Gas line in Newark, NJ.

Newark, NJ
– The People’s Organization For Progress, a grassroots organization that advocates for racial, social, economic justice, and peace is calling for the US military to assist with efforts to immediately restore electrical power to hundreds of thousands of families in New Jersey, New York, and other areas devastated by the recent hurricane.

“We appreciate the tremendous efforts that have been made thus far by President Obama, Governor Christie, our first responders, the utility companies and their workers, FEMA, and the National Guard, which have restored power to many already,” stated Lawrence Hamm, Chairman of the People’s Organization for Progress.

“However, we are compelled by conscience to say something about those whose power has not yet been restored,” Hamm said.

“There are tens of thousands, many are children and senior citizens, in cities like Newark, Essex County and other counties, in our suburbs, and on our coastal shores who have been without power for days and who are being told they may have to wait even longer before their power will be restored,” he said.

“Without power they are in the dark without lights, they have no heat in near freezing temperatures, many cannot cook food, and have no phone service. They face these bleak conditions with the possibility of another storm on the way,” he said.

“Given these dire circumstances and the possibility of the development of a major crisis that could lead to sickness and death the People’s Organization For Progress calls upon President Obama to direct US military forces, the US Army Corps of Engineers, and other military agencies to directly assist with efforts to immediately restore power in Newark, Essex County, the rest of New Jersey, and other area without power due to Hurricane Sandy.” he said.

“We have seen our military forces repair, reconstruct, and build national and local power systems in Iraq and Afghanistan. If they can do it there, they can do it here,” he said.

Furthermore, given the historic advent of Sandy and its devastating effects on the people of New Jersey in general, and the various communities in particular, the People’s Organization for Progress is raising other concerns about the impact that the lack of electrical power is having. Our concerns are:

• what measures are being taken to support all individuals who are home ridden and using medical equipment that requires electrical power, not excluding those individuals that need to keep their medicines refrigerated?

• what measures are being taken to provide all individuals affected by the lack of electrical power with fresh water, heated food, and heat to provide protection from the cold weather?

• what measures are being taken to insure the safety of individuals who have to travel through unlighted streets, and live in homes, and individual units or multi-dwelling buildings?

• what measures are taken to assist the elderly and others who live in dwellings that require the use of elevators to leave their buildings to take care of their daily tasks?

• what measures are being taken to insure that all registered voters can vote on election day in facilities whose voting machines requires electrical power so as to not deny their right to vote?

The People’s Organization for Progress encourages that these matters be addressed as soon as possible by the appropriate companies and agencies to insure that the suffering of those affected is minimized.


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