"The road to hell is paved with good intentions," warned an 1855 French proverb.
That 175-year-old warning is a painful reality in New York due to Governor Andrew Cuomo's COVID rules. In an attempt to save lives, he destroyed people's livelihoods and crushed their spirit by closing or limiting businesses, schools and religious institutions.
I see a vivid example of that at P.S. 164 in Kew Gardens Hills. While the school has been closed for in-person learning since November 18, free food is
distributed at a side entrance on weekdays from 3 to 5 p.m.
Long lines form on 77th Avenue between 138th Street and Vleigh Place, with people
staying six feet apart to get meals for themselves and their families. I've never seen anything like this during the 76 years I've lived here,
and never imagined I would.
I also see several closed or near-empty stores on Main Street between Union Turnpike and Jewel Avenue in what nine months ago was a vibrant and prosperous neighborhood.
Cuomo's emergency powers, invoked in March, have transformed many Queens
middle-income areas into pockets of poverty for no valid reason.
Our Albany legislators gave Cuomo his sweeping powers when the pandemic hit, but they are no longer justified now that a vaccine will soon be available.
When State Senate and Assembly members convene in January, they must pass bills that rein in Cuomo's powers and prevent him or any governor from getting such authority again.
While Cuomo can veto these bills, both chambers can override his veto. Democrats now hold 41 Senate seats, with absentee ballots still being counted. A
42nd seat in the 63-member senate will give them a veto-proof majority.
The Assembly has had an overwhelming Democratic majority since 2018. Republican legislators may also be eager to restrict the governor's powers.
But will our elected officials stand up for their constituents or cave in to Cuomo. All voters should ask their Albany representatives that question.
How our legislators act in 2021 will determine if we re-elect them in
2022. Make your voice heard.
Kew Gardens Hills