Karen Scharff: “Isn’t It Time We Had a Governor We Can Trust?”

Speech delivered by Karen Scharff, Executive Director of Citizen Action, at Working Families Party State Committee meeting on April 14th, 2018.

Good afternoon. I’m Karen Scharff, and I am proud to be the co-chair of the NY Working Families Party.

I am also the director of Citizen Action of NY, one of the founding organizations of the WFP, and we proudly endorsed Cynthia Nixon earlier this week.

I have had the pleasure of working with Cynthia for the past 17 years — ever since she first got involved with AQE in the campaign to win fair funding for our public schools.

I have watched Cynthia elevate the needs of public school students all across the state — she marched in NYC, got arrested at City Hall, led massive rallies of public school parents and students, traveled on our statewide school bus tour, stopping to talk to our students and parents all across upstate NY, and she came repeatedly to the capitol to advocate for public schools, especially for underfunded schools in black and brown communities, and hard pressed rural towns.

The fact that she’s a well-known celebrity may give the campaign a boost, but Cynthia is running because she is an activist and is passionately committed to transforming our state so that our state government works for all of us, not just the wealthy and well connected.

Working families want leaders who will live up to their values. Cynthia has the courage, integrity and strength of character to carry out a progressive vision for change. Under her leadership, we can finally fund our schools, end our dependence on fossil fuels, fix our broken justice system and bring more New Yorkers into the democratic process.

Cynthia will transform our broken voting and electoral systems and create a vibrant, healthy democracy that gives everyone an equal say, and that will mean a state government that works for all of us.

For eight years Governor Cuomo has asked New Yorkers to put our trust in him, and he has repaid that trust by starving our public schools of funds, letting our democracy crumble, and helping wealthy CEOs and hedge funders get even richer at the expense of the rest of us. These things didn’t happen by chance. They happened because Governor Cuomo chose to pad the bank accounts of his rich corporate donors instead of standing up for working people in our state. New Yorkers have had enough of the backroom deals and broken promises.

Isn’t it time we had a Governor we can trust to do right by our families and our communities?

Cynthia Nixon is the kind of leader who will always put the progress of all above the profits of the few — we can trust her to make the right choices for New Yorkers.

The problems we face are large. Our solutions need to be as big as the problems. The moment calls for boldness, and Cynthia brings a bold vision for New York. From marijuana legalization to single payer universal health care to taxing millionaires to fully fund our schools, Cynthia supports the bold ideas that can make New Yorkers’ lives fundamentally better.

That is why I am casting my vote today for Cynthia Nixon for Governor. I will be working relentlessly to make sure she wins the Democratic primary. And then I look forward to voting for her in November on the Working Families Party line when we elect Cynthia Nixon as the Next Governor of NYS.

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We look for opportunities to create big changes in NY and the US. Our power comes from the grassroots: people coming together to push the edge of the possible.

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