"We're going to take this moment of pain and outrage and we're going to make it a positive, and we're going to use the energy, and then we're going to go across the nation and say it's a new day, and the dawn of a new era where women get full respect, full equality."
Earlier today, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo delivered remarks at the 2018 Women's March on New York City. Last week, Governor Cuomo unveiled the 2018 Women's Agenda for New York—a 30 plank proposal to advance equality and promote opportunity in women and girls' health, safety, workplace, and family life.
AUDIO of the Governor's remarks is available here.
A rush transcript of the Governor's remarks is available below.
Are we fired up today? Are we ready to march today? Let's give Andrea Miller a big round of applause and thank her for her advocacy. We have our new Speaker Corey Johnson here, let's give him a round of applause. I am excited. I am excited. Because we're going to make history this year.
I know it's been an ugly time in many ways. They shut down the government in Washington. Normally that would be a bad thing but I'm not so sure it's a bad thing with this government. First rule is do no harm. So we'll have a couple of days where they do no harm, right? We have seen tremendous aggression and discrimination against women over this past year. Historically so. We have a federal government that's looking to roll back women's rights all across the board. Roll back a woman's right to choose, roll back contraceptive care, roll back insurance coverage for reproductive rights.
It starts with a President who fundamentally disrespects women. It is that basic. And then you put him together with an extremely conservative Congress and you have seen a reversal of women's rights. Two years ago we tried to pass Roe v. Wade in New York State. And you know what they told me two years ago, the Republicans? Well nobody would ever try to roll back Roe v. Wade. Two years ago it was unimaginable. Today it is a reality. That's what we have in Washington.
And then we've seen unprecedented cases of sexual harassment against women. Now let's be honest. There's no surprise that there is sexual harassment against women. It has been an abuse of power for decades. To stand up and say I'm amazed that there's sexual harassment against women, reminds me of the line from Casablanca. Gambling. I'm shocked that there's gambling in Casablanca. We've had sexual harassment. But to see the limits, to see the extent, to see the cover-ups, where it was at the top levels of academia, the top levels of news organizations, the top levels of Hollywood, were just disgusting. It was disgusting.
But my friends there's a silver lining. We have a moment of opportunity to take this energy and take this outrage and say we're going forward. We have proposed in Albany an unprecedented women's empowerment agenda that says no more government money for sexual harassment. If someone wants to abuse a woman's right, then they're liable, pay for it with their own money, not government money. No more non-disclosure agreements. Protect a woman's privacy, but you tell them who the man was who committed the incident. Private company wants to do business with the State of New York, they're going to have to tell us how many incidents of sexual harassment they've had in that private company. The State of New York through the Comptroller wants to do business with a private company, they better have women and minorities on the board of directors and in senior management. We're going to pass the contraceptive care act in New York. We want to amend the Constitution in the State of New York to include women as a protected class. And we want to pass Roe v. Wade in New York because it's a woman's body and it's a woman's right to control.
Now we're going to pass that in New York. But when we pass it in New York, we're going to do something else. We're going to pass a new national standard. And then we can say to this nation, we're going to take this pain and outrage that we went through, we're going to take this abuse, and we're going to use it as a moment to step forward. Now I'm a New Yorker through and through, born and raised and proud of it. When New York acts, the nation notices. When New York was the first big state to pass Marriage Equality we changed the debate all across the nation and we made it a reality in this country. We're going to do the same thing with women's rights. We're going to pass this women's empowerment agenda. We're going to take this moment of pain and outrage and we're going to make it a positive, and we're going to use the energy, and then we're going to go across the nation and say it's a new day, and the dawn of a new era where women get full respect, full equality, no glass ceiling, we respect a woman's right. We're going to do it in New York and we're going to do it all across this country. That's what this march is about. We're stepping forward. We're not going backwards. We're going forward to a new future, a fair future, for all women and for all families of all women. Thank you and God bless.