From the Morning Memo:

Deputy Senate Majority Leader Mike Gianaris, in many ways, has his feet in two worlds, straddling the establishment structure in Queens and embracing the increasingly restive progressive grassroots of the party that has a string of successes over the last year.

This week Gianaris outlined a broad strategy for Democrats in the state Senate, which the party now controls for the first time in a decade, with a mix of suburban lawmakers and progressives who defeated incumbent members of their own party in primaries.

In a speech at an event thrown by City & State, Gianaris pointed to the victories of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Sens. Jessica Ramos and John Liu as evidence that the party should work to embrace the grassroots train — or risk being swept up in it.

“It is our obligation to try a different course,” he said. “To be bold. To be Progressive and to say to the people of this country we get. People want change, people want health care coverage, people want change in the criminal justice system, and people want affordable housing.”

Democrats in control of both chambers of the Legislature this year passed a series of long-sought bills for liberals that bolstered rights for immigrants, farm workers, women as well as new gun control laws and a sweeping rent control package.

But the Democratic conference remains in a wary, fraught relationship with Gov. Andrew Cuomo, seen as a moderating force in New York politics. In recent weeks, Cuomo has said he is the left, given his ability to achieve concrete accomplishments for the state.

He has chided progressives for not backing up their words with action, including the failure to close Rikers Island jail and the troubled New York City Housing Authority.

Next year, the party will be defending seats from the Hudson Valley and Long Island suburbs, central and western New York as well as in New York City in the Senate.

Gianaris said that ahead of 2020, Democrats should embrace the push to make the party a far more active and bolder one.

“My message is simple,” he said. “Let’s not be afraid. Let’s not sit there and say that the wheel has worked just fine. Let’s recognize that we need to break the wheel because the country is demanding it and when we bring that change that is when our party will justify the support of the American people.”