June 10, 2021
Albany, NY

Video, Audio & Rush Transcript: Governor Cuomo Delivers Remarks at Real Estate Board of New York 125th Annual Banquet

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Video, Audio & Rush Transcript: Governor Cuomo Delivers Remarks at Real Estate Board of New York 125th Annual Banquet
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Governor Cuomo: "New Yorkers should be proud because they led the way through the pandemic. Remember, we went from the highest infection rate on the globe to one of the lowest, and still today our COVID positivity rate is a fraction of the nation's, and our vaccination rate is higher. New Yorkers were at their best. We pulled together. That's what we do. But it is also right to give special thanks to our quote unquote essential workers. Essential workers is a term from COVID, but essential workers literally are the people who keep society functioning. They run our hospitals and our transportation system. They keep the lights on and the heat going. They keep the elevators running. Without them showing up and doing their job, there would have been chaos."

Cuomo: "We say thank you. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts. Thank you for their courage and sacrifice. Thank you, Kyle Bragg and all the members of 32BJ. Thank you, Gary LaBarbera and all the members of the Building Trades. Thank you Kuba Brown, and all the members of Local 94. Thank you for getting us through the storm. We still have to stay smart, but we feel the energy returning, and the economy rebounding. People want to get back to life. Our task now is to maximize and expedite New York's resurgence."

Earlier today, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo delivered remarks at the Real Estate Board of New York's 125th Annual Banquet. 

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

AUDIO of today's remarks is available here

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

Hello. It's good to be with you, my friends, and let's celebrate one of the last virtual meetings as life is now returning to normal. Thank you to Douglas Durst, and James Whelan, and the entire REBNY board for all your help over this last difficult year. Your cooperation, your efforts, were extraordinary to our defeating COVID, and I thank you sincerely. We've made great progress, and together, today, we are on the other side of the storm. 

New Yorkers should be proud because they led the way through the pandemic. Remember, we went from the highest infection rate on the globe to one of the lowest, and still today our COVID positivity rate is a fraction of the nation's, and our vaccination rate is higher. New Yorkers were at their best. We pulled together. That's what we do. But it is also right to give special thanks to our quote unquote essential workers. Essential workers is a term from COVID, but essential workers literally are the people who keep society functioning. They run our hospitals and our transportation system. They keep the lights on and the heat going. They keep the elevators running. Without them showing up and doing their job, there would have been chaos. 

One of the most difficult messages for me during COVID, something that kept me up many nights, was telling New Yorkers to stay home and be safe but at the same time telling other New Yorkers that they had to leave their homes and go to work because they were essential to keep our society functioning. I was literally asking some workers to leave their homes and put their lives in jeopardy and their family's lives in jeopardy so that other New Yorkers could stay home and be safe.

So we say thank you. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts. Thank you for their courage and sacrifice. Thank you, Kyle Bragg and all the members of 32BJ. Thank you, Gary LaBarbera and all the members of the Building Trades. Thank you KubaBrown, and all the members of Local 94. Thank you for getting us through the storm. We still have to stay smart, but we feel the energy returning, and the economy rebounding. People want to get back to life. Our task now is to maximize and expedite New York's resurgence.

Yes, remote work and zoom were survival techniques, but people don't want to just survive. We want to thrive. What makes New York New York is the energy, the stimulation, the fact that people want and need to be in the company of other people. Our museums, restaurants, Broadway, our office complexes, they foster growth and enjoyment.

We must capitalize on this moment of transition. New York must open its arms and welcome back society. The future is going to be what we make it. We know what we need to do, but we must do it. New York must be safe, crime must be reduced, public safety is the priority. Taxes must be reduced and federal SALT tax reform is essential this year. At the same time, we must build a future with new transportation, a new Penn Station, a new Moynihan Station, a new bus terminal, new green energy systems. FDR knew that after the Depression, that he was not just building buildings. He was building confidence, and so are we. 

I believe this a moment for opportunity, not just to rebuild what was. Life is not about going backwards. It's about going forwards. We're not going to rebuild. We're going to build back a New York that is better than any New York that has been before. That is our challenge, and that will be our legacy. Together, we will do it. Thank you.

Contact the Governor’s Press Office

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