November 3, 2021
Albany, NY

Video, Audio, Photos & Rush Transcript: Governor Hochul Delivers Remarks at Groundbreaking of Phase 2 of the Ronkonkoma Hub

Video, Audio, Photos & Rush Transcript: Governor Hochul Delivers Remarks at Groundbreaking of Phase 2 of the Ronkonkoma Hub

Governor Hochul: "So you see properties and say, I see a vision there. And all of us have worked hard to make it happen, but it starts with people who believe in this community and say we can do things right. That is my philosophy for the State of New York. I see the possibilities, I've worked in every level of government, I know what can be done when people work together at all levels of government on behalf of their communities and that's what this community has done here."

Hochul: "And I want to continue to support projects like this, and I'll continue supporting the infrastructure projects to bring Long Islanders in a whole different way to their jobs, whether they work on Long Island or they work in the City of New York."

Earlier today, Governor Kathy Hochul delivered remarks at the groundbreaking of Phase 2 of the Ronkonkoma Hub.

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 are available on the Governor's Flickr page.

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

Good morning. This is a spectacular day, not just the fact that it's sunny and beautiful and nice temperature for November, but what an incredible accomplishment that we're celebrating today. And I have many, many thoughts. First of all, it's being introduced by a couple of Irish lads. It turns out our grandparents left the same county, County Kerry.

My grandparents came over with nothing, fleeing great poverty. Nothing but a dream that their lives could be better in this great country and worked as migrant farm workers and domestics, and worked at the steel plant in Buffalo, which is why I'm from Buffalo. But that story is replicated thousands and thousands of times.

And to see the Coughlan family harness that sense of risk taking in their DNA that comes when people leave the security of a home and are willing to start in a new land. But also what you are doing, and your grandparents would be so proud, is that you're creating the American dream for thousands of people right here in your beloved Long Island.

So I want to thank the Coughlan family, Jim, Bob, Kelly, all the spouses who go through everything as well. And I want to thank you for your vision for Long Island. You mentioned many of the partners, and I just want to acknowledge some of the elected officials who are here too. The former Majority Leader knows I approach government in a collaborative way, and I want to thank John Flanagan for the way he welcomed me as the President of the Senate and there was actually a lot less fighting than you would've thought we actually got along very well.

It is his leadership that we still benefit from here today on Long Island. I want to thank him for what he has done. Our Senator Alex Weik is here, Doug Smith, our Assembly Member, County Executive Steve Bellone. Thank you. And I want to tell everybody, when you have a crisis, when you have something the scale of a global pandemic, there is no one you'd rather be in a foxhole with than Steve Bellone. Your leadership during this pandemic, County Executive, was extraordinary, and I want to thank you for what you've done there, but also your vision for these important economic development projects and how we get them over the finish line. Let's give a round of applause to Steve Bellone.

And I spent 14 years as a local government official. Now, why did I run for office? Because I didn't like what my town board was doing. I was a citizen activist trying to manage the development. My mom had a small business that I helped start in a little village and the pressures of the big box stores coming were going to destroy the heart and soul of my little village. That's why I ran for office, when the town board members just ignored me and I said, okay, I'm coming at you. So I want to tell all the town board members and Supervisor Ed Romaine for your leadership and Neil Foley, I know how tough it is. But I also know the power of local government because you're the closest to the people. And I worked with my IDA for nearly decade and a half to make sure that we incentivize good projects to come. So I know the critical role that you play. I want to thank you for believing in this project and so many others as well.

Matt Cohen, the CEO of Long Island Association, thank you Matt for your leadership, I look forward to continuing to work with you. Has spent a little time with your predecessor, and Kevin Law, thank you. It's co-chair of the Regional Economic Development Council as well. Since its inception, you are the one who brought the important projects to the attention of the State, and I'm very, very proud to have you leading the charge again. Not just on behalf of Long Island - you can't play favorites anymore, you've got to love the whole state, okay?

But as the chair of the Empire State Development, Kevin Law, let's give him a round of applause. And Mitch Pally the Executive Director of the Long Island Builders Institute. I see Matty Aracich When I see Matty, I know there's hard working men and women standing with you. To all of our friends in labor, the ones who just make this magic happen. I thank you. I come out of a family of contractors, electricians, plumbers, longshoremen, and steelmakers, so I believe labor as well and I want to thank you for all you've done. Let's give a huge round of applause for our friends in labor.

I remembered that meeting we had at the Ronkonkoma train hub and you showed me the plans on a table. And I said, these guys are kind of crazy - can they do this? And I love that sense of possibility that so many people who've made this community as strong as it is, and really had to spend a lot of time righting the wrongs of the past. That is what we've had to do in communities all over this state, the decisions that were made, whether it was in my hometown of Buffalo, putting the steel plant, polluting the waters and the air on the most precious land we have on the waterfront of one of the great lakes. I've seen mistakes since I was a child.

And what you saw here was the opportunity that people want to congregate closer together. The idea of just living out in suburbia, isolated is not the dream that our children have for a good future. They want their kids to be able to have walkable communities and to have transportation oriented development, a phrase that no one even talked about until a visionary said, why not?

So you see properties and say, I see a vision there. And all of us have worked hard to make it happen, but it starts with people who believe in this community and say we can do things right. That is my philosophy for the State of New York. I see the possibilities I've worked in every level of government I know what can be done when people work together at all levels of government on behalf of their communities and that's what this community has done here.

This is extraordinary. I'm proud of this new phase that we're announcing. You heard all the details on it. It's going to be a major investment. It creates jobs. I love the jobs that are being created, the construction jobs, but also the permanent jobs. But it's going to give people the dignity of a beautiful home in a place that's accessible to other amenities and entertainment and help our small businesses that were hit so hard during this pandemic, the new ones who want to start, the new ones who want to find a new home here. These are the people we have to look out for. It is the small businesses that define our local identities. It is not the chain stores in suburbia, no disrespect to the chain stores in suburbia, but it's all about the identity of the mom and pop shops, the small entrepreneurs, the small restaurants that make us unique.

And I want to continue to support projects like this, and I'll continue supporting the infrastructure projects to bring Long Islanders in a whole different way to their jobs, whether they work on Long Island or they work in the City of New York.

Literally when you see me wearing my boots, you know it's a good day because I'm doing something fun. I had these boots on seven o'clock Sunday morning when I took the inaugural train ride. And I said, so I'm the first one on this. You're going to test ride this with the governor of New York. What does it say about how you feel about your governor? Okay. We did it successfully. It was very successful. We went to Jamaica Station, East Side Access, show up at the Grand Central Station and the experience one year from now is going to be extraordinary. That's what our commuters deserve, extraordinary experiences. This is the State of New York, this is not a third world country and everybody deserves to have that.

That's why I'll be making another announcement about Penn Station just a few hours from now, because I'm tired of saying that we are second class in anything. When it comes to our transportation hubs, we should be first-class and nation leading, in fact global leading.

And that's what we've done, with the LIRR improvements, what we're doing to create more access. I have to tell you the third track, there was not a single time that I met Kevin Law where he didn't say those words to me. Third track, third track, you've got to get it done. So we are plunging into future, getting it done quickly. This Ronkonkoma hub, this station is going to be a point of real pride for all of us.

This is a model for the rest of the state. What you've done here, the partnerships you've created, the vision you executed, is what I want to replicate all over the state. We'll always remember this day. Phase one, phase two, and all the phases of the future, this is the day that you saw a transformation that is going to be replicated all over the state.

I thank everyone for having the vision, happy to have state support, and we're just getting warmed up, Long Island. I will tell you what we're going to have more projects like these because of the people who never stopped believing. That's what this is all about. Thank you for joining us today.

Contact the Governor’s Press Office

Contact us by phone:

Albany: (518) 474 - 8418
New York City: (212) 681 - 4640