Governor Hochul: "Today, we are here because of the hard work of people for over a decade... And that's why we put $1 billion behind making sure we could restore the Humboldt Parkway. And I'm proud that this is one of four Reconnect Communities projects here in the State of New York."
Hochul: "So, the people who are hurt the most can get these good paying jobs over 1,500 jobs Let's connect the people to the training and the opportunities and they'll be connected to a great paycheck."
Earlier today, Governor Kathy Hochul joined U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg to celebrate new federal funding for the Kensington Expressway made possible by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.
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:
I am here to welcome you to my hometown. I'm so proud to be a Buffalonian. Go Bills. There's always next year. It's our city, there's always next year.
But we're not waiting another year to correct an injustice that has plagued this city for far too many years. Back in the fifties and sixties, people thought that this part of our community was disposable. It didn't have a political clout and they could do whatever they want right through it, and they did. They literally severed the artery that was part of the beating heart of a growing, beautiful, robust Black community right here in Buffalo, and nobody gave a damn back then.
But today, we are here because of the hard work of people for over a decade, 15 years, who believed in something that was so bold and so audacious that people thought they could never get it done. But last January, in my very first budget as Governor of the State of New York, I said, "I have the resources. I have the knowledge of this community, and I have the passion to right that wrong once and for all, and to bring back and unify this magnificent community into one beating heart." And that's why we put $1 billion behind making sure we could restore the Humboldt Parkway. And I'm proud that this is one of four Reconnect Communities projects here in the State of New York. We're finishing up in Rochester. We're doing this in the Bronx, the Cross Bronx Expressway. We're doing it I-81 in Syracuse. These are projects that are correcting a decision made decades and decades ago that certain communities didn't matter anymore and we're here to say they do.
And I'm really proud to have our Secretary of Transportation here, because this is also going to be one of the largest projects in their Reconnecting Communities project across the entire nation because they believe in us as well. So, I want to thank President Joe Biden for the money from the infrastructure bill worked on by our Senators - Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand and get the resources to help us do it in the way it needs to be done. I'll let them speak more about that, but this is one of my top priorities. I am so committed to this project, and we will get the workers we need to get it done. And we have the first time in this nation mandated local hiring from this community. So, the people who are hurt the most can get these good paying jobs over 1,500 jobs.
And if you know anybody wants to go into the trades, give us a call because we have so many jobs - opposite of when I grew up here in Buffalo and all my siblings had to leave because there were no jobs. Now the jobs are there, but let's connect the people to the training and the opportunities and they'll be connected to a great paycheck.
That's what this is about also. But not just building a road and not fixing a road, healing a neighborhood, but what we do afterward, this is going to be populated with beautiful parks in new homes and rehabilitated homes and businesses that are so vibrant. This will be one of the hottest properties in all of Western New York. Mark my words. I am so excited to get this project going. And with that, I'm going to introduce a great partner in this project. Our great Mayor, Byron Brown.
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