We call on all activists fighting banker-imposed austerity – here in the U.S. and worldwide – to come to Detroit, Michigan, on October 5 and 6, 2013. Join the people of this city under siege in convening the International People’s Assembly Against the Banks and Against Austerity.
Join us in Detroit on October 5-6 to demand:
- Cancel the debt to the banks which is strangling our schools, cities, states and countries.
- Guarantee workers’ jobs and pensions and services for the community. No union busting. $15 minimum wage!
- End undemocratic, racist emergency management of our cities and schools.
- A jobs program funded by the banks to put the unemployed to work rebuilding our cities. The banks owe our communities billions of dollars for the destruction they have caused.
- Moratorium on all foreclosures and foreclosure-related evictions. Housing is a right.
- Repudiate student loan debt. Education must be free and available to all. Increase funding for public education.
- Stop racism and attacks on immigrants, women, the LGBTQ community and people with disabilities.
- The federal government must bail out the people, not the banks.
- Money for cities, not for war–Hands off Syria.
- Ban Fracking. No tar sands oil, petcoke, wood ethanol, etc. Reverse climate change.
This story is being co-published with New York public radio's WNYC.
If Staten Island's Great Kills Marina Café is able to reopen this spring after Sandy ripped apart its interior 2013 blowing out windows and punching through walls 2013 it will be thanks to assistance from the federal government.
The Small Business Administration has approved the restaurant for a disaster loan of almost $1 million.
There's just one problem: Newly drawn FEMA flood maps show the cafe is at high risk of flooding again, raising the question of whether it makes sense to rebuild there or move elsewhere.
More loans could be going to flood-prone areas. The analysis did not cover Long Island or Connecticut.
The loans require borrowers to get flood insurance, which in turn could encourage some to rebuild properties to be more flood-resistant. However, for many owners there's no requirement they raise their properties to the heights FEMA recommends.
The result: the federal government is helping people rebuild despite the risk that flooding will again destroy the properties.
The SBA says it's not their job to assess whether it's smart to build in flood-prone areas.
"Our mission is to help these homeowners and business become whole again," said Carol Chastang, an SBA spokeswoman. "We really aren't in a position to tell people where or where not to rebuild."
Such a hands-off approach worries a diverse coalition of advocates -- including conservative groups, environmental organizations, insurance associations and housing coalitions. These groups are urging government at all levels to change the way it builds in disaster-prone areas and insures such properties.
Environmental groups like the National Wildlife Federation say the best flood protection are wetlands and to leave stretches of the coast undeveloped.
"Ideally we're going to help people move away from the flood zone and not give them assistance to rebuild exactly as is," said Joshua Saks, the federation's legislative director. "But we recognize it's a very personal decision, it's a local decision."
For Sam Corigliano, the decision is obvious. Corigliano opened the Great Kills Marina Café in 1980 and built it into a neighborhood fixture over the years.
"We've been here 32 years, had 32 years of good luck, and good fortune and laughs. We've had parties here, christenings, family events, a lot of happy times. We had one bad day," Corigliano said. "You don't walk away from one bad day."
When Hurricane Katrina passed over New Orleans in 2005, more than 50 deficient levees were breaches, killing 1,464 people who were in close proximity to the flood control systems. Another natural disaster could subject hundreds, thousands or even millions more Americans to the same fate if the government doesn’t address the issue.
Inspectors discovered 326 deficient levees across the US, whose likely failures could leave millions of people dead. A breach could demolish homes and cost local governments millions of dollars. By failing to repair the defective structures, the US is choosing to risk the lives of its citizens who are walking on eggshells with their proximity to the flood zones. In its first ever inventory of the nation’s flood control systems, inspectors raised the overdue alarm that hundreds of levees may be unable to regulate water levels and prove useless in face of heavy rains. Such populated cities as Washington DC, Sacramento, Dallas, Cleveland and many others might be flooded at any moment.
The US Army Corps of Engineers has only issued ratings for 58 percent of the 2,487 flood control systems, which means inspectors could still discover hundreds more deficient levees. Many of the earthen levees are crumbling under the effect of trees, shrubs and animal holes. Decaying pipes and pumping stations could also cause the flood control systems downfall, while some of the levees are dangerously close to houses or even have houses built on top of them.
Although the Army Corps has no estimates as to how many people are endangered by the defective systems, the 2,487 federally regulated flood control systems protect about 10 million people. The failures of several hundred levees could therefore impact millions of US residents.
Sandy Survivors Day of Action and Citywide Convergence #D15 - Rebuild the City: Restore Power to the People!
FEMA ISN’T LISTENING. THE MAYOR ISN’T LISTENING. WHERE ARE THEY? PUBLIC INFRASTRUCTURE SHOULD SERVE THE PEOPLE.
#ReclaimNYC – #D15 – Facebook Event
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 15th – POST-SANDY CALL TO ACTION
12pm actions in affected communities
5pm convergence in Manhattan @ Bloomberg’s house
Two months after Superstorm Sandy the disaster is not over and relief needs are still great. Homes are uninhabitable with black mold taking hold, heat and sanitation are still absent in many places. Yet the government response has been glaringly absent. As with Katrina and other recent disaster-and-recovery events city, state and federal agencies have handed off reconstruction resources and responsibility to corporations and markets.
That hand-off has pushed affected people further out of their communities, further into crisis and vulnerability, and further from the decision-making tables that allocate public resources. Where government has failed, Occupy and other groups stepped in.
But we now understand that climate change has turned a corner: we will be hard hit again by extreme weather events. And so we ask whose interests our government serves? Is it polluters, predatory lenders, and disaster profiteers? Or can we build a stronger, better, resilient New York where all of us, regardless of race, class or power, can weather future storms?
12PM COMMUNITY RALLIES
1128 Olympia Boulevard
Across from St. Margaret Mary’s Church