New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn has been highly critical of the relief efforts following October’s Superstorm Sandy. Now, the mayoral hopeful is speaking out hoping to bring some reform.
Just over a month after Mayor Bloomberg dismissed Quinn’s ambitious plans for infrastructure reform in New York City, Quinn was again presenting legislation and challenging the relief efforts that have been put in place after Sandy.
One program that was rolled out by the Mayor was an emergency food-stamp program, which provides users with a one-time benefit opportunity to restock their fridge in the wake of Sandy.
However, the program was limited to both scope and time - it only applied to a dozen zip codes, and residents had to apply at one of two centers on either Staten Island or in Fort Greene. It also was set to expire on Tuesday of this week, but Quinn called for the program to be extended for another two weeks.
“It doesn't make sense why we narrowed it so broadly to who was available and why we have such a low number of people who are getting this," Quinn said.
"People are hungry," Quinn said. "People do not have as much money to buy food. We have a solution to that. Why aren't we embracing it as aggressively, as broadly and as humanely as we can, and pushing it out there to New Yorkers?”
“I just don't understand it, and I really hope, in the three-and-a-half hours we have left, or whatever it is, the administration changes their mind."
A spokeswoman for the New York City Human Resources Administration said in a statement: "We see no reason to extend. People in need are welcome to apply for our ongoing public assistance programs, including the regular food stamp program."
In addition to calling for an extension of the emergency food stamp program, Council Speaker Quinn also presented new legislation on Tuesday that is intended to help prevent another disaster such as that caused by Superstorm Sandy.
"Climate change is an irrefutable reality, and New York City must be better prepared when the next storm strikes," Quinn said in a statement.
A series of hearings is set to begin early next year. The four bills announced Tuesday call for adopting FEMA's new flood zones, raising elevation requirements for buildings in low-lying areas, flood proofing hospitals that are in low-lying areas and a study that looks into burying the city's power lines.