Kathy Hochul, the 57th governor of New York, declared a state of emergency after poliovirus was detected in wastewater samples from Long Island. The order will help increase the availability of resources to protect New Yorkers against polio.

Who is Kathy Hochul?

The 62-year-old, who is New York’s first female governor, succeeded Andrew Cuomo. 

Born in Buffalo, New York, Hochul did her B.A.
degree from Syracuse University in 1980 and a J.D. from Catholic University
four years later.

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After completing her law school, she worked
for a private Washington DC firm before becoming a legal counsel and
legislative assistant to Representative John LaFalce and then, Senator Daniel
Patrick Moynihan, according to her official New York state bio.

Hochul was elected to the Hamburg Town Board
in Erie County, New York in 1994, and she served at that position until 2007
when she was appointed the Erie County Clerk.

During her time in the Town Board, Hochul worked extensively to help displaced women.
She, along with her mother and aunt, established the Kathleen Mary House, a
shelter home for victims of domestic violence.

In May 2003, Erie County Clerk David Swarts appointed Hochul as his deputy.

Hochul ran in the May 24, 2011, special election to fill the seat in New York’s 26th congressional district left vacant by the resignation of Chris Lee. She was defeated in 2012. During her
tenure, she sat on the Armed Services and Homeland Security committees.

In November 2021, Hochul pushed to end remote work during the COVID-19 pandemic and to return workers to offices. The same month, she offered her plans to redevelop Manhattan’s Pennsylvania Station and the surrounding neighborhood. 

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On June 22, 2022, Hochul announced a $300 million plan to rebuild infrastructure in western New York communities with public and private funding.

Hochul is married to William J. Hochul Jr., the former United States Attorney for the Western District of New York. He is also the senior vice president, general counsel, and secretary to Delaware North, a hospitality and gambling company. The couple has two children. Hochul identifies as Catholic.

She is a founder of Kathleen Mary House, a transitional home for women and children who are victims of domestic violence. She also co-founded the Village Action Coalition, and, as of 2011, was a member of the board of trustees of Immaculata Academy in Hamburg, New York.