Epicenter’s community reporter Andrea Pineda-Salgado hit the streets in the days following the election to hear from New Yorkers about what they really want to see from Gov. Kathy Hochul as she starts her term as New York’s first elected female governor.
The following have been edited for clarity.
“I’m glad to see a female in office. I think that there is a lot of funding that could be going toward mental health that is going toward policing instead and I think that could be remedied statewide, federally even. I think Gov. Kathy Hochul partners a little too much with the mayor on policing as a solution to crime. I’d love to see more state funds for capital repairs on city property and more state funding on emergency planning and resiliency for New York City.
—Brynna Tucker, 44, Brooklyn, NY
“I would like to see the security of work for low-income workers and contracted workers. Gov. Kathy Hochul has to uplift the work of the legal immigrants who are working here, to give them more protections and security. The nannies, the housekeepers — I am speaking for myself — all the caregivers. I would like to see her implement a standardized salary and medical benefits.
—Elma Motwani, 63, Queens, NY
“I’m happy Gov. Kathy Hochul was elected over Zeldin, but I still think there is a lot of work to be done in the state for sure. I’d like to see the crime issues that we are seeing come down. I have a 13-year-old son and an 18-year-old son. When my 18-year-old was 13, he was free to take public transportation independently, but my 13-year-old does not have that same freedom. My number one concern is subway and street safety.”
—Heidi Diel, 51, Queens, NY
“I do like that Gov. Kathy Hochul was elected, I think she is stable, I think she wants to do good things, so I have confidence in her choices. Especially in New York City, I want to see crime be tackled. I just want citizens to feel comfortable walking around their city. I do have to take the train and I used to not worry about that, but now I am aware of it and I am worried something could happen. I think New Yorkers are unhappy and I think unhappy people start lashing out. I am hopeful because I went to sleep thinking a red wave would take over the country but it wasn’t such.”
—Henry Yee, 57, Queens, NY
“I think Gov. Kathy Hochul will do a good job. I would like her to focus on the crime in New York City. I would also like to see her focus on the immigration situation. From what I see on television, it looks like the migrants are a greater influx than the city can handle. I know they are seeking a better future, but I don’t know how the government will fix it.”
—Julia J., 55, Brooklyn, NY
“I am very happy to see Gov. Kathy Hochul was elected governor. I voted for her and supported her. I think she is on the right track with healthcare, combating crime and protecting women’s rights. As long as she does what she preaches, that’s what I want. I am new to New York so I can only judge her on the present. I hope she improves gun control laws and slows down crime. I am happy with the elections, I think the Democrats did better than what was expected.”
—Gary W., 66, Brooklyn, NY
“I voted for Gov. Kathy Hochul and I appreciated some of the things she did during her time as lieutenant governor so I am glad she was re-elected. I like that she supports women’s right to choose and I would like to see that continue to be a priority given that the Republican party is overlooking the life of the mother. I do think that the issue of crime is important too. I think the government misinterpreted “defund the police.” It was more about using funds in terms of mental health but at the same time I do think police are important as well. I just hope to see crime and safety be a priority as well.”
—Harry U., 35, Brooklyn, NY
“I also think they should have made it easier to vote. There were still long lines at polling stations in different neighborhoods, in low income minority neighborhoods but in wealthier white neighborhoods there is no problem, you just go in there and you can be out in 60 seconds. When I lived in a lower income neighborhood I waited two to three hours to vote and that seems very unfair.”
—Abdul Sheer, 60, Queens, NY