tv Democracy Now WHUT October 29, 2013 6:00pm-7:00pm EDT
acknowledging the tension this has caused and understand this in countriesncern that represent some of our closest relationships internationally. we are working to a lay those concerns. >> a delegation of european lawmakers is in washington this week to press their concerns over u.s. surveillance. france are seeking a firm no spying agreement with the u.s. european parliament members of germany and spain spoke to reporters on monday. deepis discussion, deepes disappointment. we don't consider our chancellor is a terrorist. therefore, i say they have to reconsider what they are really interested in. >> [indiscernible]
goodwill and with a strong message of our cities in saying that we don't accept this. of keepingfind a way the security of our citizens inhout breaking the privacy this massive way. >> a delegation of european lawmakers is in washington this week to press their concerns over u.s. surveillance. germany and france are now seeking a firm no spying agreement with the u.s. european parliament members of germany and spain also spoke. the united nations says syria is on target to meet a deadline for destroying production equipment for its chemical weapons stockpile. inspectors say they been able to verify 21 of 23 chemical weapons sites with the remaining two unreachable because they're
located in a conflict zone. syria is slated to destroy chemical facilities. a polio outbreak has been confirmed among children in northwest -- northeast area. at least 10 children in a province have been paralyzed with the disease. the world health organization says it is their first polio outbreak in syria since 1999. with thousands of syrian refugees fleeing their homes by the day, health workers are warning the disease could spread. the inter-american to mission on human rights has asked the u.s. to explain alleged abuses at guantanamo pay and great immediate access to investigators. citing the force-feeding of hunger striking prisoners, one panel member said the available evidence indicates a "general and systematic violation of human rights." on monday, the u.s. ambassador was also askedon
to answer questions over nsa spying worldwide. on both guantanamo and the nsa, he said he couldn't provide an immediate answer because the government shutdown left his team without enough time to prepare. a brazilian judge has ordered hold to construction of the major hydroelectric am in the amazon rain forest, citing the violation of environmental commitments. the $11 billion project was initially approved over the objections of indigenous communities who have brought numerous challenges -- warned of ecological damage and mass displacement. a federal judge has ruled the key portion of the recent texas antiabortion law is unconstitutional. on monday, district judge lee yeakel struck down provisions that required owners admitting privileges for abortion doctors at nearby hospitals. the restrictions would have forced dozens of abortion clinics to close their doors. texas governor perry has vowed
to appeal. the rest of the law goes into including a, ban on abortion at 20 weeks post fertilization. the bill inspired people's filibuster and a stanford texas state senator wendy davis. she is now running for governor of texas. ohio is planning on using an unprecedented drug combination for an execution after a danish company band its sedative from involvement in the death penalty. ohio officials say they will be the two drugs on a dead prisoner next month. the combination is never been tried in the u.s. ohio says it has run out of pentobarbital, made by the and nowirm lundbeck, banned from u.s. prisons they carry out capital punishment. president obama appeared at a he i headquarters monday to welcome new director james conley. obama told fbi staffers he will fight to restore the agency's
full budget under sequestration. >> i will keep fighting for those resources because our country asks and expects a lot from you and we should make sure you have the resources you need to do the job, especially when any of your colleagues put their lives on the line on a daily basis all to serve and protect our fellow citizens will stop the least we can do is make sure you have the resources for it and your operations are not disruptive because of politics. >>, he was sworn in last month in a private ceremony. he has instructed all new agents to visit the memorial to dr. martin luther king jr. on the capitol mall is a lesson of what he called "the dangers in becoming untethered to oversight and accountability." has state university reached a nearly $60 million settlement with 26 victims of the child sex abuse committed by
former assistant football coach jerry sandusky. up to six other victims are not a part of the settlement and remain involved in talks with school officials. sandusky is serving a sentence of 30 to 60 years for sexually abusing 10 young boys. three former top penn state officials are facing trial for their alleged role in the cover- up of sandusky's crimes. and those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. today marks the first anniversary of superstorm sandy ,itting the ne east coast becoming one of the most a struct of storms in the nation history. after first pummeling cuba, jamaica, and the dominican republic, sandy made its way up the east coast. the storm ultimately killed 150 nine people, damaged more than 650,000 homes. thousands of people remain displaced. as the new york region marks the first anniversary of the hurricane, hurricane strength winds are battling northern
europe today. at least a dozen people have been killed across britain, germany, the netherlands, denmark, and france. later in the show we will look at the superstorm sandy recovery effort and speak to a woman who is still displaced from her home. we begin today's show with former irish president mary robinson. she served as president of ireland from 1990 to 1997 and you and high commissioner for human rights from 1997 to 2002. she now heads the mary robinson justice.n climate i recently sat down with her in new orleans the meeting of groups.ental >> climate justice starts with climate shocks are affecting the very poorest communities and poorest countries and poor parts of the united states like louisiana, which is still recovering from katrina.
they have been least responsible for what we now know is causing climate change. i was in new york, 95% of scientists are now satisfied and firmly believe this is human- cause. i know there are deniers and there is money supporting these deniers to confuse us, but we can't be confused anymore because the impacts of climate are undermining human rights all over the world. >> where's the money coming from for the denial movement? >> i think a lot is coming from those who benefit at the moment fossil fuels. the oil and coal communities. it reminds me of the tobacco issue. it is causing denial of an issue that we should be taking so seriously and working together on, all countries in the world, large and small should be unequivocal in working to have a transfer mode of the ship to a low carbon economy. >> what you think of the whole movement? and'm glad young people
others are seeing the need to bring home. we can no longer investing companies that are part of the problem of the climate shocks we are suffering from. i speak openly and encouraged students and colleges to be part little bit like the energy behind the anti- apartheid movement when i was a student. we were all involved because we saw the injustice of it. there is an injustice in continuing to invest in fossil fuel companies that are part of the problem. my foundation has joined with an institute of the declaration of, justice. --, justice. climate justice. there's no point in going to the arctic and looking for new fossil reserves.
>> i just gave the commencement address at hamsher college, which is one of the centers of this issue of divestment. , now president of hamsher college? >> yes, i know him and i am aware he is organizing a conference next year on the divestment issue. i think it is great for somebody who is so knowledgeable as he is is prepared to take a certain amount of political flak. it is not easy as the president of the college to stand up and i think he is aware he has to give that leadership and he is. >> you are active in the divestment movement against apartheid south africa in ireland. maybe came ofoday age when it was nelson mandela that was president of south africa may not understand what this issue was about at the time. >> there is a recognition that it was going to be difficult to
get change in south africa, although the majority of the people, the black and colored south africans were discriminated against, in prison -- including nelson mandela himself and his colleagues -- and there should be a real move to stop companies from investing in south africa and perpetrating that apartheid system. so in ireland, we had a very active, strong movement, even we had a kind of mini situation where women workers in one of the stores would not handle south african goods. they were fired. they were fired for taking a stand. they were reinstated because there was such an outcry about it. when nelson mandela came to ireland as president many years later, he referred to these women. they knew about the sacrifice of ordinary women because they believe in justice. we need young people and women and others to stand up now
which thee way in corporate sector that is engaged in fossil fuels is buying bad science, spreading wrong information, and try to prevent us from addressing what we really need to address, which is transformation leadership to low carbon growth. >> what would divestment lead to? >> i think it really would lead to a recognition that we are talking about stranded assets. that is a term many people aren't yet fully aware of. knoink of asbestos, you we know it is dangerous so people won't use it. we have to get to the same situation. we are not going to do it overnight. we actually need to recognize developing countries need more time to adapt. so i would like to see europe and the united states and korea and other parts of japan moving more quickly, as germany is
because weenewables have the responsibility. it is our fossil fuel-led growth that is cause the problem. >> what you mean by renewables? i think many people in the u.s. would have no idea. potential of solar, wind, wave power, and various forms of renewable energy where we can actually have good lives -- i think the science -- we need these new technologies, the organic solar technologies that is coming on stream, to be free to developing countries because that would help them to adapt and they need that support. we can have very good lifestyles . it can also mean those who haven't had access to electricity -- and there are many of them 1.3 billion who have no light and the home, no electricity, just dangerous candles -- we can have that tech
ella to to help those alreadyies who are affected by climate shock. >> as the former president of ireland, you mingle with heads of state around the world and with heads of corporations. do you have any sense these heads of corporations like exxon mobil, like bp, like chevron, are changing? >> one of the positive factors now is that i mean go a lot with forward-looking business leaders . there are two types of business leaders in this context. those who are profiting from fossil fuel developed profits and want to keep it that way, and a very significant number of business leaders who know very well that we have to move to a low carbon economy, that we have to address this issue because otherwise, we would have social unrest and displacement. that is very bad for business. many good business leaders are interested in getting away from the short-term quarterly returns to real sustainability.
we have been talking about sustainability since the rio conference. that means economic sustainability, environmental and social sustainability. i think corporations know now they need to triple the bottom line. you mentioned social unrest and displacement as the real effects of climate change. what do you mean? >> it is all ready having that many people are having to leave their places where they were living. we heard from the panel this morning in louisiana, in new orleans, about people can no longer be in certain places. it is happening worldwide. but we are not seen the full scale of it yet. the prediction is we may have up to 200 million climate-displaced people by 2050. >> and that means? >> it was climate that forced them to leave. we don't have a good title for it. we cannot call them climate refugees because there is no convention. we need to think about that. there are those thinking
seriously about some way now of ensuring there would be a safe movement elsewhere. at the moment, that is not the case. people move in a very unsafe and insecure way. >> president robinson, you're the former u.n. high commissioner for human rights. what is the connection between human rights and climate justice, climate change? >> i came to the climate issue from a human rights perspective. i am not a climate scientist, though my foundation very much relies and keeps true to the science. but for me, the shocks of climate change are going to be, and already becoming, the worst a mysterious human rights issue. it is about the future of the world. we have to understand if we go to four degrees celsius, and many people think that is where we are heading -- translate that. >> it would be catastrophic. released able to
cope. i found after my work is high commissioner of human rights was finished, i went to new york and had colleagues in washington and geneva focusing on african countries right now and decent work and security. was, things are so much worse. we no longer predictable rainy seasons. our village, where we grew up we had enough food but now we have flash flooding. that brought home to me, this is essentially a human rights issue. >> what is the connection between poverty and nutrition and climate change? >> very, very much. my foundation hosted with the irish government last april a very good conference during the irish eu presidency. we had du commissioners and ministers from different european countries, with the deputy prime minister and others listening to those who had come
from different communities around the world. , parts ofthe arctic africa. all of them very clear about what the problem was and that they were needing more support and needed understanding, that they actually had the knowledge. that was very empowering to them. we make mistakes if we try to do from the outside will communities themselves know best, as you heard this morning. >> you mentioned the u.n., summit. democracy now! has been at copenhagen, cancun, doha, durban, even at the people summit in bolivia. the next one is in warsaw, poland. a major polluter, coal polluter in the world. many saw president obama flying into copenhagen and really being the one to collapse any kind of binding agreement on climate change. what should be the role of the u.s. and also what about the fact it is poland this year?
i have followed the summits closely with my colleagues. i think we are building toward what we need, which is a fair and equitable, ambitious climate agreement by the end of 2015 to match the post-2015 development agenda. we're not there yet. we don't have the leadership board. the secretary-general has called a summit of heads of state for neck september. the u.s. is going to have to be in there with the leadership that is needed. a plan of action the president obama has drawn up to this country is quite innovative. secretary of state john kerry absolutely knows the issues and as i'd think does president obama. we have no other option. we have to find the political will to gather and move forward -- together and move forward. >> the argument against john, change is we're losing jobs in a
troubled economy. >> and that is a false juxtaposition. as we move to low carbon, and it actually will be job creating. give figures. there are more green jobs being created than other sectors. we have to recognize it is very important that it is a just tradition. we work closely with the trade union movement. they are looking to pension funds to invest in futures that are good for everybody, renewable energies and others. we need a real sense that this is not a them or us, but all of us together. we think of the intergenerational injustice. i talked this morning about being a grandmother with grandchildren who would be in their 40s and 2050. what will they say to us? i said this often enough i cannot muster the echoes of
their voices. at the moment, i hear that make using of, how could they be so so selfish, uncaring? >> former irish president gary robbins, now heads the mary robinson foundation climate justice. -- former irish president mary inson, and now heads the mary robinson foundation climate justice. on this firstore anniversary of superstorm sandy in a moment. ♪ [music break]
>> this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. today marks the first anniversary of superstorm sandy hitting the new york region, becoming one of the most instructive storms in the nations history. their first pummeling cuba, jamaica, and the dominican republic, sandy made its way up the east coast. 29, the hurricane blasted new york city with a record storm surge as high as 13 feet. the storm also heavily hit the jersey shore and parts of new england. sandy ultimately killed 159 people along the east coast and 650,000 homes.an $70 billion ind damage across eight states. millions were left without power in new york for weeks. serious and big storm, and my first message is
to all people across the eastern seaboard, the atlantic going north, that you need to take this very seriously and follow the instructions of your state and local officials because they're going to be providing you with the best advice in terms of how to deal with the storm over the coming days. >> help! we need help! >> the most we need right now is lights. if you have like you can see at nighttime. u can see what is in front of you. >> what is happening is we're working with sandy relief. people are bringing by the carloads in clothing, food, canned goods, diapers, batteries, flashlights, everything under the sun that we kind of need right now. i have not seen the american red cross at a shelter. people are buried in their homes. that nothing deep or drink.
>> there's a wake-up call here and a lesson to be learned. a reality that has existed for a long time that we have been blind to, and that is climate change, extreme weather, call it what you will, in our vulnerability to it. it was true 10 years ago, five years ago. it is undeniable today. >> highlights from our coverage of superstorm sandy from a year ago. today we are spending the hour looking at the state of recovery after superstorm sandy. we are beginning with two women who played key roles in the region's recovery. terri bennet is one of the founders of respond and rebuilt, which was one of the first groups to help low income residents of rockaway's rebuilt after superstorm sandy, and also focused on providing free mold remediation that eventually inspire the city similar program. proves they volunteered rebuilding efforts
in haiti after the earthquake there in 2010. jessica roff is one of the founders of restore the rock, a nonprofit created by volunteers after superstorm sandy after they met while working out of the space and the rockaways called yana, which stands for you are never alone, where they operated a free health clinic, legal clinic, and trained and dispatched hundreds of volunteers. jessica, talk about what you did then. >> from the beginning we were doing direct aid in responding to emergencies in the rockaway park region of the rockaways in queens. there were feet of sand on the ground. nobody had hot water. many people didn't have running water. most people didn't have heat and electricity. with food,ponding blankets, heat. >> and you weren't working for the city. >> know, we were all volunteers. i have been doing, justice for a while. -- i have been doing climate
justice for a while. i just said, there's something i can do. my immediate response was to feed people and they were doing food preparations. because i had a car, i want to rockaway. because of the kind of person i am, i wound up staying. we went from there to helping people with negotiating through fema and trying to get their insurance and get through all of the red tape of the government. it was a complete volunteer operation predominately of people who did not know each other before it started. to haiti you had been after the devastating earthquake . compare what you saw there with what you saw here. >> obviously, the destructions are completely different scale, but at the same time, in the first days after the storm, there was a similar level of the feeling of abandonment in the rockaways was profound. you have a lot of civil servants, firemen, police
officers. they did not see anyone from the government or the red cross or fema for five or six days. we were really the first people for the first two weeks that many people saw. se were wearing safety vest and had clipboards and we were the most official looking people on the ground. it is easy tohat compare the level of destruction from sandy to haiti, but i think you see a lot of the same inefficiencies in disaster response and the same kind of patterns. >> where are those communities today? this is a year later. >> well, you are some happy stories and people are doing better and have rebuilt and there is also a lot of people who are still displaced. wereink about 70,000 homes severely damaged, i guess you would say, and out of those, something like 20,000 we think maybe displaced. we see a lot of people who are
really trying to save their homes, but they are in limbo. they're doubling up with family. they're trying to live in the second floors of their homes when the first floor is gutted. there are people living in homes that don't have kitchens and just living out of the two bedrooms on the first floor. i'm sorry, on the second floor. people are trying to wait it out, whether that means they're using their ready cards, loans from family -- >> how was aid money distributed? >> the art thing about the money is it is distributed in increments. the first you're likely to get is from the fema payout and the orimum amount is $37,000 $33,000. it is in the 30s. it is not enough to repair home that has been damaged. the homes we worked on the first floor and basement were destroyed. $37,000 doesn't get you far. maybe your insurance kicks in a few months later. if you ever problem with how much are getting from your insurance, you may use a public
adjuster and lawyer to try to get a more fair settlement. now the biggest problem people are still waiting for the build it back program, which is supposed to be the most flexible program the city has offered but the decisions have not been made very quickly. we know people are getting notifications now that maybe they have been accepted, but they're going to be waiting two to four more months for help . so you people that are paying rent and mortgage on a house that is been destroyed. it is exhausting people and bringing people to within. >> in november last year, award- winning journalist and author naomi klein spoke in new york about her article, "superstorm indy -- a people's shock?" which she argued reconstruction after sandy provided a way to usher in progressive change. the argument stemmed in part from her book, "the shock doctrine: the rise of disaster capitalism." >> the problems i call out and the book are not responding strongly to disaster because there's nothing wrong with that. if you're having a crisis, you
should respond strongly. he deserves that. it is these particular ways of using crisis in anti-democratic ways to import power, to centralize power, to circumvent democracy. i am calling for the opposite of that. to broaden the democratic space. and thinking about how a community responds after disaster like sandy, it is a great ample because often what you have are very elite-driven reconstruction processes, a committee filled with industrialists. they happen to come up with a reconstruction plan, often very wealthy people were supposed to attract more donors. peopleen the effect -- are treated so traumatized and victimize that they could not participate in the reconstruction process themselves. this is simply not true. in fact, the best way to recover from a trauma is to overcome your helplessness by
participating, by helping. that is what you see need short mary occupy sandy response -- in the extraordinary occupy center response. it comes in a spirit not of a traditional leaf organization that comes into it committed in says, we know what you want and hands that whatever people decide they want. it is very much of a client relationship. the volunteers involved in occupy sandy are coming in and what they call mutual aid, which is asking people, what do you want, and trying to empower communities, not only to respond to the immediate emergency but also the recovery afterward. >> that was naomi klein talking about her article, "superstorm sandy -- a people's shock?" jessica roff, you were nodding your head. you were out in the rockaways. talk about what it meant to be in the community, figuring out what people wanted. and also what you're doing today, pushing for a smart grid
and renewable energy to be integrated into the rebuilding of the rockaways. >> i think one of the reasons we were more effective in our response was because we were out talking to people every day and listening, and we were flexible -- i don't even want to use the word organization per se, because we were really all volunteer, making things up as we went along. though we were seeing each person we were talking to, singer situations and responding accordingly. we were learning what people needed and how the best way to respond to them was. we were hearing, like she was saying, people were feeling .eserted the lack of community involvement has been heightened by the storm rather than there's been a shift in our democratic process. people in the rockaways have felt deserted and left out for years, and have not had a strong voice in the government. and now that is really being
exacerbated even though supposedly many of these programs the government and not- for-profit are running are engaging with community response, but they're not really impacting decisions -- or doesn't seem that way. one thing we been doing is talking to a lot of people about energy and what is happening out there. people are upset because -- >> the rockaways is along the beach. >> it is a 13 mile peninsula, a barrier peninsula. it has got the ocean on one side and the day and the other. one of the reasons saying he was so devastating is because the ocean met the day. it was completely underwater. there was massive destruction never seen before. in the context of that instead of rebuilding and giving more protection, which is what all of the kennedys are talking about in every single meeting and hearing an opportunity they have to talk with government and other agencies, what is actually happening is they're building the rockaway pipeline out there which is a natural gas pipeline along with like 30 other
infrastructure projects throughout the course of the entire state of new york i'm including the pipeline whose natural gas goes live on friday, which is a huge problem. this is happening. they're building a national -- natural gas pipeline and dredging the ocean in a very unstable. to begin with. which has been very unstable to begin with. they're bringing in his gas that is toxic, highly explosive -- >> what is it for? >> to power our stoves and heating systems. it is really a problem that we don't have an infrastructure in the city that will allow us to make a renewable shift. what we need to be doing is changing how we are building out our infrastructure and building a sustainable and renewable energy process as well a sustainable community. >> what would that look like? >> it is a huge endeavor, but i think a fantastic one. it means rebuilding our grid. our grid doesn't operate in a good way, as we knew from the
big blackout that went from canada down through all must the mid-atlantic. we would have to rebuild the grid. they would have to be more localized. build out infrastructure and storage facilities for wind, solar, tidal. those are just begging to be done in the rockaways. >> one advocate of the new pipeline has been michael grimm. his district includes brooklyn. he says it would bring clean energy to new york. >> this project will be the first on natural gas to its mission project in brooklyn, staten island, and queens and more than 40 years. the 5.2 million people living in these three boroughs are demanding more and more natural gas. natural gas, as we all know, is reliable. it is clean. it is domestic. it is economic. on september 15 of last year, new york city deputy mayor testified before the national parks of committee there in support of the bill.
i appreciate all the courtesy shown to him on that day. in his testimony, the deputy mayor stated, energy demands and new york city is increasing and will continue to grow. therefore, getting the project done is a major effort that includes the private sector, the city, state, and federal governments. the gateway pipeline project will generate proximally 265 million dollars in construction activity. jobs, almost 300 local and bring it about $8 million in local revenue for the city of new york. providing much-needed short and long-term boost to our economy. >> that was commerce member michael grimm, whose district includes brooklyn. >> he sounds like he is speaking for the oil and gas industry, telling you all of the lies we have been hearing forever. the primary fallacy is that it is clean. it's not clean.
it is much more destructive than coal is with its carbon footprint. there's so much more than carbon we need to be talking about. when he did talk about methane in the chemicals released in the process as well is when the gas is shifted through different ever structure projects. it is a huge problem and doesn't bring in all those jobs they promised. i talk to people working on the pipeline. they were from minnesota, south dakota, not from new york city. it is not local jobs will stop it is dangerous, not clean. we need to be investing in a system that is not going to exacerbate climate change. if we are talking about rebuilding resiliently and the rockaways, there has to be a process for not making that any worse, not having to deal with more problems, not making extreme weather worst to our choices. >> the issue of resiliency? >> we're not dealing with that it on a large scale and not dealing with it on the issue --
on the immediate scale of rebuilding. the rapid repairs program was a great idea. it was done hastily and in a way people did not have the choice to maybe upgrade to a more resilient forms of heating their homes. or even raising their electrical panel to the second floor of their home in case there's another storm. we think a lot of that money is eventually going to be flushed down the toilet. we also don't see disaster relief in history that is promoting resiliency or sustainability. nonprofits are often more concerned with numbers because granters want to see numbers and not more sustainable methods of building or materials for building. we don't think it is economically sustainable, either, because it is much more likely in terms of being competitive for disaster relief funding, it is much more likely an organization based in san diego is going to be more
suitableve than a more community-based organization in an affected area that is not as desirable to funders because they have not been given the resources to be competitive. i think that in coastal regions and in regions in general that are prone to disasters, we need to start thinking about making our community-based organizations the ones who deal with the disaster. like naomi klein said, these are the experts. they know what the community needs. >> as we just passed the anniversary of occupy wall street, a lot of people said, what happened to occupy? you both really came out of that. we're talking about occupy sandy. how did that happen? >> somebody got the bright idea when they saw the storm coming to set up a website and a donation place. with not heavily involved occupy wall street. i had a peripheral connection, but it was something on my
radar. that is where i saw a conference. from there it was really the skills of social media and networking that people developed during the occupy wall street heyday that allowed people to set up the right systems to have volunteers be able to come in, to get donations to come in. someone set up a gift registry on amazon in order for people to be able to donate from around the world and send things directly to us that we needed on the ground. was saying, we need to invest in the local community. we shifted it to a community aced business registry. were open indoors rockaway, we started buying the materials we needed wherever they were available there. >> i have a quick question. we were talking about spying in the headline. this very odd situation just recently developed and people all over the country may have seen this weird video on the west side highway of an suv and
a bunch of motorcyclist and they bashed the suv and there was this fight and one by one these guys have been arrested. but it turns out an undercover new york city police officer arrested in the infamous motorcycle gang incident on the west side highway has found or was found to previously have spied on occupy sandy. isn't that right? the city couldn't get people out to the rockaways, but they were already spying on these relief efforts? spying? >> it's true. >> what do you know about this? >> just what we have read in the papers. people had talked about the possibility of there being people infiltrating the group because no one knew what to expect from occupy sandy. people didn't know if we were going to be doing the work and for how long and what kind of political direction that would take. it doesn't really surprise me that people would be placed
undercover in a position to see what kind of metamorphosis occupy sandy might take. but it is kind of amazing to us because we had is immediacy, this urgency to everything we were doing. frankly, although we are expected to see land grabs, expecting to see different types of injustice hit, and the first days after the storm we were worried about whether people had food or water or sleeping in a moldy home. it is an interesting -- it is interesting the resources were given to that cause rather than our cause. >> it was ages. the department of health did not even get there until the eighth day. we had already canvassed half the peninsula. we had doctors and were filling people's prescriptions. would a volunteer with a motorcycle who literally wrote up and down the entire peninsula going to any open pharmacy to get medication that was available. we couldn't get medication to those who needed it, your
desperate, but we can get undercover agents watching us and sing what we're doing. it makes sense. >> we're going to leave it there but talk about housing next. thank you for being with us, terri bennet with respawn and rebuild, jessica roff with restore the rock, both part of the overall umbrella occupy sandy. if you want more information on it, you could apply under the freedom of information act and see what kind of transcript you could get of conversations. we will be back in a moment talking about housing one year later. ♪ [music break]
>> this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. we continue our coverage of the first anniversary of superstorm sandy. many of those impacted by the storm remained homeless and dependent on diminishing relief funds. new york magazine reports at least 22,000 households are still displaced. running is in our new york us in our newing york studio, which one year ago there was no power here or anywhere else. democracy now!, in fact, we were in st. louis on a 100-city tour.
as i was broadcasting from a st. louis pbs station, my colleagues here in new york were going out to the rockaways, brooklyn, queens, staten island, the lower east side because the whole area was devastated. we are joined here by shawn little, of worker who lived in the rockaways section. she and her family have been living in hotels for the past year. we're also joined by judith goldiner, attorney in charge of the civil law reform unit at the legal aid society. give us the overall picture of housing today one year after superstorm sandy. >> unfortunately, what we saw --h the storm is a destroyed it destroyed a whole area of low-income housing for people that has not been replaced. in fact, the housing that is being rebuilt in places like the rockaways is now unaffordable to many people who used to live
there. losing we have seen is this category of housing and now rebuilding so that people who lived there can afford to go back. we at legal aid have been representing people who were reallys in the hotels since the storm, and trying to make sure they at least are going to get permanent, affordable housing. at the bigger picture is that so many people still don't have housing, are marginally housed or doubled up, are in hotels, and we don't have good options for them. >> what do you mean many houses -- many houses were wiped out and then, how was it set up? how was the building done some people with lower incomes could not go back? >> many times people who are able to rebuild, rebuilt and started charging more rent. some apartments were to rebuild
and there were many less options, especially in places like rockaway. we're been hearing over and over how people are saying rent that is far higher than they ever was and, rockaway, there affordable housing. it is pretty far away from manhattan. it takes a long time to get there. as a result, many my clients could find places to live there and that is not the case anymore. >> explain what happened to you. where were you before the storm? >> i was home in rockaways. >> what happened when the storm hit? you had had irene, but nothing really happened. >> right. basically, we were unprepared because we figured it was the same, would be the same. irene, you know, i was ready, prepared, and nothing happened. back.dy just took us we we prepared. we didn't prepare for anything.
we was there. we evacuated eventually and .nded up in the gymnasium >> for about 10 days or so. then where did they put you? >> in a shelter in the bronx. we went there for a few days. and then from there we went to the hotels. >> and what hotels are they putting you in? for people who have kids, kids are supposed to be in school. >> sure. people was traveling. they was back and forth to the rockaways, two different parts of queens. offered different schools to place the kids and if you rather that. my son was not able to go back to school because his school was in rockaways. >> how old was he? >> he is 15 now. he was 14 then. he went to a school there on the bay the rockaway park.
he was out of his school for like four months. >> and you're still in a hotel today? >> yes. we just relocated to brooklyn from manhattan, which was a blessing. it's ok. i'm here. >> and how do you get out of the hotel and actually live in an apartment or home? well, i'm getting ready to relocate, actually. i will be moving in my new place in a few weeks or so. through the grace of legal aid that helped us out, dhs helped us out. >> you have an autistic foster child? >> yes, i do. >> how did he bear this? >> as long as he with me, he was fine. anything other probably would have set him back. he came a long way. to keep him or he is today, as long as he is with his family,
you know, me, myself, me my son, my daughter, that's all he knows. he's doing great. >> judith goldiner, how typical is this, a year later people still living in hotels? >> we're still working with 80 households, about 150 people who are still in the hotels. unfortunately, the city has not moved quickly to give many of those people that housing assistance they need in order to move then. we worked very hard with ms. little and able to get her housing coupon, but there are many others for whom the city has not acted yet. despite our efforts, they are still slow. it is really concerning. >> 22,000 people are still displaced? >> right. 80 people still in the hotels, 22,000 people with quark that is more than people. >> yes, 22 thousand households are still doubled up, troubled
look living in substandard conditions. there are so many people like that. there's been so little effort to make more housing available to them. >> what you think is the most important issue for people to understand right now? >> how little affordable housing there is. he knew that before, but superstorm sandy really illuminated how little housing there is for people who really need it. >> do you foresee being able to move into -- back into a house or apartment, sean? >> absolutely. as long as i am comfortable. i basically have what i was used to. i am fine. try to places and places that we was it used to. we didn't come from. i worked hard to get my family into middle-class home. i had no program, no public assistance. and go lose that somewhere that we was it used to would have been really hard. >> we have to leave it there.
we are glad you're joining us. those conversations coming up right now. said there is always the rightst >> and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. tavis: deborah spar is t president of barnardh and has written "wonder women: sex, power, and the quest for perfection," love that cover.
chicago whererom she is on tour for the tome. >> it is my pleasure. about liberating women from the unreasonable and impossible standards that have been thrust upon them. thrust upon them by whom? rex that is a good question. i do not think it is a single person or group of people. no one sat down and try to make this happen. it has been a combination. women have taken on too many expectations upon themselves. the media, sorry, keep driving these expectations and those of us who are mothers are passing on ever greater expectations to our daughters. tavis: how does the media drive these vacations from women or of women question are >> the company magazine from the shelf. perfecto are keeping
homes and leading perfect careers and if you look at television shows which are fictional so you do not expect them to be real. they are showing women who are successful mothers and look origins and we fall into believing that these fictional lives are somehow accurate depictions of what our real lives should be about. >> what responsibilities are women thrusting upon themselves? >> what women are doing to themselves is that they are seeing these different images of perfection. the perfect wife, the perfect mother, the perfect career person, the perfect movie star and they are thinking they should be all of these things. that is the problem because i want to be ambitious for women. i am ambitious for myself. women can definitely find areas in which they want to excel at we need to keep in mind that if you are focused on one thing you're not able to be perfect or even very good at everything else. tavis: if the paradigm has
shifted and you are calling for a new construct, help me understand how women reframe the conversation and this agenda for the 21st century? rex one thing that women can do is be more honest with themselves and friends and be more willing to say i am excited about this part of my life but i am screwing up over here or this is a mistake or something i have given up on. we should feel more liberated to say i cannot bake the cookies for the school bake sale because i do not have the time. or i am sorry but i cannot do this at work because i have too much else going on this week. we have to be more upfront and say -- say no for lack of a better world -- better word and modeling that for others. it is important for middle-aged women to clear -- be clear and say you cannot have it all. nobody has it all.