George Pataki on Families & Children

Republican NY Governor


Our parents never felt like victims even in Great Depression

[In my childhood], my father was a mailman. When he went to first grade he couldn't speak one word of English. No one lowered their expectations. Instead they helped him learn the skills he needed to succeed.

My mother had to turn down a scholarship to Cornell to work as a waitress. She was the only one in her family with a job during the darkest days of the Great Depression.

My brother Lou and I worked on our farm as kids. For my Dad, working two jobs was the norm. He would leave at 5 in the morning, deliver mail during the day, work on the farm in the evening until dark.

My parents never saw themselves as victims; they were Americans. And though they might not have had every opportunity for themselves, they knew their children could accomplish anything.

It is that promise of unlimited opportunity, that belief in America, which I want to restore for every family and every child living in America today.

Source: 2016 presidential campaign website: Announcement speech , May 28, 2015

Prevent release of sexual predators into our neighborhoods

The intentional harm of a child is among the most monstrous and repugnant acts a human being can commit. When that harm involves the sexual predation, exploitation and abuse of children, that is unconscionable. Sexual predators are rarely cured--the rate of recidivism among these individuals is among the highest of any category of criminals. When those who stalk and rape a child can be out on the streets in two or three years, when 5,000 sexually violent predators are currently awaiting release from our state prisons, it is clear that our work is not finished. I have endeavored to do everything possible within my scope of authority as governor to keep dangerous predators away from our children and families.

Our goal must be nothing less than to provide our children and families with every possible protection from sexually violent predators. This year I will again send you a bill aimed at preventing the release of these predators into our neighborhoods.

Source: State of the State address to 2006 New York Legislature , Jan 4, 2006

Encourage fathers' participation in child-raising.

Pataki adopted the National Governors Association position paper:

The Issue

Growing evidence suggests that children from families in which fathers do not contribute their time and support endure a number of risk factors. Children with absent fathers are more likely to drop out of school, become teenage parents, develop drug or alcohol problems, or become involved in violent criminal behavior. Congress and the administration have recently proposed a number of federal programs to support state and local fatherhood initiatives.

NGA’s Position

Governors believe that government at all levels can and should take immediate action to help reduce the number of out-of-wedlock pregnancies and encourage active participation by fathers of all ages in raising their children. Governors have played a leadership role at both the national and state level in developing and implementing comprehensive strategies to strengthen the role of fathers in their childrens’ lives. While many Governors are using Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and other federal program funds to support state-specific fatherhood initiatives, additional investment in fatherhood would broaden the population of fathers that can be served. Governors believe that there should be support of and coordination between existing programs and any new federal funding stream designated for fatherhood initiatives and that these new initiatives should not be funded at the expense of another vital human service program.
Source: National Governors Association "Issues / Positions" 01-NGA12 on Sep 7, 2001

Federal funds & state involvement in fatherhood initiatives.

Pataki adopted the National Governors Association policy:

Source: NGA policy HR-28. Fatherhood Policy 01-NGA6 on Aug 15, 2001

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Page last updated: Mar 12, 2016