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Sandy survivors rally for recovery equity at City Hall

By Ann Sanders
July 31, 2013

Dozens of Sandy survivors and community activists held a rally Wednesday, calling on mayoral candidates to adopt their plan for rebuilding in the areas hardest hit by the storm.

“To most of New York City, Hurricane Sandy is a distant memory,” said Nathalie Alegre, coordinator for the Alliance for a Just Rebuilding, a coalition of Sandy survivors and community, labor and environmental organizations.

The alliance marched from Staten Island Ferry Terminal to City Hall, where they presented a four-point rebuilding plan for the next administration.

The plan calls for the next mayor to create local rebuilding jobs, restore lost affordable housing, invest in sustainable energy infrastructure and engage communities throughout the recovery process.

“If you want to be mayor of New York City, you need to put the most vulnerable first,” Alegre said.

Sandy survivor Florencia Olea, a 17-year resident of Long Island, teared up as she explained that rent in Midland Beach was $1,100 a month before the storm. Now, sharing three bedrooms with seven other people, rent is $1,600.

“Because of the increased rent and the scarce work, I’ve had to cut back on all of the family expenses,” said the 41-year-old house cleaner through a Spanish translator. “The little girls don’t have birthday parties.”

Vernell Robinson said conditions at Carleton Manor, a housing project in Far Rockaway, Queens, were bad before the storm.

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