August 31, 2018 Press Release

TODAY: Cynthia Nixon Visits Rochester to Kick Off Multi-Day Upstate New York Tour

NEW YORK, NY — Democratic candidate for governor Cynthia Nixon will TODAY visit Rochester to begin a multi-day tour of upstate New York. At the Thomas Ryan Center, she will address the volunteers and supporters that will carry her insurgent campaign to victory on Thursday, September 13th. She will then go out and knock doors to share her views directly with Rochester voters. Cynthia will also visit Syracuse, Ithaca, Schenectady, Saratoga Springs, and Kingston this weekend.

Following Wednesday night’s debate, Cynthia overwhelmingly won an online poll conducted by Rochester ABC affiliate 13WHAM – an indication of the enthusiasm and support for her candidacy across New York. Cynthia shared the disappointmentof upstate New Yorkers that the only debate in the gubernatorial primary did not address upstate issues. Cynthia had previously challenged the Governor to an upstate debate, which he declined.

Advisory: Cynthia Nixon to Address Supporters in Rochester
WHERE: Thomas Ryan Center, 530 Webster Ave, Rochester, NY 14609

WHEN: 5:45 PM on Friday, August 31

Cynthia’s Policy Plans for Upstate
Cynthia Would Raise the Minimum Wage to $15 Upstate. Despite touting a $15 minimum wage as a major state accomplishment, Governor Cuomo’s $15 minimum wage policy excludes upstate New York. The current upstate minimum wage is $10.40 an hour – as compared to $12 or $13 for New York City workers. For New York City, the $15 minimum wage will be fully phased in on December 31, 2019–thus taking effect in 2020. For Long Island and Westchester it is scheduled to be phased in December 31, 2021. Under Governor Cuomo’s policy, New Yorkers living outside of New York City, Long Island, and Westchester will have to wait until 2021 to begin receiving a $12.50 minimum wage, and there is no guarantee that they will ever reach $15. After 2021, regulatory agencies controlled by the Governor will determine whether there will be an annual increase of any amount based on an unspecified “market analysis.” If the Cuomo Administration continues its current pace of annual increases in the upstate minimum wage it will take all the way until 2025 for upstate workers to get to $15 an hour. [Cynthia’s ‘Fair Economy for All’ Plan]

Finally Fulfilling the Small Cities Verdict, Cynthia Would Invest $1.4 Billion in Upstate Schools. Cynthia will invest in upstate schools by fully funding Foundation Aid, which includes $1.4 billion owed to upstate schools. She will also evaluate the Foundation Aid formula and identify needed reforms, including reforms like eliminating the provision that punishes districts for being too poor–a provision which particularly hurts many upstate districts. She will refocus economic development away from corporate giveaways and onto infrastructure development. This includes investment in repairing roads, bridges, sewer and water systems–the need upstate for this investment is tremendous. [Cynthia’s ‘Educate NY’ Plan]

Cynthia Will Invest in Upstate Infrastructure. To increase investment in our state’s infrastructure, Cynthia would repurpose some funds from the Empire State Development Corporation and other economic development tax credits. Instead of offering corporate subsidies that have too often resulted in corruption scandals or de minimis jobs gains, we should make more certain investments in infrastructure and mass transit. In making these investments she will prioritize upstate communities where the need for the economic benefits of these investments is the greatest.

As Governor, Cynthia would also authorize local government and authorities to implement development fees to ensure that new development contributes to roadways, bridges and sewer and water systems. Finally, before the end of her first term, Cynthia will propose a Clean Water and Transportation Bond Act. This Bond Act will detail specific projects for these investments. While statewide in its benefits, the Bond Act will prioritize upstate communities with the greatest need for the jobs and economic activity which will result. This combination of funding streams will create infrastructure jobs, provide a core foundation for economic growth in upstate and other regions of the state, and stimulate the economy. [Cynthia’s ‘Fair Economy for All’ Plan]

Make Housing More Affordable by Expanding Rent Control Outside of NYC.Over two million renter households in New York State live in fear of eviction.  Over 80% of low income tenants in Kingston, Buffalo, Rochester and other upstate cities have rents they can’t afford to pay — and those families have no protections whatsoever from their exploitative landlords.  Cynthia will work with the state legislature to bring rent stabilization protection to tenants who do not currently benefit because they live in units built after 1974, or live outside of the eight counties (NYC’s five boroughs, Westchester, Rockland, and Nassau) where local governments are allowed to opt into rent stabilization. [Cynthia’s “Housing for All” Plan]

Address Environmental Issues. Cynthia will oppose the recently proposed garbage incinerator in Romulus, require state and local health departments to rapidly inform local residents of risks to drinking water within 24 hours of learning of a problem to avoid a repeat of Hoosick Falls, and she will accelerate the state Superfund cleanup. [Cynthia’s “Climate Justice” Plan]

Strengthen Anti-Corruption Measures to Ensure Economic Investment Leads to Jobs, Not Scandals. New York State spends $4 billion annually on so-called “economic development” programs. Taxpayers have a right to know whether these businesses are creating the jobs that were promised, and whether the corrupting influence of political donations is swaying this process. The Database of Deals legislation, already passed unanimously by the State Senate, would create a single public database listing all state projects awarded to companies and track our return on economic development investment. Unlike Governor Cuomo, Cynthia fully supports this legislation and would sign it into law.

Cynthia also supports the Procurement Integrity Act, which would restore the comptroller’s authority to review contracts before they are executed for SUNY/CUNY construction and construction services, materials and printing contracts, and Office General Service centralized contracts. This issue was at the heart of the Buffalo Billion corruption scandal, and yet, at the Governor’s insistence, the Comptroller’s oversight role was eliminated. As Governor, Cynthia will ensure that the Database of Deals and the Procurement Integrity Act are enacted into law. [Cynthia’s ‘Fair Economy for All’ Plan]