Given that this Congress has been the least productive in recorded history, maybe Brooklynites and other victims of Hurricane Sandy shouldn’t have gotten their hopes up for any federal aid. If you have, well, here’s some disappointment to start your year, because after promising a vote on the Sandy aid package, House Republican leadership has pulled the bill without any explanation. Good thing the city isn’t facing a massive rebuilding effort or anything.
This is exactly the kind of crap that gets people to completely lose faith in government. It’s been two whole months since Sandy swept through, and still somehow there have been voices in Washington in opposition to getting us some money to start cleaning up. And it isn’t just New York. The Jersey Shore, upstate, Connecticut and Delaware were also slammed and are now left holding the bag, wondering what they should do.
Instead of stewing in anger though, let’s at least be thankful that New Yorkers have been so willing to volunteer and lend some help to each other. It’s not to say we shouldn’t be angry and remember this unbelievable screw up, but what can we do in the mean time?
For starters we can get out there with Occupy Sandy and any other relief efforts put together by people who aren’t so short-sighted and petty that they’d completely abdicate their responsibility to their fellow citizens. Occupy Sandy’s concept of mutual aid and neighbors helping neighbors has been successful so far and less of a naive fantasy then say, the federal government doing their goddamn jobs. They’re still out there and have plenty of opportunities to get involved and help out. Volunteer at the Red Hook Initiative, buy the e-cookbook benefitting Red Hook restaurants or any other item benefitting Sandy relief efforts. Donate to some of the Go Fund Me efforts of people trying to rebuild their homes
The other thing people can do is take a page from Peter King’s playbook and be willing to punish the national Republican party. This has nothing to do with New York’s Republican delegation, who all fought for aid. And maybe we don’t have too many right-leaning readers on the site, but maybe some of your friends here are Republicans. Tell them not to to donate to any national Republican organization. Save their money, or better yet, cut a check for King or Michael Grimm, who was on WNYC this morning blasting his party.
It’s natural to be fatigued about a constant stream of news about a natural disaster, but we can let this act as a wake up call and a fresh opportunity to help rebuild. There’s a new Congress being sworn in tomorrow, so who the hell even knows if we’re going to be getting any help from the feds any time soon. So as New Yorkers, let’s at least show that we take care of our own.
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