What Does Sequestration Mean for You?:
How is sequestration affecting New Yorkers? Check out this infographic by my office, Rep. Jerrold Nadler, and Rep. Carolyn Maloney to find out what it means for you.
Helping the South Street Seaport Come Back:
Many Downtown businesses have weathered Hurricane Sandy and re-opened. But others are still suffering.
Four months after Hurricane Sandy, 85% percent of South Street Seaport area businesses remain boarded up. Many will be closed until May, and their owners fear that two or three more months without customers could be the final blow.
Today, along with Rep. Jerry Nadler, State Senator Daniel Squadron, Council Member Chin, Community Board 1 Chair Catherine McVay Hughes, and Downtown Alliance President Eli I met with South Street Seaport area business owners to learn more about their concerns and how we can help. Our message was very clear: we have your backs.
However, we can’t do it alone. 17 Seaport businesses are now up and running, and as more stores and restaurants in the Seaport and throughout Downtown re-open, they’re going to need your business to stay open.
That’s why I want you to join me in committing to shopping at businesses coming back from Hurricane Sandy. Check out this map to see what New York City businesses that were temporarily shuttered by Hurricane Sandy have now re-opened, and then visit them and help them recover. It’s the very best way to tell your neighborhood merchants that they have your support.
Visiting South Street Seaport Businesses:
Lower Manhattan businesses need our help. This morning I toured the South Street Seaport area with Rep. Jerry Nadler, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, US Small Business Administration Administrator Karen Mills, SBS Commissioner Walsh, local elected officials, and community leaders. The business owners I’ve talked to say they need assistance recovering from Hurricane Sandy, and the federal SBA, New York State, New York City, and the Downtown Alliance are stepping up with support.
Two weeks have now passed since Hurricane Sandy hit our City. Since then, New Yorkers have shown their true colors by donating food, checking on neighbors, and cleaning up neighborhoods that suffered the greatest destruction. Throughout the boroughs, we have witnessed countless acts of heroism and an outpouring of generosity. Emergency workers, first responders, and volunteers have rushed to our aid and inspired each of us to help.
Last Thursday, I joined up with Staten Island Borough President James Molinaro, State Senator Andrew Lanza, and Councilmember Vincent Ignizio to deliver much-needed blankets to 200 Staten Island families left without heat by Sandy.
And on Sunday, I teamed up with Congressmember Jose Serrano and Assemblymember Eric Stevenson to serve lunch to Far Rockaway families displaced by the storm.
If you would like to help out, there are many relief organizations looking for volunteers and donations. In addition, Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, Comptroller John C. Liu and I are hosting a food drive at the Municipal Building, located at 1 Centre Street. Any donation to the food drive will be greatly appreciated, and all supplies will be donated to The Food Bank for New York City. Please note that donations will not result in preferential treatment by City officials.
As New York City begins its recovery from Hurricane Sandy, business owners face daunting challenges. They need to know what programs are available to help them recover from the effects of the storm.
Here are some key sources of assistance that are coordinated by the New York City Department of Small Business Services and the New York City Economic Development Corporation:
In addition, the following Federal Aid Programs for State of New York Disaster Recovery are available:
Further information about these programs and others is available in Senator Kirsten Gillibrand’s Guide to Disaster Assistance and Relief Funding and Senator Charles Schumer’s Hurricane Sandy recovery website.
As our City begins to recover from Hurricane Sandy, I wanted to share information about relief groups and other charitable organizations to which you can donate, if it’s difficult for you to personally offer supplies and shelter to people in need.
VOLUNTEERING IN NEW YORK CITY
There are numerous ways to help here in the city, and a good place to start is by registering as a volunteer with NYCService’s Facebook page. The organization has asked people to contact NYC Service with their names, email contacts, and boroughs. You can also register to be a New York Cares volunteer and be part of their disaster response team.
The Food Bank for New York is also accepting donations and possibly volunteers. Check its websites for more information.
CONTACT THE RED CROSS
All of your donations to the Red Cross will provide shelter and other support to people who have been directly affected by the Hurricane.
To donate, visit www.redcross.org, call 800-Red-Cross or text the word “Redcross” to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Currently blood supplies are low in areas hit by the storm, and the Red Cross is asking people to schedule appointments to donate blood in the New York/New Jersey area. To donate, call 800-933-2566 or visit www.nybloodcenter.org.
FOOD, MEDICINE AND SHELTER
REACHING OUT TO CHILDREN IN NEED
Save the Children provides emergency aid to families and addresses the special needs of their children. You can visit www.savethechildren.org to donate. World Vision and Samaritan’s Purse are also providing emergency relief and seeking volunteers for children.
HELPING ANIMALS CAUGHT IN THE STORM
If you’re interested in helping animals find safe haven and good care after the hurricane, the Humane Society of the United States and the American Humane Association have teams working on the problem and they need your help. Donations are especially needed to help rescue stranded pets and aid animals currently in shelters.
CLEANING UP AFTER THE HURRICANE
Team Rubicon (310-338-1149) has dispatched teams to begin cleanup work and Samaritan’s Purse is also seeking volunteers to help our City rebuild.
BEYOND U.S. BORDERS
Remember that Hurricane Sandy devastated the Caribbean and claimed many lives before it hit the United States. Operation USA and the International Medical Corps are aiding those affected by Sandy in Haiti and Cuba. Operation USA is also providing aid to the East Coast.
FEMA AND THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT
Finally, FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency offers a range of programs delivering aid to those affected directly by the hurricane. Check out the FEMA website for information and ways to help.
TELETHONS TO HELP RECOVERY
This evening NBC will broadcast a telethon to benefit those impacted by Sandy, starring Bruce Springsteen, Jon Bon Jovi, Billy Joel and other performers. On Monday, ABC will observe “A Day of Giving” on several shows to generate donations. Check both stations for more details.
BEFORE YOU MAKE A DONATION
If you are planning to give to a nonprofit in the wake of any disaster, you should first verify that it is legitimate. Charity evaluators like Guidestar and Charity Navigator as well as FEMA can help you determine whether the organization to which you’re donating has a good track record, and that funds will go where you intend.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Donations will not result in preferential treatment by City officials.
New York City has now seen the worst of Hurricane Sandy, but as we survey the damage this morning from The Bowery to Breezy Point, it is clear that we have a lot of work to do. And by working together as New Yorkers, we will get it done – starting today.
I want to first thank the heroes of the NYPD, FDNY, Con-Ed, National Guard, hospital workers and all the other emergency responders who are working so hard to keep us safe. I know you share my appreciation for those who are working on the front lines to save lives and restore essential services.
My advice for everyone else is stay safe, stay indoors and let rescue workers do their job today. For the best, most up-to-date information, you should stay tuned to TV and radio. But we know for sure that the job ahead is enormous:
I’d like to echo Mayor Bloomberg’s two crucial requests: Please call 911 only in life-threatening emergencies. For all other problems, please call 311. We cannot afford to overload our emergency response system at this time.
Perhaps the most helpful thing the rest of us can do is check in on our elderly or disabled friends and neighbors, to make sure they have everything they need.
We have much work ahead, and many unknowns to confront. But this much I know: New York will rise to this challenge with courage and compassion, just like it always does. I want to thank you in advance for all your help as we now move forward together.