Measure Would Make Sandy Recovery Efforts More Equitable, Transparent
(TRENTON) — Assemblyman Vince Mazzeo (D-Atlantic) issued a multimedia package Monday on legislation he sponsored to create a “Superstorm Sandy Bill of Rights” that would ensure a more equitable distribution of Sandy relief funds to displaced New Jersey residents.
In October 2012, Superstorm Sandy made landfall in the state, ravaging New Jersey’s coastline and flooding many inland communities, inflicting more than $36 billion in damages and destroying or damaging more than 72,000 homes and businesses.
Unfortunately, recovery efforts have been marred by allegations of unfair treatment, unequitable distribution of funds, and a general lack of transparency, which has frustrated storm victims and left many residents still displaced almost a year and a half later.
Mazzeo’s bill (A-2568), which received final legislative approval in March, would require any state action plan or amendment submitted to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for the proposed use of Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery Aid for relief efforts associated with Superstorm Sandy include provisions to make the distribution of said aid more equitable and transparent.
The multimedia package consists of a video of Mazzeo’s commentary on his legislation and audio and a transcript of same.
The audio file is available upon request.
A transcript of Mazzeo’s comments is appended below:
Assemblyman Vince Mazzeo (D-Atlantic):
“The ‘Sandy Bill of Rights’ is very important to my constituents because we have a lot of residents still out of their homes and they need to find way to get money to ’em and treated fairly and make sure that they get back to where they have to go.
“And also, this bill is very big on transparency and making sure that the money does get to the proper areas. And so we feel that putting this bill of rights bill together, it’ll be a fair and equal way of managing and making sure that people get what they truly need.
“There’s nothing greater than coming back to your home and right now, a lot of people can’t afford because what [Superstorm] Sandy did to their homes, and they’re not the getting the money to rebuild, so this will definitely help them.”