From Brad Lander <[email protected]>
Subject We are not ready for the next Superstorm Sandy
Date October 14, 2022 5:57 PM
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John —

We are approaching the 10 year anniversary of when Superstorm Sandy hit New York’s shores – flooding homes, displacing families, and killing forty-three New Yorkers. I remember those days and weeks afterwards when we came together to help elderly neighbors evacuated to the Park Slope Armory, bringing food, support and care in the wake of disaster. And I know that many other New Yorkers remember that devastating week just as clearly as I do.

Sandy's devastation was a wake-up call to confront the climate crisis and get our city ready to weather future storms. But climate change is moving faster than we are.

This week, my office released a report on the slow pace of New York’s recovery from Sandy. If you’re interested, you can read more about it in Gothamist.

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Here are some important takeaways:

- Of the $15 billion in federal aid that our city government received, only 73% had been spent as of June 2022
- 17% of public housing in New York is in a floodplain, making low-income New Yorkers uniquely vulnerable to the impacts of future disasters
- More than $176 billion in property values in the floodplain are at risk, with serious consequences for NYC's tax base
- Large swaths of NYC's transportation infrastructure, outdoor recreation areas, and industrial and manufacturing sites remain in the floodplain

Our city must be better prepared for the impacts of climate change to prevent ever greater devastation from natural disasters. Our report laid out a series of recommendations for speeding up NYC's ability to build resiliency infrastructure. But meeting this challenge will require much more – from us, from the City of New York, from our federal government, and from the finance industry to make the transition to green energy and keep fossil fuels in the ground.

In the face of this daunting and uncertain future, I am thinking about the collective strength that New Yorkers found together during Sandy.

10 years ago, amid disaster, New Yorkers came together to support those most impacted, including many whose homes had been severely damaged or destroyed altogether, through music, art, donations, organizing and volunteering, and so much more.

The contributions that people all across the city made during that period of devastation reflect the very best of what New York is. Let’s remember and renew that strength of spirit to tackle our climate future head-on.

– Brad

Brad Lander served in the New York City Council representing District 39 for 12 years—co-founding the Progressive Caucus and leading the way alongside advocates to win policies to support workers, protect tenants, and make government more transparent. Recently elected to citywide office, Brad will use the Office of the Comptroller to hold city government accountable to its promises to New Yorkers and secure a more sustainable future . Give to Brad here. [[link removed]]
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