Aspiring citizens in New York City are not going anywhere after Superstorm Sandy devastated parts the region. They are pitching in to help rebuild what was lost. Latino workers and day laborers organized themselves with assistance from El Centro del Inmigrante, which advocates for the economic advancement and well-being of immigrant workers and their families, to form the the Staten Island Day Laborer Hurricane Relief Brigade and other cleanup volunteer groups. Day laborers have volunteered to clean up New York City neighborhoods, including restaurants affected in Coney Island.
Aquilino Gonzalez of El Centro del Inmigrante says:
We are willing to rebuild this city and we are not going anywhere. We are not going to abandon this city just because of this disaster. We are going to stay until we return to rebuild everything as it was before.
Day laborer volunteers also are helping to deliver supplies like batteries and food to people affected by Hurricane Sandy, as well as helping them prepare their homes for the winter.
"Day laborers to me are angels who gave their time to help us," said one man who was helped by the volunteers. "For example, I'm a single parent and they helped me to prepare the house for the cold temperatures that are coming."
NDLON has a national relationship with the Laborers (LIUNA). In New York and New Jersey, the LIUNA Eastern Region has a relationship with the Workplace Project, a larger collaborative that includes El Centro del Inmigrante.