New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo began 2019, and his third term, with an inaugural address on Ellis Island.
Ellis Island was the nation’s busiest immigration station for decades, welcoming millions of immigrants from around the world. Cuomo called it an “enduring symbol” of America’s core values of hope and opportunity.
Tuesday night, he tried to touch on that same hope as he started his third term.
“We will make history, and New York will move forward not by building a wall, my friends, but by building new bridges and building new airports and creating new middle class jobs,” he said.
The Governor began his speech by talking about the social climate in America. He spoke on the rise of white supremacy and gun violence and the continued division among Americans.
“Within my first 100 days, I will propose to the new democratic legislature the most progressive agenda this state has ever seen, period,” he said.
With democrats controlling both the state senate and assembly, there is a chance for many progressive bills that had been previously held up to be pushed through. Cuomo seems to believe they will and listed a few examples such as abortion rights, gun laws and legalizing marijuana.
“We reject the path of divide and conquer, and we accept the path that says unify and grow,” he said. “That is what New York has done time and time again throughout history. Whenever this nation was in a dark period, whenever this nation was searching for its soul, they looked to New York, and New York showed the way.”
However, as far as starting the new year on a different tone, the Governor chose to hold his inaugural address by New York City, which has drawn some criticism in a time when corruption has run rampant in Albany.
But Cuomo has a chance to deliver on those hopes for the next four years.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.