Earlier today, Governor Kathy Hochul delivered remarks at the Buffalo Irish Center St. Patrick’s Day Luncheon.
VIDEO of the event is available on YouTube here and in TV quality (h.264, mp4) format here.
AUDIO of the event is available here.
PHOTOS of the event are available on the Governor’s Flickr page.
A rush transcript of the Governor’s remarks is available below:
Home sweet home. This is actually more emotional than I thought it would be because I have been coming here for decades and I’ve honored my Irish heritage with many of you, starting with our great host here today, Mark Schroeder and his wife, Kate, who’ve done an extraordinary job keeping the flame alive all of these years at this event.
Mary Heneghan, Megan Corbett, and so many others. And I see, I feel I can harness the spirit of Brian Higgins in this room as well, it’s not the same without him but we send our love to him as well. And to have a great friend like Tim Kennedy, who is in every corner of the state working as the chair of the Senate Transportation Committee.
So if you have any potholes in your neighborhood, any problems at all, let’s give out his cell phone number right here. And other leaders in our local community – Mayor Byron Brown, great ally, great supporter, as well as Mark Poloncarz and so many others, our County Executive. But I also want to give a shout out to someone who travels a greater distance. There’s never been an event that I’ve been at as important as this that Tom DiNapoli, our Comptroller, was not at as well. He shows up, he cares, he fights hard as well.
And to have our Bishop here, Bishop Mike, I want to thank you for, in anticipation of a possible dispensation… I just want to, just got to set down… It’s kind of how I negotiate. Just kind of put it out there. But I do see the Kerry flag in a place of prominence. And I want you to know, I’ve been asked many times, you know, could a woman handle the rough and tumble of politics in New York State and what it takes to get elected?
Because it’s never happened before. And I say, but you don’t know where I come from. I come from the hardy Irish. I come from immigrants who left great poverty in search of a better life, who worked as migrant farm workers and domestic servants before they landed in the promised land of Western New York. Working with their hands to make steel.
My dad, my grandpa, his brothers, all worked here to help build this community and make the steel that went up in buildings all across our nation. So to me, I have that steel running through my veins and I’ve been tested before, but I have the resiliency of the Irish in me. Those who will always fight for justice and freedom, and for those who’ve been left out of the finer things in life.
Because that’s where I come from. And every time I’m in town, I make a trip with my husband Bill, and he is your first First Gentlemen in the State of New York. So I want to give a round of applause to Bill Hochul as well.
We’d circle around and we’d go out to the trailer park that still exists today on Electric Avenue in Lackawanna. And we’d go to the little diner around the corner and think about the fact that this is where my family started, but we’re not unique. All of our families started and they lifted themselves up, whether it’s your grandparents, your parents, we all have that same story.
And that is a story that unites all of us as New Yorkers. That is a unifying force that I’m going to continue to celebrate in this incredible honor. To not just be the chair of this lunch, which is a very big deal to me as someone who sat out here for decades – I am honored to have this – but also the honor of being the governor of the greatest state in this nation. And with all of your support, we will continue in this position, because I will say, there’s no one scrappier or tougher than someone who comes out of the roots in the Irish center, the Irish community right here in Western New York. So thank you, my friends. There’s a great Irish saying that says, may your house be too small for all of your friends. That’s what I feel is going on in this room today.
So thank you for your friendship on this long journey – my family, my grandparents. But I honor all of you today because this is what unites all of us in a common belief that we help people who’ve come here with nothing and we helped them achieve their full potential and their dreams. You are all part of that story.
I thank you.