The Pratt Center for Community Development joined over 50 community, faith, labor, environmental organizations, New Yorkers affected by Sandy, and elected officials on Tuesday, January 8 at City Hall to announce recommendations for a just and equitable rebuilding of New York City.
These recommendations, also released in a joint open letter the week of December 31, call on the City to rebuild New York’s infrastructure to address economic inequality and to include affected communities in a transparent process when making decisions that impact their neighborhoods. Our recommendations ask not just for increased but equitable investment, focusing on the hardest hit communities first. This increased investment should create new jobs to help regrow the damaged economy. The broad alliance of sinatories request immediate relief for residents displaced from their homes or without power and heat as well as increased transportation options and access to food and fresh water. Finally, we urge the City to build sustainable infrastructure, and have continuously stressed the importance of transparency and community input when making decisions. The same diverse group of labor, community and faith-based organizations who worked on the drafting of these recommendations should be consulted by the City in their rebuilding efforts.
“Planning for recovery and rebuilding must address substantive issues put forward by members of the most impacted and vulnerable communities – residents, workers, and small businesses,” said Adam Friedman, Director, Pratt Center for Community Development. “The Pratt Center urges the City, State, and Federal agencies involved to meet directly with those communities, on a timeline that allows those who have suffered the most harm from the storm to meaningfully participate in the far-reaching and difficult decisions that we face.”