staten Island resident Chioma Okoye said immigration is a big issue for her since her parents came from Nigeria in search of a better life.
“America was built on immigration,” Okoye, 30, said. “[My parents] came to make something out of themselves. Not every person who is an immigrant is a barbarian.”
East Flatbush resident Susan Pack, meanwhile, said she just hopes the candidates who were elected stick to their promises.
“Before we couldn’t rely or have hope that the few [Democrats] who were there were going to make a difference,” Pack, 30, said about Congress. “Now that we’re all there, hopefully we can make a difference.”