Governor Cuomo is not abiding by his own campaign promises of standing up for equality for women!
In January 2013, Governor Cuomo announced a sweeping ten-point Women’s Equality Agenda (WEA) for New York that included protections for abortion rights, pay equity, against housing and pregnancy discrimination, and more.
The WEA never made it to the floor of the Senate for a vote because a group of five Democrats, led by Senator Jeff Klein, split with their party after it won a majority in the 2012 elections. These five rogue Democrats empowered the Republicans by creating a power-sharing deal that basically allowed the GOP to decide what bills should come to the floor for a vote. Republican leader Dean Skelos made it perfectly clear that the 10-point WEA would never to come to the floor for a vote.
According to RH Reality Check, 7/30/2014, “Gov. Cuomo gave his blessing to the deal that put two men in charge of the Senate, rather than the pro-choice [duly elected majority] leader of his own party, Andrea Stewart-Cousins, the first Black woman to lead a New York State legislative caucus.” But we don’t know that for sure!
What we do know is that in the 2014 New York gubernatorial election, Cuomo unveiled a brand-new Women’s Equality Party complete with a commercial starring himself and his family. The commercial made clear that the passage of the WEA was of utmost importance to Governor Cuomo. Women deserved nothing less. But then the Republicans won control of the Senate in the 2014 elections, and Klein and his buddies, despite pre-election promises, joined forces with the Republicans, again, and Andrea Stewart-Cousins became the New York State Senate Minority Leader.
Fast forward to today. It is budget time in Albany. Sheldon Silver is no longer Assembly Speaker. The Governor and everyone else in Albany has declared it a time for transparency.
Governor Cuomo has the opportunity to make his championing of Women’s Equality mean something. After all, that is what he ran on: equality for women.
Instead, Cuomo invited into the behind-closed-doors budget negotiations Senate Leader Republican Dean Skelos, Assembly Speaker Democrat Carl Heastie and JEFF KLEIN. WHERE IS SENATE MINORITY LEADER ANDREA STEWART-COUSINS? WHY WASN’T SHE INVITED IN?
Cuomo invited Jeff Klein who represents 5 Senators in but left Senate Minority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins who represents 25 Senators outside. That is not equality and this is disrespectful. Klein has no business in the room. He does not represent any recognized political party, while Andrea Stewart-Cousins represents the Democratic Caucus.
Sign this petition and let Governor Cuomo know what you think: Let Her In!
Remember, it’s Women’s History Month! Let’s make some Good Herstory!