Billions' been raised in the name of Sandy Victims, but the poorest, people of color and some of the hardest hit are being denied those donations. This petition demands to know WHY?
Five Months after the muddy waters of Sandy have receded left in its wake are the poorest and most needy residents in the Rockaways who are still looking for clarity and understanding as to why help never comes—even though billions have been raised in their names.
I ask you to join the Action Center in being a voice for the voiceless; seeing that the suffering and struggling poor Rockaway residents of color find justice in the equitable distribution of post-Sandy funding.
Although billions of dollars have been raised to provide aid to the communities and residents hit the hardest by Sandy, their poor black neighbors in the Rockaway’s have seen little to none of this.
Help us ask those who have raised money in their names, “why”?
Sign this petition and ask the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Robin Hood Foundation, Barry Sternlicht, why they would send almost $500,000 to the wealthiest neighborhoods in the Rockaways, but refuse to send the same to the poor blacks living in Zip-codes 11692 and 11693.
Sign this petition and send a tweet to Alicia Keys and Kanye West and ask them if they know where the dollars they raised are going and where they are not.
Fill the email boxes of those holding the funds with the questions of why they would rather fund pop-up groups instead of stable groups who have been working in the community for years.
Ask them why the only groups they fund are groups run by folks who are not of color, while those who are, are denied.
The Robin Hood Board of Directors is meeting this week, send them a message. Let them know the world is watching.
Ask the Robin Hood Board of Directors why they refuse to even entertain a proposal brought to the relief committee by a group of color?
Why these proposals can’t make it past the front door, but pop-ups formed since Sandy and run by friends and cronies are handed out checks like they are candy.
Sign the petition now and let them and the folks who raised the money know it can’t be business as usual while our folks are suffering. Let them know the world is watching.
Sign and let them know, that we know. While funds and resources freely flow into the wealthier Rockaway cul-de-sacs of Breezy Point (zip code 11697) and Bell Harbor (zip code 11694)---where the mean income is $77,303; a huge disparity exists in the funding for the Rockaways.
Demographics At a Glance
Zip Code 11697 11694 11693 11692
City Breezy Point Belle Harbor Hammel Arverne
Median Income $68,999 $85,608 $37,248 $29,059
% Minority .88% 13.77% 42.87% 84.4%
Our poor people of color are living in 3rd world conditions, in the heart of America, in one of its most affluent cities in America. How can this be allowed to continue?
As if living 200% below the poverty level pre-Sandy were not enough, these residents residing in zip-codes 11692, and 11693, have suffered for months in the dead of winter with no heat and now are living in mold-infested apartments--only adding insult to injury. Robin Hood refused to even entertain our mold clean up plan which would be overseen by enviormental scientests. Mold-related health conditions are now rampant; disproportionately striking the most vulnerable of the Rockaway population, the youngest children and the elderly.
Hold them accountable for what they do and how they treat us… The Rockaway residents, our clients for more than twelve years, have been automatically and systematically denied federal aid. And now, most recently, the Robin Hood foundation which was selected to allocate the funds raised from the ‘12.12.12’ concert that was held in name of the Sandy victims is turning its back? Do the entertainers who raised the money know?.
As does any experienced nonprofit, the Action Center’s staff conducted an in-depth analysis of Robin Hood’s funding allocations prior to applying to the foundation. Our analysis found that Robin Hood’s funding history included funds in the amount of close $500,000 for the wealthier zip codes of 11697, 11694. The zip codes of 11692 and 11693, the poorest residents and our focus area, had received a mere $75,000 that was allocated to a group that has no involvement with the minority population that we serve. The Action Center’s proposal, if funded, would have brought a total of approximately $500,000 to the zip codes of 11692 and 11693. However, the Action Center was informed that our proposal would not be presented to Robin Hood’s Sandy Board of Directors. Look at the video and you judge if the needs in this community are unfounded.
As you can imagine, the hope for help beyond that of the Action Center has been extinguished. Residents are sinking into dark depressions and continue to turn to us with hopeless eyes to see if we can further assist them in understanding how they are supposed to survive.
Although the Action Center continues and has always hoped to improve life in the Rockaway community, we are not seeking your support to overcome the inherent barriers to life pre-Sandy—rather, we are seeking to ease the additional suffering that has been inflicted on our community following Sandy.
These residents have always felt that they could not depend on anyone but themselves; please let them know that other people do acknowledge and care about their suffering and believe that they should receive, at a minimum, equitable assistance in recovering from Sandy when compared with their wealthier neighbors on the Rockaway peninsula.
Specifically, I seek explanations as to why:
1. The Action Center’s Mold Remediation proposal, which featured the use of a Public Health Administrator to conduct inspections and the certification of an Environmental Scientist, was never presented to the Robin Hood Board of Directors when other programs were funded without these critical elements.
2. Why was the Action Center’s Mental Health Services and Field Canvassing proposal not presented to the Board of Directors, instead an offer was made to only fund less than $67,000 for the hiring of two full time social workers? Further, why was the Action Center only offered less than $67,000 for the hiring of two full time social workers that would serve 12,000 residents over the course of the six month period in zip codes 11692 and 11693 when the Achiezer Community Resource Center received $200,000 to “add one or two social workers and case managers to help families with their mental health, medical, insurance and financial needs caused by Sandy, as well as emergency cash assistance to families in need.”?
3. Why has funding repetitively gone to “pop-up” organizations that were not in existence prior to Sandy and to organizations not run by established Rockaway organizations, such as the Action Center which has a proven track record as a community service leader and is trusted by the community members in the Rockaway community?
Please take action today, the poorest Rockaway residents deserve to know that they have not been forgotten and need an explanation in writing from the Robin Hood Board of Directors.