Aug. 6, 2021 By Allie Griffin
Assembly Member Catherine Nolan announced Thursday that she supports impeaching Governor Andrew Cuomo — in response to a rally calling on her to do so earlier in the day.
Local activists and Democratic district leaders rallied outside Nolan’s Long Island City office Thursday morning demanding that she vote to impeach Cuomo.
The rally came two days after a report released by New York Attorney General Letitia James concluded that the governor sexually harassed nearly a dozen women in violation of state and federal laws.
Nolan had not made clear her position on the AG’s report until she was reached by the Queens Post Thursday afternoon.
“Assembly Member Cathy Nolan … must show herself to be on the right side of history, and publicly state her intention to vote in favor of impeachment,” Democratic District Leaders Émilia Decaudin and Jesse Laymon said in a joint statement prior to Nolan’s announcement. “Anything less is a betrayal of workers everywhere who suffer sexual harassment and assault — most often silently and without recourse — at the hands of their supervisors.”
Nolan, who represents the 37th Assembly District, was one of a handful of Queens assembly members who had not made a public statement asking Cuomo to resign or face impeachment.
She has been relatively quiet lately amid an ongoing battle with cancer. Nolan announced back in February that she underwent cancer surgery and sources say she has been in and out of hospital since.
Decaudin, however, said that Nolan’s office has addressed many topics via social media in recent times. Therefore, she said, she was disappointed that Nolan had remained silent about the findings in the report.
In March, when the sexual harassment allegations became more widely known, 55 state legislators signed onto a March 11 letter calling for Cuomo’s resignation. Nolan did not sign the letter.
“We’re disappointed that Cathy Nolan has not only not said anything now, but had not said anything back in March when this first came out,” Decaudin said prior to the assemblywoman’s announcement.
When Decaudin called the assembly member’s office Tuesday to urge Nolan to vote to impeach Cuomo, she said staffers didn’t provide insight into where Nolan stood. Instead, she added, they told her that they would relay her message in support of impeachment to the assembly member.
Nolan said she does support impeaching the governor in a statement to the Queens Post Thursday afternoon.
“Yes I support impeachment,” she said. “Impeachment is a historic responsibility, I welcome hearing my constituents’ views and have been reaching out to community leaders for quite some time.”
Grateful to everyone who joined us for our rally outside of AM Cathy Nolan’s office to demand her support of impeaching Governor Cuomo. We’re looking forward to hearing from her and her office soon. pic.twitter.com/lfpo6M6l8B
— Émilia Decaudin ⚜️ (@EmiliaDecaudin) August 5, 2021
Decaudin said she believes mounting pressure from the rally as well as calls to her office and users on social media led Nolan to make a statement.
“I am glad that Cathy Nolan has finally taken the time to share her stance on the situation with her constituents,” she told the Queens Post. “I’m grateful that our collective effort as a community pushed her in the right direction and I’m looking forward to seeing her vote in favor of impeaching Governor Cuomo for his abhorrent actions.”
Nolan is the now tenth assembly member from Queens to say she supports impeachment.
The State Assembly has already launched it own investigation into the governor. The Assembly’s judiciary committee has hired outside lawyers to investigate the sexual harassment allegations as well as other scandals involving Cuomo.
Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie said the attorney general’s report has been forwarded to the members of the judiciary committee as well as all members of the Assembly.
Heastie said Tuesday that Cuomo has lost the confidence of Assembly Democrats.
The Assembly is working to expedite its impeachment investigation and proceedings. A simple majority is needed to impeach the governor.