AFRICAN AMERICAN COMMUNITY

  • 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 1983.

  • 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 communities.

  • 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 and crime.

  • 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 pass.

  • 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 National Guard.

  • 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 school.

  • 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 non-violence.

  • The Governor has repeatedly fought for anti-bias legislation to stiffen penalties for hate crimes.