Governor Cuomo's long-standing record of support for the many African
American Communities across the state is one built on commitment and respect
for the dignity of all New Yorkers.
To help African Americans and other minority business people, the Governor
created the Office of Minority and Women Owned Business
Development and numerous economic development programs, which have provided
millions of dollars to African American small businesses, and hundreds of
millions in state and public authority contracts to minority contractors since
To provide access to capital, the Cuomo administration has funded
community-based economic development organizations, credit unions, and
revolving loan funds.
To stimulate economic growth in the state's hardest hit areas, the Governor
created Economic Development Zones. The 19 existing zones have generated $750
million in investments from 869 businesses, creating more than 4,500 permanent
jobs. Another 21 zones will soon be created.
The Governor created the Office of Minority Health in 1992 to help medical
schools and state agencies increase the number of minority health professionals
and promote health service delivery in minority
The Children's Health Insurance Program started by Governor Cuomo was one of
the first in the nation, providing nearly 70,000 under- and uninsured children
with health benefits.
Governor Cuomo believes there is no more important mission for government
than to help communities fight the devastation and hopelessness caused by drugs
The Governor has made the state's drug treatment network the largest in the
nation, creating nearly 30,000 slots since 1983.
To combat the devastation caused by guns, Governor Cuomo has led the fight
for an immediate ban on assault weapons -- a measure that Republicans refuse to
The Governor this year created GRIP (the Gun Retrieval and Interdiction
Program), which funds special police teams to track down illegal guns and
arrest their owners.
To provide positive alternatives for youth, the Governor tipped off the New
York State Midnight Basketball League this summer. This initiative will get
young people off the streets at night and into gyms where they will also
receive job and counseling services.
The Neighborhood Based Alliance centralized operations for social service and
economic development programs, making it easier for families to receive the
assistance they need.
Governor Cuomo has appointed more African Americans to high-ranking positions
than any of his predecessors, including the historic nomination of Fritz
Alexander, to a full term on the state's highest court, the Court of Appeals.
He has since appointed George Bundy Smith to the Court.
Other senior level appointments include the Superintendent of Banks, Counsel
to the Governor, Commissioner of the Division for Youth Commissioner,
Commissioner of the Office of General Services and Commissioner of the Office
of Alcohol and Substance Abuse. The Governor also appointed Major General
James, the first African American Commanding Officer of the New York Army
Governor Cuomo believes that opportunity starts with education. His record of achievement is built on
innovation and investment -- creating many new programs while more than
doubling state aid to local schools since he took office. The Governor has also
led the fight to distribute $9 billion in state school aid more fairly.
His innovations include the first Community Schools program in the nation --
a model for making schools the center of community activity. Currently, 41
schools statewide stay open into the late evening providing those in
disadvantaged communities a broad range of services, including youth
activities, day care and counseling. He also established the first Magnet
School program, which now serves more than 70,000 children.
The Governor also initiated the award-winning New York State Mentoring
Program. Under the leadership of First Lady Matilda Cuomo, successful adults,
serving as role models, work one on one with at-risk students. There are now
3,115 students from 214 schools in the program.
As a result of these initiatives, drop-out rates are at an historic low.
Higher education opportunities have been expanded for
roughly 300,000 working-class and needy students through the nation's most
generous Tuition Assistance Program. New York provides more aid than the next
two states combined and our tuition is lower than our Northeast neighbors.
The Governor created Liberty Scholarships to provide incentives for needy
children to stay in school. The program -- a national first -- covers all
expenses at state universities for students who qualify, but who can't afford
the cost of going to college.
Governor Cuomo waged a steady and persistent fight to provide over $23
million to restore CUNY's Medgar Evers College to a fully funded four-year
Last year, the Governor opened the $129 million Riverbank State Park in
Harlem which includes a pool complex, an athletic building, a cultural arts
building, a skating rink, ball fields, tennis courts, and picnic areas.
The Governor established the Martin Luther King Institute and Commission to
promote the King holiday and spread the civil rights leader's philosophy of
The Governor has repeatedly fought for anti-bias legislation to stiffen
penalties for hate crimes.