What the switch in power to Lt. Gov. Hochul will mean for Long Islanders
Small business owners are among those across Long Island who are wondering where Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul stands on issues affecting the area.
Hochul is set to become the first female New York governor in two weeks, following Gov. Andrew Cuomo's resignation.
At SC Fitness in Hicksville, owners and workers want to know what the change in power will mean for coronavirus restrictions, funding for small businesses, and economy education.
Charles Cassara, of the United States Fitness Coalition, owns two small gyms on Long Island. He is part of the group that sued Cuomo last year to reopen gyms. Cassara and 2,000 other members in the state are now watching to see what Hochul will do.
"I am hopeful that she's going to take businesses a little more into consideration," says Cassara.
Matt Cohen, the president and CEO of the Long Island Association, says he has personally met with Hochul twice since May.
"We met for more than an hour," says Cohen. "She gets it. She knows Long Island. She cares about Long Island. We talked about housing, child care, how to navigate the recovery from COVID, and small business relief."
Hochul has made at least five appearances on Long Island since January. Her last two public appearances on Long Island were in May. Some of her visits included the Jones Beach vaccination site, a trip to Baldwin to talk about downtown revitalization and a stop in Hicksville where she spoke about a push for addiction treatment.
Nassau County Executive Laura Curran tells News 12, "She's someone that really understands the importance of downtown revitalization, small businesses, and main streets. She gets our middle-class roots."
Political strategist Mike Dawidziak says only time and politics will dictate how much funding she directs back to the Island.
"We can be hopeful that the fact that she is not from New York City may make that inequity a little better for us," says Dawidziak.