CONEY ISLAND, N.Y. — January 13, 2013. The season may be over but the generosity of spirit and sense of community that characterize the holidays are still in evidence, particularly in those parts of New York hit hard by Hurricane Sandy.
On Sunday organizer Michael “Sandy Claus” Sciaraffo and over 150 of his friends and neighbors marched in Coney Island, demanding that Congress provide hurricane relief now.
Protesters carried signs that read, “Boehner Must Go,” “Democracy For All,” “Coney Island Is Still Drowning,” and “Relief Now!”
The rally, held to draw attention to the urgent need for the Congress to pass the Hurricane Relief bill — up for a vote on Tuesday — was one of 10 coordinated “Walk A Mile In Our Shoes” events held in affected areas of New York and New Jersey.
To underscore the need for immediate action, Sciaraffo and two busloads of his colleagues are headed to Washington D.C. tomorrow — the goal being to meet with Republicans who support relief. Sciaraffo hopes to convince sympathetic Republicans to urge their GOP colleagues, naysayers at the moment, to support the $51 billion aid package.
Sciaraffo, who gained notoriety as “Sandy Claus” — delivering toys to the children of Sandy survivors — told NLN that he will be inviting Republicans who are hesitant to help New York to visit the devastated areas and assess the need for aid with their own eyes, stripped of ideological blinders.