By Alberto Gilman
The City of Newburgh welcomed New York State Lieutenant Governor candidate Ana María Archila on Saturday May 7 who spoke on the growing housing crisis here in the state. Archila will be running alongside New York State governor candidate Jumaane Williams this coming November. New York State Governor Kathy Hochul previously announced the appointment of Representative Antonio Delgado as Lieutenant Governor of New York.
Representative Delgado represents the state’s 19th Congressional District. Former Lt. Governor Brian Benjamin, resigned due to federal corruption charges.
“The lieutenant governors’ office should not be a ceremonial role, the lieutenant governor is directly elected by the people,” Archila said. “It should be an office that is constantly focused on lifting up the voices of people who feel abandoned by Albany.”
On the topic of housing, Archila’s focus, if she is elected as Lt. Governor, are the construction of at least one million affordable housing units, building a publicly owned, financed and built housing network, creating more protections for tenants, improving the state’s public housing and pushing for improved property tax reform.
“We live in one of the richest states in the country, New York is not a place that lacks money. That has never ever been our problem,” Archila said. “New York is a place that lacks elected officials who are as committed as you are [addressing the crowd] to fight to make sure that everyone has the opportunity to live with dignity. What we lack right now are elected officials who will choose real people above real estate.”
In the City of Newburgh, Good Cause Eviction, which protects city tenants and renters from unlawful eviction by their current landlords, was passed back in October 2021. The law passed and was adopted in preparation for the moratorium that was to end in January of this year.
Fellow supporters and Newburgh officials joined the rally and spoke on the housing crisis here in New York. “We’re having a housing crisis, not just in our community but across the state and really across the country. Housing is a human right, it is a basic need,” said Orange County Legislator Genesis Ramos. “I am here today supporting Ana María because I know that she will fight and advocate for all of New York State,” said Councilwoman Ramona Monteverde. “Affordable housing is not a problem that we’re just facing in the City of Newburgh, it’s across New York State, it’s across the country,” said Orange County Legislator Kevindaryán Luján. “70% of our population here [in the City of Newburgh] are renters,” said Councilwoman Giselle Martinez. “The slumlords know who they are. We’re taking our power back.”
“I feel so grateful for people’s willingness to fight for one another, to demand better housing. Everywhere I go whether I’m talking to people in the Bronx, in Brooklyn, or whether I’m talking to people in the Hudson Valley or in rural parts of the state, housing is a huge issue and there are solutions that are within reach,” Archila said. “For renters, we can put in place Good Cause eviction. We also need to use the powers of the Economic Development infrastructure of the state to create permanently affordable housing. We need to make sure that we are alleviating the pressures that homeowners, who are paying property taxes, are feeling.”