It was amazing to see how so many people stood up for what was right. I spent the weekend collecting and distributing donations with Ditmas Park Relief, a new organization that I created with members of my neighborhood. I made sure that the thousands of blankets that were supposed to go to the runners were distributed across the city. Dozens of people in Coney Island were using them.
The attention that you drew to Staten Island ignited an outpouring of aid, and though it was chaotic there, it was great to see how many people were ready, willing, and able to help. There is still way more to be done, but the needs are changing every day, as there are shortages of some items and a surplus of others.
If anyone lives in Brooklyn, feel free to contact me and I can advise on ways to help. My home town of Oceanside on Long Island is still without power, as is Long Beach, New York nearby (where my sister lives). I am proud that we defeated Mayor Bloomberg, but this is really just the beginning of the recovery efforts. Far Rockaway is particularly hard hit, and Ditmas Park Relief is sending a convoy out there with winter clothing, food, and medical supplies shortly.
In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, there is devastation in and around New York City. There are approximately 40,000 hotel rooms that will be occupied by out-of-town marathon runners that could better be used by New Yorkers in need of shelter. A large part of New York City is still without power. People are lacking food and water and other necessities. It is a stark reality that critical New York City resources will have to be diverted to permit the marathon to be run.
In addition to the thousands of police officers who will have to stop traffic across the boroughs, it will be more difficult for emergency services to operate before, during, and after this race. Furthermore, crews hoping to restore power and water in affected areas will have to put their work on hold. In what rational world can we justify benefitting 40,000 individuals as millions suffer? Imagine if we put all of the runners to work, helping storm victims rebuild their lives.
In 1980, the United States boycotted the Olympic Games in Moscow, Russia, because we stood up for what we believed in. Would we have held a marathon less than a week after 9/11? Would we have held a marathon less than a week after Hurricane Katrina? Of course the answers to the above questions are no. New York will always be a tourist hub, yet it is unthinkable that there are millions of people without power, and thousands of businesses that are currently closed while a small number of people take part in a recreational activity.
Therefore, citizens must band together to postpone this marathon until New York has recovered from the devastating hurricane. We have LESS THAN 48 HOURS to make our cause known to the world!