July 31, 2023
Albany, NY

Video, Audio, Photos & Rush Transcript: Governor Hochul Announces $30 Million to Support New York City’s Fight Against Gun Violence

Video, Audio, Photos & Rush Transcript: Governor Hochul Announces $30 Million to Support New York City’s Fight Against Gun Violence

Governor Hochul: “This is what a strong, healthy, productive relationship between the State of New York and the City of New York looks like if you've not seen it much before. United together in a common cause to eradicate crime and violence and pain from communities. That is what Mayor Adams and I have talked about incessantly. It's what we wake up thinking about, we go to bed thinking about how we can roll up our sleeves and work together to not rest on the laurels of this being not just the safest big city in America, but you also live in the safest big state in America.”

Hochul: “I also am supporting the effort with the summer youth program, the employment program because young people don't just need a diversion, a healthy diversion in adult supervision in the summer months. They need help and engagement throughout the year. So, we're allocating $24 million so you can help replicate what you do in the summer all year round. I think that's going to make a difference for our kids as well.”

Earlier today, Governor Kathy Hochul announced $30 million to support New York City’s fight against gun violence. This funding includes $6 million for the New York City Gun Violence Prevention Task Force Blueprint for Community Safety. This funding will help the City hire additional public safety personnel and deploy more resources to support the Gun Violence Prevention Task Force. The Governor also announced $24 million from the Fiscal Year 2024 Budget to support New York City’s Summer Youth Employment Program, which will help it expand to a year-round program. The Governor made the announcement today with New York City Mayor Eric Adams.

VIDEO of the event is available on YouTube here and in TV quality (h.264, mp4) format here.

AUDIO of the event is available here.

PHOTOS of the event will be available on the Governor's Flickr page.

A rush transcript of the Governor's remarks is available below:

Good morning. This is what a strong, healthy, productive relationship between the State of New York and the City of New York looks like if you've not seen it much before. United together in a common cause to eradicate crime and violence and pain from communities. That is what Mayor Adams and I have talked about incessantly. It's what we wake up thinking about, we go to bed thinking about how we can roll up our sleeves and work together to not rest on the laurels of this being not just the safest big city in America, but you also live in the safest big state in America.

But that's not good enough for us. We're going to keep raising the bar because every New Yorker deserves the security of going to bed at night themselves, knowing that they and their children, their loved ones are safe. So, I thank Mayor Adams for helping us redefine the relationship between two very important governments and letting the people know that the era of the Governor and the Mayor fighting each other is over. That we're going to fight for the people of New York. So, thank you, Mayor.

Thank you to an extraordinary attorney general, who also understands that lessons we can take from New York City and what you're doing here, Mayor, with your incredible team can be applied throughout our state and we are committed to making sure that happens as well. Attorney General, Tish James. And I want to thank the First Deputy Mayor, Sheena Wright and A.T. Mitchell for dedicating the last year of your life to this, but your entire lives to this. And we'll look back on this time and say, “This is when we truly began a change that people started really believing that their leaders are committed,” and I thank you for the energy behind this blueprint. I think it looks extraordinary. I've actually read it, spent a lot of time traveling, and I've read every word of it, and it makes sense to look at this problem from so many different facets. It's not just a policing issue but thank God we have the finest police in the world right here in New York City, along with our state police. I need to say our state police as well. But thank you.

Also, our Public Advocate, Jumaane Williams. We've had many conversations about the role of what a community can do to a person, whether they have a good education and decent housing, and how that can affect their outcomes in life. And I want to continue working with you, our great Public Advocate, Jumaane Williams. Let's give him a round of applause. And our district attorneys who are out there every single day, and in fact, when they're not on the streets doing their work, Darcell Clark and Eric Gonzalez, they're up in Albany helping us make sure that the language of the laws are allowing you to do your jobs and that you receive the resources that you so desperately need, and we did deliver on that this year. So, let's give round applause to our district attorneys.

I've decided to not work independently on this issue, that I'm literally deploying my top aids to be embedded with this task force, so we can get results for the City, but also that we can use for the rest of the state, and that's how we're going to do it. I also know that we have some backlogs in our courts. It happened before, but really was exacerbated by the pandemic when so many trials never happened. And as a result, you have two scenarios. One is that people are languishing in Rikers waiting for their day in court because the system is so backlogged and jammed up, and that is not justice. But also, we have people who are still on the streets who need their day in court, so if necessary and justice demands, they end up behind bars. So, that is why in my Budget, I said, “How can we help our district attorneys and our public defenders get to the right place?” So, we allocated $170 million. First time ever, record investment in both those sides of the equation to make sure that justice is truly achieved.

I also am supporting the effort with the summer youth program, the employment program because young people don't just need a diversion, a healthy diversion in adult supervision in the summer months. They need help and engagement throughout the year. So, we're allocating $24 million so you can help replicate what you do in the summer all year round. I think that's going to make a difference for our kids as well.

We talk about getting guns off the street – it’s extraordinary, the number of guns off the streets, not just here, but across the state. I was just in Buffalo talking about this on Friday. I convened, my first couple months as Governor, not just in. Statewide effort where we literally have NYPD embedded with state police, our leaders across the state, federal partners.

But I said, “Let's take it to the other states.” Because we're not making the guns here. They're not made in Brooklyn. They're not made in the Bronx. They're not made in Buffalo. They're coming in from other states. So why aren't we working with the other states – especially the enlightened nine around us – and say, We're on the same team here. Help us stop the illegal guns from coming into our streets.” And that's what we're doing. And that's one of the reasons why the numbers are being dramatically changed, the number of guns off our streets.

But one more area, we made a big difference: the extreme risk orders of protection, the red flag laws. After we had the massacre in my hometown of Buffalo where 10 people were slaughtered grocery shopping because of the color of their skin, we went back to Albany. We said, ‘We need to beef up these red flag laws and literally require that when a scenario happens where someone is in danger of doing harm to themselves or to others, that we have the power of society to protect ourselves and get their guns if they own them out of their hands before they hurt a human being.”

And we have taken over 9,000 cases where extreme risk orders of protection – that is up 600 percent from what had been happening before. That's another way we're getting more guns off the streets because I'd rather be in the business of preventing crimes than solving crimes. And that's an important strategy as part of that.

So, Mayor, I'm also focused on two more elements of your pillars that you've identified. One is housing. I think most New Yorkers know I want more housing. I want more affordable housing, because every New Yorker deserves the dignity of a safe, decent home in a good neighborhood. And young people who grew up in a zip code that does not offer that, have strikes against them from the very first day. And we're going to change that. We're going to keep building. And that's how you drive down the cost of housing by adding more supply.

And the last area I want to mention, Mayor, because this is so important to all of our efforts here, mental health. Now people are finally talking about it because it was always a stigma associated with it. People didn't ask for help, and very people want to go into the profession. We're changing all that. This year's Budget, I want to thank our leaders in Albany, Majority Leader Andrea Stewart Cousins and Speaker Carl Heastie for teaming up with me to say this is an enormous problem, we cannot play small ball anymore. We're going big. $1 billion commitment to help the whole continuum of care needed for mental health services. That's how you start chart changing lives.

So, Mayor, I have a long speech here. I'm not going to deliver it, because this is from the heart – just as you are here because of the person that your profession turned you into, as someone who knows, you've seen so much on the streets and now you're in a position to do something about it. That is powerful, my friends. That is powerful. But working with our violence disruptors and putting more money from the state to help people, like A.T. I’ve tripled the investment in programs that I know are working because I've seen it from the streets of Buffalo all the way to Brooklyn. We're making a difference with people who are talking about their own life's experiences. They may have had time in jail, they may have been part of a gang, but they also know that they're the ones who can be the trusted voice in a community where young people will trust them more than they’re going to trust the Governor or the Mayor.

That's how we're changing this as well. So, Mayor, I want to commend you and your team for your commitment, your dedication, to doing what's right, what people expect, what is needed. You've always been. But I'm here to show the united front that we have – the state, the city, all of our partners against crime and protecting the citizens of our streets. Thank you very much, Mayor.

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