The Democratic Party in New York State has split. Whether it’s the city, the state or even on the federal level, they are at each other’s throats with the policies they should be focusing on. It has been seen that both Governor Cuomo and U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand have other plans for the Democratic party, as the pressure for Democratic unification has become a pertinent need. Lately, these two figures do not like the idea of the Independent Democratic Conference or the IDC. A lot of constituents who voted for their democratic state senators are questioning the idea of the group because Democrats and Republicans are working side by side on issues on the state level. Two different events caused Cuomo and Gillibrand to respond for Democrats in New York.
Senator Gillibrand faced a town hall in Queens this week. The constituents she spoke to were concerned that the progressive agenda of New York State was falling apart because of the IDC. She agreed and emphasized the current need for the Democratic majority in the Senate to come together. During his trip to Washington D.C., Cuomo faced a more aggressive audience. In his meeting with Democratic Congressmen from his own state, they also were concerned with the IDC’s influence over the Democratic agenda. Governor Cuomo is in one of the toughest spots. Already in conflict with Democratic Mayor Bill de Blasio over the railway system in New York City, he yet again is making enemies in the wrong places. If he intends on running for any sort of office in 2020, he will need all the support he can get from his Democratic allies.
Uniting the party is a serious matter for both of these elected officials. Senator Gillibrand hasn’t been too involved in helping Chuck Schumer unite the party on the federal level, so she helping back home. However, Cuomo needs to become a mediator between the IDC and the rest of the Democratic Party in the state senate. The IDC has passed progressive legislation such as marriage equality, two minimum wage increases, and paid family leave through bipartisanship. It is possible that political ambition and pressure is steering the wheel for these two prominent New York electeds.