Press Statements

VOCAL-NY Responds to Gov. Hochul’s State of the State Address

January 10, 2023

CONTACT: Mariah McGough, 


Leaders with VOCAL-NY Civil Rights Union and Homelessness Union Rallied in Albany Today, Despite Governor Hochul Closing the Capitol to Constituents

NEW YORK — Today, in response to Governor Kathy Hochul’s State of the State of the address, VOCAL-NY released the following response, attributable to Jawanza Williams, VOCAL-NY Director of Organizing:

“Governor Hochul said the ‘era of ignoring the needs’ is over, but it’s unclear whose needs she will really prioritize this session.

There was a lot of talk about building homes in the long term, but nothing for homeless New Yorkers and struggling tenants who need help now, especially for those living with HIV/AIDS across the state. Even the Governor’s proposed investments in mental health services remain only temporary, transitional or congregate, which ultimately are not enough. Hospitals do not equate to safe, stable, or affordable homes.

The Governor’s answer to the worst overdose crisis in New York’s history is to increase penalties for fentanyl and drug-induced homicide laws that only advance the War on Drugs, rather than the fight to save lives. Most egregious of all: Hochul’s complete omission of the leadership and support she could provide to the nation’s first Overdose Prevention Centers by utilizing executive action and Opioid Settlement funding. 

State lawmakers must resist the Governor’s efforts to further rollback bail reforms, and instead demand she follow their lead if she truly cares about public safety. We need state leadership to invest deeply in housing and healthcare, rather than in racist and ineffective interventions like prisons and jails. 

We will continue to stand by the reforms made and hold the line against political maneuvering that gives into conservative messaging – the same messaging that almost cost Governor Hochul the governorship.” 


Find VOCAL-NY’s New York State budget platform and legislative platform for the 2023 session. 


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