With so many people in Staten Island still without heat and feeling un-helped by FEMA, things could get shout-y this Thursday, if nothing else. Don’t miss the town hall meeting at New Dorp High School at 7pm.
“Staten Island victims of Hurricane Sandy who have questions about the benefits to which they are entitled can attend a town hall meeting Thursday sponsored by Borough President James P. Molinaro.
“The meeting will be held at 7 p.m. in New Dorp High School, 465 New Dorp Lane.
“Molinaro said that Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) representatives as well as borough elected officials and city agency representatives would attend.
“He said he also wants to clear up some confusion that victims have about benefits.
“I don’t want people to miss out on what’s available to them,” Molinaro said. “I want to tell them what they’re entitled to.”
A Hurricane Sandy Small Business Recovery Center has opened up at the College of Staten Island to offer assistance and answer any questions business owners may have. The center is located at:
College of Staten Island
(The City University of New York)
Main Admin Building in Bldg 1A-102
2800 Victory Boulevard
Staten Island, NY 10314
SBA can also be contacted via phone at 1-800-827-5722
Louis CK on when he knew he wanted to do benefit shows in Staten Island:
“When your guy [Borough President James P. Molinaro] said ‘Fuck the Red Cross!’
“You hear him saying the Red Cross is dogshit, and then you see Chuck Schumer standing behind him, wanting to put his hand on his face, thinking ‘I’m a Senator, I can’t deal with this.’ I love the people out here.”
Saturday November 24, 2012
1. Get on your bike! (via Time’s Up)
If you’ve been to the Rockaways, you know that the fastest way to get around the traffic jams of cars, volunteers, relief trucks, aid stations, and clean up crews is on a bike. So if you have the bicycle and the legs, join the Time’s Up Fossil Fuel Disaster relief riders this Sunday. The details:
1. Calling all electricians! (via everywhere)
The power grid is up, but many people can’t get the lights on until their buildings are inspected by a licensed electrician. Some folks are donating this service (like in Staten Island), and others are only charging what a friend in the Rock calls “a reasonable price gouge.” If you’d like to help in whatever way sits well with your conscience, check out the following places: Broad Channel (contact the firehouse at 718 474 8888), Red Hook (contact 718-306-9149 or firstname.lastname@example.org), Sheepshead Bay/Brighton Beach/Coney Island (contact COJECO, 917-744-2600 or email@example.com), the Rockaways (contact Kei at Occupy Sandy 347-292-8117), Staten Island (contact Occupy Sandy and Staten Island Recovers at 347-201-0670 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
2. Canvassing, clean up, and data entry in Red Hook (via Occupy Sandy).
Occupy Sandy and Red Hook Volunteers are looking for 500 people for a massive canvassing clean up effort in Red Hook.
Meet at 499 Van Brunt Street on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Work shifts are from 10am-2pm and 1pm - 6pm.
If you’d like to do data entry, bring a laptop. Otherwise make sure you have pens and a phone. If you plan on doing demolition, be wearing appropriate clothing (ie, warm, comfortable, stuff you can get really dirty).
Volunteers will do demo, mold remediation, electrical and plumbing work, supply distribution, canvassing, and data entry.
To confirm attendance volunteers should go to www.redhookvolunteers.org/confirm
Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, people will be doing demolition work, bagging garbage, doing clean up, and scrubbing mildew. Dress appropriately, wear sturdy boots, and bring heavy work gloves.
Bring your own lunch and water. If you have any of the following please bring as well: N95 masks, hammers, shovels, mops, buckets, bleach, contractor trash bags, crow bars, utility knives, industrial push brooms, flashlight w/ batteries bring them. Make sure to mark any tools you don’t want to donate.
Meet at 10am at the following locations to be grouped, trained, and sent out:
Occupy Sandy’s hub at 1128 Olympia Blvd
Goodfellas Pizza, 1718 Hylan Boulevard
49 Cedar Grove Ave big need for volunteers: cleanup, food service, etc.
95 Hett Ave Staten Island, NY 10306
Extraordinary story from the NYTimes about how inmates pitched in to help after the hurricane. Many of the prisoners and the guards have ties to the Rockaways, and their efforts were really amazing.
“Inmates did 6,600 pounds of laundry for people in emergency shelters. The jail supplied generators and gas to fuel them to neighborhoods in the dark, and donated long underwear usually given to inmates. And officers with medical training provided emergency care to victims.
Ms. Schriro, a Staten Island native who lives on City Island in the Bronx, and her deputies started strategizing how they would tap Rikers’s enormous resources even as the storm was still raging. Ms. Schriro had already reminded the Bloomberg administration of all that Rikers had to offer should the storm prove to be as catastrophic as predicted.
“But Ms. Schriro felt a greater sense of urgency after seeing firsthand what the storm had done to the Rockaways, a place that is home to some of the jail’s inmates as well as to some of the guards who watch over them. She mobilized a group of correction officers to deliver truckloads of canned and dried goods from the island’s food supply and to use emergency relief supplies from the jail’s warehouses, including bottled water and blankets. The agency also delivered clothing to relief centers in the city, including jackets kept for inmates.
“Officers took generators and backup lights from various jails to Breezy Point, Queens, and other locations. Correction Department buses and vans transported evacuees on Staten Island and shuttled recovery workers in Brooklyn.”
In an ideal world, Occupy Sandy’s relief effort would be so successful that there would be no need for Occupy Sandy.
This day, of course, still seems far away — one need look no further than Midland Beach, Staten Island to see that the place depends almost completely on grassroots volunteers and the Dept of Sanitation — it’s coming. You can hear it with every new radio address from Bloomberg. You can read it in the latest NYCHA press release. You can see it as people find permanent and semi-permanent places to live that have power and heat.
In the next few weeks there will be less and less room for the role that Occupy played so well: the massive distributor of goods and services that took the place of grocery stores, clinics, and shops.
Will Occupy be okay with that? For as horizontal in structure, as non-hierarchical as the group claims to be, it seems to feel that it owns this relief effort.
“I’ve yet to see these people doing anything productive with their time.” says one Occupy organizer, gesturing to a National Guard truck. (The National Guard has been working 24 hours a day to remove pieces of boardwalk and toxic debris out of Bob’s yard, and has helped clean up tons of rubble in Staten Island, but no matter.)
“They shouldn’t be feeding the cops and the fire fighters,” an Occupy organizer in Staten Island tells me, when I mention that the Hallowed Sons have been serving hot food to public workers. “They can take care of themselves. They have enough.”
It’s intriguing, this sense of ownership… this sense that Occupy does it better… this sense that it’s alright to be completely disdainful of the efforts of the government, while espousing a philosophy of being sensitive to the needs of the residents in hard hit communities, many of whom are the very cops and firefighters Occupy might imply have just been wastes of space or who have enough. (“This is not charity, this is mutual aid and community building” is an oft heard phrase ‘round Occupy HQs in Brooklyn)…
An argument could be made that they indeed, already don’t own the recovery, that no one does. But what happens when it’s clear that what they do best — that massive distribution web — becomes less important? Would you want an Occupy Volunteer inspecting your house? An Occupy Volunteer doing your wiring? An Occupy Volunteer representing your legal rights as you work through the maze of FEMA/NYCHA/small business/insurance company paperwork?
What happens when people are finally given the services — with varying degrees of success — that only government can provide (heat, power, massive debris removal, building inspection, public transportation, safety in the streets)? What happens when people can go to stores? Make food at home? Do the laundry?
Occupy’s efforts have unquestionably been the driving force keeping people alive and safe after the storm. But I’m curious about what happens when other forces start to sustain New Yorkers. Will Occupy find a way to work with officials and big agencies as they step in? Will Occupy adapt to new roles? Recede into the background? Make snide remarks about how no one else does anything around here?
Will Occupy Sandy fight to own the recovery or find a way to be relevant?
1. The Thanksgiving fly around
So much to do before the holiday… buying food, booking tickets, renting cars, peeling all that damn squash. And sharing the holiday with your fellow New Yorkers. Here are a few opportunities that some of you may be able to work into this hectic week.
1. Fall food crawl (via Food to Eat)
FoodtoEat is hosting a Sandy benefit crawl today from 12-4pm to get people to restaurants that need your business. Tickets can be purchased online or at a Evelyn Drinkery: 171 Ave C.
Sales go to a donation pot that will be split between participating venues and used for their recovery efforts.
“Food Crawlers” receive a map of the participating venues after they buy a ticket, and from 3-4pm everyone meets at Kafana for an “after party” including entertainment and a raffle.
Buy your ticket online here.