Yari Osorio is the 2012 vice presidential candidate of the Party for Socialism and Liberation. On Nov. 4, he, along with PSL Presidential Candidate Peta Lindsay and Lindsay/Osorio Campaign volunteers, traveled to the Red Hook neighborhood of Brooklyn, N.Y., to personally delivery much-needed aid to this area hit hard by Hurricane Sandy. Below is a report from the trip.
Members and friends of the Party for Socialism and Liberation went out to Red Hook in Brooklyn, N.Y., on Saturday afternoon to deliver emergency supplies to residents of the neighborhood who were affected by Hurricane Sandy. The PSL collected donations and supplies from supporters and headed to the Red Hook Public Houses where residents were still living without heat, running water and access to food because. While there, we found out that all the food in the area has gone bad because of the lack of electricity. When we first arrived, we walked around to get a sense of the needs and problems in the community. Many people talked to us about how cold the night before was, how many people are living in dark buildings, and how they have to travel down 10-plus flights in pitch black stairwells because elevators are still inoperable.
We decided what was most in need was to help those people on the highest floors of the public housing buildings. We took our cases of water, candles, lighters, batteries, blankets, toiletries, baby supplies and canned goods, and slowly marched up the 14-story high rise. When we got to the top, we each stood in front of a door in a pitch black hallway and started knocking, asking everybody if we could offer them with any assistance. When residents answered their doors, they were thrilled to see us there with much-needed supplies. They were very angry about the government’s lack of response to their situation.
We had to make a couple of trips because we ran out of needed supplies before we could hit all 14 floors of the building, but by the time we ended back at the first floor we had absolutely nothing left. Every resident we handed donations to in the building and on the streets was handed the Lindsay/Osorio Campaign palm card. One resident in the Red Hook Public Houses even promised to “bring the card with me to the polls so I know who to vote for!”
Our relief efforts will continue, but our small contribution to relief efforts is not enough. Our campaign is demanding that the government hire a 100,000-strong emergency disaster relief workforce to provide much-needed help. Any claims that the money is not available for such a massive operation will ring hollow: the government can start by seizing funds from the bailed out banks who have claimed they have trillions of dollars in cash deposits “they do not know what to do with.” The government can also commandeer and put into immediate use the resources of the billion-dollar food corporations like General Mills, Dole, Nestle Kraft in order to meet this real “national security” emergency.