The following are quick hits of editorial analysis from The Foggiest Idea on the local and regional developmental issues that matter. For more, be sure to LIKE TFI on Facebook.
By Richard Murdocco – Published August 13, 2021
According to the latest data from the U.S. Census Bureau, Long Island’s population grew by 88,812, or 3.1%, since 2010. Of these gains, Nassau County saw a 4.2% increase in total residents, while neighboring Suffolk County grew by a total of 2.2%.
Overall, the Nassau/Suffolk region has grown more diverse, with over 40.2% of the population being comprised of minorities, up from 31.3% when the census was last taken ten years ago. Nassau saw larger population gains than it had in the period from 2000 to 2010, when the county’s population only increased by 0.4%. Suffolk County grew at a slower pace compared to the 5.2% gain it saw in the last census round.
The population boom was readily apparent on the East End, where rates of headcount growth far out-paced the western portions of the island. The towns of East Hampton, Southampton, and Shelter Island posted 32.3%, 36%, and 21% population gains, respectively. Riverhead meanwhile saw a relatively modest 7.2% gain and Southold’s headcount was boosted by 8%, data shows.
Within the townships in western Suffolk County, growth was tepid. Babylon, Islip, and Huntington showed modest growth during the last ten years, while both Brookhaven and Smithtown lost population. In Nassau, population growth leaders were both the City of Long Beach, which posted a 5.3% gain, and the City of Glen Cove, where growth was pegged at 5.2%. Unlike Suffolk, all towns within Nassau County grew in population throughout the last decade.
In New York City, the population increased by nearly 8%, or 600,000 residents.
“The downstate population increases in general are impressive,” Steven Romalewski, director of the CUNY Mapping Services at the Center for Urban Research at the City University of New York, told Newsday. Romalewski said the gains for downstate New York were “huge.”
CUOMO’S OUT, HOCHUL’S IN – AND HISTORY WILL BE MADE
With the resignation of New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo, Lieutenant Governor Kathleen Courtney Hochul is slated to become the 57th chief executive of the state – and New York’s first ever female governor.
Hochul, a lawyer by trade, rose from a 14-year run on the Hamburg Town Board before serving in the U.S. House of Representatives after an surprise win during a special election race in 2011. In 2014, Cuomo had hand-picked Hochul to serve as his deputy during his 2014 gubernatorial run.
As Lieutenant Governor, Hochul made it a point of pride to personally visit each of New York’s 62 counties annually at least once, and went about conducting ceremonial duties in a mostly toothless role within the bullying Cuomo administration.
“It was important to been seen in all those counties, particularly the more remote counties, so they didn’t feel that they were neglected or abandoned,” Hochul told the Buffalo News in January 2021. “Now more than ever, it was important to show up personally.”
Her role was so behind the scenes that Cuomo neglected to mention her within the entirity of his latest book, now a flashpoint of controversy. While Cuomo took care to highlight the roles played by his various top aides, he made no mention of Ms. Hochul.
That lack of attribution may now serve as a blessing for the 62-year old who is poised to assume leadership of the state.
With the shifting of political tides in the wake of Cuomo’s sudden fall from grace, experts say that all of her local facetime across the Empire State over the years will pay off.
Hochul’s reputation is that of a centrist political pragmatist who has a far-friendlier approach to getting things done than the bullying Cuomo. Still, pols who have worked with her say don’t let a friendly demeanor be confused with governmental inexperience.
“She’s a tough chick from Buffalo and I think she’ll be prepared,” State Senator Diane Savino, a Democrat who represents parts of both Staten Island and Brooklyn, told The City. “She certainly knows the issues that affect the state from the North Country to the South Bronx.”