Dear governor, New Yorkers have a rather large to-do list for you.
Trying to convince a frustrated public he can fix the mess that is Albany, Andrew Cuomo will give his first major policy speech Wednesday, the State of the State.
The Democratic governor, who took office Saturday, is promising specifics on how to rescue New York from financial despair and manage a government that he admits has become a “national punch line.”
“You don’t run for office to disappoint the people of the state,” Cuomo said Tuesday on Albany’s Talk 1300-AM.
amNewYork spoke with New Yorkers about what they would tell the governor if they had his ear. Their responses ranged from creating jobs to eliminating taxes to a few issues the governor doesn’t actually have control over — like Queens possums:
Help businesses so there will be more jobs and take away that sales tax on clothes: It was off, then they put it back on again! I have two girls and a boy and I have to buy them clothes. That sales tax on clothes is painful!
--- Rashida Monir, 41, Throggs Neck, housewife
Job creation is the No. 1 priority because we’ve lost our industrial base and unemployment is in the double digits in some areas. Create some innovative incentives for companies to come to our state.--- Eric Turpin, 45, Harlem, TV channel distributor
Have the guts to take on the dysfunction in the state legislature ... Reduce corruption and do something about all the money driving legislation - limiting campaign contributions is one way.
--- William Cohen, 87, Chelsea, retired court reporter
Reduce the state deficit by raising taxes on the wealthy, starting at $100,000. Do it in a tiered manner, but eliminate the sales tax. It’s not fair to be taxed twice. Eliminate the fraud in Medicaid and put more money in education.
---Anil Chitale, 43, Scarsdale, software designer
Please stop all this gang violence. Start some kind of boot camps – more reform than punishment – for all these kids. And fix those drug laws. There’s no reason anyone should be in prison for 25 years just for weed.
---Sade Hook 18, Parkchester, college student
Lower the train fare! The cost of living is getting high and so is carfare and parking. Driving in the city is just crazy. Make the train fare an even $2.
---Rashaan Truell, 37, writer, Lower East Side
Give businesses some tax breaks if they create more jobs.
---Tanwa Omolade, 29, Bed Stuy, medical receptionist
The MetroCard prices really take a toll on you. I deliver kosher and don’t make a lot of money. One monthly card is half my monthly paycheck. Do what you can to keep those prices down.
---Rob Harriman, 19, Midtown, food deliverer
How about not pulling a Spitzer? That would be a good thing to do! For the fraud and corruption, find a way to make people accountable for the money they get.
----Joel Scheuneman, 40, Riverdale, music engineer
Stop fracking! It’s a danger to the entire state’s drinking water. One of the great things about living in this state is the supply of fresh, clean water: Why are we risking it?!
--Rose DiLiberto, 40, Forest Hills, patient service coordinator
I voted for you, Cuomo. You need to do something about the possums and raccoons out in Howard Beach. I’m scared they might get in the buildings: These possums run around like dogs.
---- Penny Martin, 45, Howard Beach, clerk
1. Presenting a new budget by Feb. 1 that closes a $10 billion gap for the next fiscal year.
2. Changing the state government’s reputation as a place for corruption and sweetheart deals.
3. Reforming the state’s costly pension system.
4. Improving the state’s economy so businesses will create more jobs.
5. Working with a GOP-controlled Senate and Democratic-led Assembly to end legislative gridlock.