Government and Politics
January 20, 2023From: New York Governor Kathy Hochul
Governor Hochul: "Generations from now, they'll look back and not have those hard looks, sad stories of loss and people leaving the area, the jobs going, the people going, our capital going... Today says that that trajectory is now over. We are going upward because of investments like this and not just our community and in this line, but in our people."
Earlier today, Governor Kathy Hochul delivered remarks at the General Motors Rochester Plant manufacturing announcement.
VIDEO of the event is available on YouTube here
A rush transcript of the Governor's remarks are available below:
Good morning. As a lifelong Buffalo Bills fan, I know there's a lot of people who have come to the party a little late. I have to reflect on a couple of things. When you grow up in Western New York as a kid, when your grandpa was so proud to be making steel at the steel plant and your uncles had jobs there and your own father had jobs there, and your next door neighbor worked at the Tonawanda GM plant, you really believed in the power of labor to move this community and our state, and our country forward because we made the steel that went into the vehicles and we were riding high. And our football teams were doing well. It was a good era.
So, I saw this parallelism. It was a good time for Upstate, and most of you are too young, remember. But all of a sudden, decisions are made to make the steel overseas. And the cars over in Japan and Germany, and we started losing our mojo. Like what happened? We're still hardworking people. We're still trying to do the right thing. And the same thing with football teams. Yeah. We made it to the show four times in a row. Came back a little empty handed. Okay. So, I will just say, as a Western New Yorker, you get a little chip on your shoulder, okay? And you want to avenge the losses of the past, the jobs that were lost, the games that were lost. So, this as Marv Levy used to say, "Where would you rather be than right here, right now?" Because we're going to take the future with this plant, and we're going to take the Super Bowl with the Buffalo Bills, and we're going to regain the glory. The glory that belongs to Upstate New York and belongs to Western New York.
And you, my friends, are the people I admire the most. Local 1097 must have been made in heaven because I know when I'm trying to pitch businesses from all across the nation, Senator Schumer and I were out there on the front lines trying to bring a small company called Micron. Would you invest $100 billion in Upstate New York and create the semiconductor chips, so you don't have to go overseas anymore? You know what we sold them on? They were happy what you did in Congress, they're happy to do it with the legislature, and I thank my partners, but we told them that you'll never find a harder working group of individuals than members of the unions in Upstate New York.
And they believed, they believed in our vision of what we told them, and that's why I am so optimistic at this very moment in our time, in our history. And generations from now, they'll look back and not have those hard looks, sad stories of loss and people leaving the area, the jobs going, the people going, our capital going. Our greatest export at the time was our young people. Those days are over. They'll look back at this time in 2023 and say, "Thank you GM for seeing what we knew all along." You'll never get a better product made anywhere else in this country because you make it with UAW workers here in Upstate New York, here in Rochester, and down the road in Buffalo. You'll never get anything better than what you get right here.
So, I want to thank GM for seeing what we have known all my life, neighbors and friends with so many people who put on their clothes. Grandpa used to take a lunch pail, go into his job with such pride, work long, long hours. But the families are lifted up. They live the American dream. They can get a good education. They can run for office someday and maybe even become a Governor. It all started with the union, lifting my family out of its dire circumstances. So, all of you, I'm grateful for how hard you work and the reputation that your hard work has created, so we can continue to build on the great legacy of your hard work.
To Neal Evans, I thank you, for the work that you've done here to make sure that the investments keep on coming here. Doneen, I want to thank all of the people at corporate who say, "Where else are we going to do this? Let's do it right here. Let's do it in Rochester. Let's keep that money coming." Because it's making a difference. And all the representatives, Dan, yes, I know where your Union Hall is because we did a lot of work together. You helped me get to Congress over a decade ago when everybody said it couldn't happen. You had my back, you helped me get elected Lieutenant Governor, you got me elected Governor, and I'll never forget that. And I'll never turn my backs on the hardworking men of the labor movement. And I thank you, Dan, for your leadership.
Thank you. And to all the others, to our leaders, our Majority Leader, Joe Morelle, we've known each other such a long time. Assemblymember Sarah Clark. Bob Duffy, yes, we're keeping them - I know you're on the Buffalo Bills effort from a long time ago. And to County Executive Adam Bello. But most of all to all of you, $68 million. I was so happy to hear this news because again, my recollection of a lot of press releases from manufacturers and the GM plants of the past - the Ford plants, Bethlehem Steel - for many, many years of my life, the message was we're leaving. The jobs are going, the money's not being invested here. Today says that that trajectory is now over.
We are going upward because of investments like this and not just our community and in this line, but in our people. So yes, as the Senator says, this is a spectacular day and I'm so proud to share this. And as I said to when I was on a conversation with number three, Damar Hamlin yesterday, I said, we will win this next football game and beyond in your name because you've inspired all of us. You've lifted our hearts and our souls and our belief in a higher calling. And I thank all of you for your faith in this community, this company, your union, and GM, and of course the Buffalo Bills. Thank you everybody. Let's win a big one.