One Upstate New York Democrat’s View on Cythia Nixon and the Governor’s Race

I’m not sold yet. I have my disagreements with Cuomo, but he’s got a lot of good experience and has handled a lot of tough choices. I am proud of how involved he’s been in Puerto Rico’s recovery, while our President* threw paper towels and ran. Cuomo is also a very inclusive Governor. He’s capable and is a reasonable person, from what I’ve seen. Whether any of his opposition like it or not, The first paragraph on this website is full of verifiable, hard numbers of what he’s accomplished Governor Cuomo 2016 Accomplishments – ny.gov website

  • FY 2017 Budget, for the sixth consecutive year, keeps spending below 2 percent
  • Implementing the lowest middle class tax rate in 70 years.
  • Passing a $15 statewide minimum wage
  • 12 weeks of paid family leave
  • Reforms to combat the devastating effects of the Citizens United decision
  • Comprehensive plan to end New York’s heroin and opioid epidemic

There’s more after that, and that’s just for one year. He is getting stuff done, which is not easy in government bureaucracy.

I would like to see our Governor legalize marijuana with way less restriction medically, as well as recreationally. We are already growing hemp. We can help farmers and grow our economy. I would like New York state to decriminalize marijuana. People of color are disproportionately jailed for possession, when white people consume it at the same rate (ACLU – Report: The War on Marijuana in Black and White). I would like more help for upstate city schools, like Rochester, where I live. I want these schools to thrive. I want the kids, in this community, to thrive. I want the teachers and faculty to have the resources, facilities, and the pay they need and earn.

I want us to invest even more in renewable energies that make sense for our climate and region.  I want us to address homelessness in a progressive manner. Tiny homes, comprehensive mental and physical health care. Continuing education and job assistance.  We are stepping in the right direction, by starting to help some families, with community college costs. I think of it like ACA. At least we started something. We put something in place, where there was nothing, in an attempt to go in the right direction. Now let’s look at what is working and what can still be improved. Let’s just keep doing that, until we get to a place where we thrive. Other countries do it, and I think we can too.

I want us to crack down on abuse. Whether it be domestic abuse, animal abuse, human trafficking, wild animal trafficking, any kind of violence. We need to protect the victims and survivors, rather than the law being dedicated to the rights of the abusers and perpetrators. The ones abused end up losing rights, and that injustice has never been addressed.

To be fair, I want this (extensive) agenda of every elected official, and I want much more.

As for Nixon, I think she’s an intelligent woman, who’s got a good resume of activism and advocacy, and seems to be a person with a moral compass. I’m just not sure about starting at Governor. How much time has she really spent in NY towns and cities outside NYC area? Being Governor is a huge job.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m so happy so many citizens are running for elected office, all over the country. That is how our democracy will thrive. It’s just my personal philosophy on public service, that I wish people would start local, when deciding to run for elected office.

I get that “anyone can be President”. I also think we’ve seen, that it doesn’t mean anyone should be. Just because a person fits the legal qualifications (those could be better, by the by), that doesn’t mean they necessarily have the resume, and are qualified to handle the responsibilities of the job.

I wasn’t hired as CEO at my current job, because that would not match my qualifications (at all). I know it’s cliche, but it does follow. It’s not a 100% rule, and she may certainly transcend the norm. Some people just rock whatever they do. I didn’t agree with Schwarzenegger on LGBTQ matters, but he didn’t destroy California. Not like Trump is doing to our federal government.

Being an elected official, particularly in the executive branch, is a lot of crisis management, in addition to policy and agenda campaigning. It’s fighting over paying for staples, education, lifetime Congressional pensions (yes, I know that’s federal, not state level, just felt like slipping that in). It’s dealing with ensuring agencies respond during weather emergencies, and handling other such unpredictable occurrences, that derail agendas and budgets, constantly.  I don’t see how someone can just be in charge, of a whole state, until they have some experience at a local or regional level first. She may have other resume qualifications, that can make up for a lack of this type of experience. I don’t know enough yet, as I’m still learning about her, and how her candidacy compares to Cuomo’s.

She may well be the best candidate, but I’m definitely undecided right now. I am concerned about this leap, straight to Governor, and it does make me lean toward keeping the experience we have in Cuomo. We have more critical seats to overturn, in this election, and sometimes it’s not just about someone deciding to run for a specific seat. It’s also about which incumbents are measured, progressive, and not half bad.  There are some really bad elected officials out there, and while Cuomo may not be 100% perfect, I don’t think he’s so bad, that we need to run him out of town either.

We will never have perfect elected officials, and it’s folly to attempt that.  It’s also easy for our opponents to help fan the flames of our strongest candidates’ weaknesses, so that we end up with weaker candidates. They tried with Bernie, and people ate it up. Purist ideology politics will sink us.  The idea is that people represent people.  People are human, and the best we should expect from our candidates and officials is honesty and transparency.

I know some people can’t stand Cuomo, but I feel like that is a lot about the divisive “right has to hate left” attitude, drowning out reasonably acknowledging the merits of the other side. Yes, I acknowledge that left has to hate right also exists.  I acknowledge there are good Republican elected officials. I have voted for Republicans, and will again, if they are the better candidate.

I don’t think Cuomo is given a fair assessment. (Clinton, Pelosi, and Schumer too.) The hardest part about engaging in the political process, as a citizen, seems to be taking the time to identify good elected officials.  It’s easier to crap on the process, wash your hands of participating, and write them off as all bad and corrupt. It takes more time to keep up with your representatives. Know whether they keep their promises and are responsive, when you reach out to tell them how you want to be represented.  It takes work, but that is the real patriotic duty of every citizen.

We are supposed to pay attention to who is representing our interests, and who would like to represent us next. We must all hold our officials accountable to the oath they swear, to defend the Constitution. This includes inherent rights to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness. I know for a fact, that there are really wonderful public servants, and some really great new candidates this year. A lot of principled, well-meaning citizens are representing us, or want to, in all levels of government. I should know. I used to work at the Board of Elections.

I get that it’s harsh to say, but unless Nixon really is that much better than Cuomo, I’d rather focus our campaign resources on other races, where there are real threats to our democracy sitting in those seats. In a healthy democracy, I hope to see debate and compromise across the aisle, as well as within each party. That can’t happen, when our government is being controlled and abused by one party.

When one side of the aisle is acting like kleptocratic, jingoistic, xenophobic, fascists, we can’t afford in-fighting. We must band together and defeat our common enemy first. Threats to our democracy. It must be stopped in its tracks, before we can utilize our democracy, to work out the rest.

Still. I’m not sure yet, on Nixon, for Governor. We’ll see.

No matter what, I absolutely LOVE her acting, activism, and advocacy.

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