July 11, 2023
Albany, NY

Video, Audio, Photos, & Rush Transcript: Governor Hochul Delivers Remarks at the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials 40th Annual Conference

Video, Audio, Photos, & Rush Transcript: Governor Hochul Delivers Remarks at the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials 40th Annual Conference

Governor Hochul: "I want to see more representation, more voices lifted up, and that is my commitment to all of you. And I also don't even want to single out Latino issues. Latino issues are American issues. These are the issues that we talk about. Women deserve to not worry about dying in childbirth because of the color of their skinChildren should not be held back from a high-quality education because their parents came here not speaking the language."

Hochul: "People want to know that their government has representatives who look like them. This is important, but also it also inspires the next generation to want to step up and say, 'Yeah, I can do that too.' The more barriers that are broken down, the more chances we have for people to see in themselves the potential to do great things."

Earlier today, Governor Kathy Hochul delivered remarks at the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials 40th Annual Conference.

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 is available below:

Buenos Días. Bienvenidos a Nueva York, si? Well I hope you're feeling the love of our great state and our city. I know you just heard from our dynamic mayor, isn't he great? Let's give another round of applause to Mayor Eric Adams

And to Lubby and to Arturo, who I just spoke to, I know this is the first time you've ever come to New York City. Was it that hard to find on a map? What took so long? What took so long to come, you know, across the country, but it's not that far. But I can't tell you, we are overjoyed because our state, the leaders of our state, our key organizations from government to not-for-profits, all the way down to every position of influence is filled with graduates from NALEO.

That's just a statement of fact. You are everywhere, everywhere. Including my administration - Secretary of State Rodriguez, Robert Rodriguez. Where are you? Secretary of State. He's usually all over the State of New York. He's doing an incredible job. I know he came up through one of your programs to cultivate young leadership. Well done. He is a leader. You succeeded. He's done an incredible job for us.

Also, I know Dr. Linares, who's a powerhouse in higher education here also has served on your board and he is proudly part of my administration as well, as well as my Chief Diversity Officer, Julissa Gutierrez. Let's give a round of applause to the woman who helped make this all happen.

And there's some amazing elected officials in this community. And I don't know if he's in the room. He is often busy in Washington. But our Congressman, Adriano Espaillat - are you here, Adriano? If you're here - alright, oh, okay, okay. He's waiting to come on. And Gustavo Rivera, you just heard from his leadership position here, thank you, Gustavo. And Luis Sepúlveda, a great friend of ours in the legislature. Kenny Burgos is here, our Assemblymember. Jessica Gonzalez-Rojas, we have so many, so many people.

But you didn't have me here just to read names because you're going to hear from all them personally. But I want to make sure that what you talk about over the course of this conference really take us to the next level. Because what I have seen in my life, and this is something I've been involved in causes since I was a little kid. My parents were those social justice progressive Democrats living up in Buffalo. They lived in a trailer park, but they had this soul of people who thought they should do more.

So I grew up not knowing what lettuce or grapes looked like because they wanted to make sure that our family was participating in Cesar Chavez's boycott to support the farmworkers in California. So that's where I come from. This is deep for me. We support each other, we support each other. And these causes are so important

And when my parents were - my dad worked at the steel plant, our community had a lot of children of migrant farmworkers who had come to Buffalo to pick the [crops] - you don't know Buffalo has crops, do you? You don't even know this. Okay. I'm here to educate you about the entire state. It's not just New York City, team, okay?

But we have a lot of fields, a lot of crops - strawberries, produce, tomatoes, corn. People came from all over - South America, Puerto Rico, Central America. They came to New York to work here. But they brought their kids. And my parents were so concerned about the plight of these children that my mom teamed up with one of those real progressive Catholic priests, and we found an abandoned basement in the little old school that was nothing in a community, and we made it a place of life.

We started a summer camp for these children so they could come there and have music and teaching the English language and having a whole experience. My mother started this when she was 30 years old, and I was literally eight years old. That's the kind of family I came from, and I'm so proud today - thank you, thank you.

I'm so proud today to be in a position to help facilitate the conversations about how far the community has come after many years of struggle, many years of being held back, many years of not getting your seat at the table and having your voices heard. So, this organization is the umbrella that is out there creating these forums to have these dialogues. But I'm not just a talker, and conversations are great, and we'll leave here today with some great ideas, but what's the action plan behind it? What are the goals we're setting? And given the population of the State of New York, for example, are there enough people in elected positions who have come from Hispanic and Latino backgrounds? Want to know my assessment? No. There's a lot more room for growth. There truly is.

I want to see more representation, more voices lifted up, and that is my commitment to all of you. And I also don't even want to single out Latino issues. Latino issues are American issues. These are the issues that we talk about. Women deserve to not worry about dying in childbirth because of the color of their skin. Okay, let's get that out there. Children should not be held back from a high-quality education because their parents came here not speaking the language. We should never, ever have lower standards - in fact, they should be higher because this is what New York has always been about. Our country has been about raising people up, lifting people's standards of living, giving them a great quality of life.

So, I want to make sure that Latinos have a fair say in these issues because when we lift this community up, they lift themselves with our support as allies, the whole country is lifted up. How is that not so self-evident? And that is what I want to continue to focus on.

So, what I'm seeing now are more attacks. I mean, we just start with the Supreme Court of the United States. Another bad month of June. Last year, I thought was as bad as it can get. This year, they're trying to outdo that one. I wish we could go right from May to July, don't you? Just kind of skip June before they come down with their decisions, where they're taking away our reproductive freedoms, they're taking away universities' opportunities to help give people a little leg up with affirmative action programs because they're assuming everything's perfect in this country. Does anybody think it's perfect in America today? No. Wake up Supreme Court. We still have progress and you're standing in the way. That is our challenge.

So, I'll do my part. And when I'm lifting up people for appointments, for judges and for cabinet positions, I need allies to get them over the finish line because I'll keep doing that, because I know the value. I know what it's like to walk through the streets of the Bronx. People want to know that their government has representatives who look like them. This is important, but also it also inspires the next generation to want to step up and say, "Yeah, I can do that too." The more barriers that are broken down, the more chances we have for people to see in themselves the potential to do great things.

And that is why people make a big deal about me being the first woman Governor of New York. Yes, it's nice, it's great. But let me tell you, let me tell you this - it has never been about making history. It is about making a difference. And if my presence here means that more little girls, Black, Brown, White, Asian, they see themselves in higher roles where they've not had role models before, then that is what I'm striving for. That is what I'm trying to do.

And NALEO knows that. You know that. You need to have more leaders in visible, high-profile positions to inspire young people to want to be there the next generation. That's what you do every single day, and I'll be there to support you continuing voting rights, making sure that we have access to the ballot box because the unleashed power of the Latino community at the ballot box is so incredible, incredible.

And I know you're not a partisan group, right? I'm just making sure. But I, as the leader of a particular party in the State of New York, want to harness that power. I'll just put that out there. I want to make sure, because I believe there's a synergy between our values and what we're fighting for, and it all happens about who we elect and making sure there's access to everyone to have that God given right to vote.

And so, I thank you all for leading the charge. I thank you all for - Arturo, 29 years. I understand that for 29 years you've been trying to come to New York. I'm glad you got the GPS, and you got the ticket and you found your way to New York. Welcome everybody. Muchas gracias.

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