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Hochul comes back home to march in Labor Day Parade

Gov. Kathy Hochul surrounded by politicians and labor leaders
Office of the Governor
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Gov. Kathy Hochul (at microphone) surrounded by politicians and labor leaders at Buffalo's Labor Day Parade.

Marching in Buffalo's Labor Day Parade is a tradition for politicians, but this was the first year Kathy Hochul marched as governor of New York.

"There's no place like home," Hochul said. "This just warms my heart. And on this spectacularly beautiful Labor Day in September in Buffalo, New York, as a famous coach used to say, where would you rather be than right here right now?"

Led by parade Grand Marshall John Mudie of CWA Local 1122, Hochul marched along with local labor leaders and other politicians in South Buffalo under this year's theme, "Honoring Essential Workers."

Hochul said it was the neighborhood where her grandfather and his brothers had come to start a new life "after leaving great poverty in Ireland."

"They all became union members, steelworkers, longshoreman, pipe fitters, iron workers. They helped build this community. And my own father worked at the steel plant. Their blood is running through my veins, the iron we built, the steel we built, the work we did to make Buffalo the great city it is," she said.

Gov. Kathy Hochul signs legislation before the Labor Day Parade in Buffalo.
NYS AFL-CIO
Gov. Kathy Hochul signs legislation before the Labor Day Parade in Buffalo.

Before the parade, Hochul signed four pieces of legislation she said would help boost workplace safety and put more money in the pockets of working New Yorkers.

The bills establish a demonstration program to implement speed violation monitoring systems in construction zones and make construction contractors liable for the wages owed to their subcontractors. The bills also require the payment of prevailing wage to building service employees at high-end co-ops and condos and extend Shared Work Benefits.

"Do we lift people?" Hochul asked. "Did we take them to a better place as a result of us being where we are in our positions, and my friends, the answer when I look at all these friends in labor, labor leaders, men and women who put themselves out there on the line, fighting for men and women every day, the answer is yes. They answered that call. They served, they took us to a better place."