Press Releases

Council Members Mark Treyger & Donovan Richards Gather Elected Officials, Local Disaster Recovery Groups, Community-Based Organizations, and Advocates at City Hall to Encourage New Yorkers to Support Hurricane Harvey Relief Efforts

NEW YORK – Council Member Mark Treyger (Chair of the City Council’s Committee on Recovery and Resiliency) and Council Member Donovan Richards were joined by Council Members Chaim Deutsch and Mathieu Eugene, and a number of disaster recovery groups, community-based organizations, and advocates this morning on the steps of City Hall to encourage New Yorkers to contribute to reputable Hurricane Harvey relief efforts.

Hurricane Harvey has dropped 52 inches of rain, resulting in catastrophic flooding in Houston, TX and surrounding Gulf Coast areas in Texas and Louisiana, and it continues to move inland toward Kentucky. At least 37 people have been confirmed dead, and at least 17 are missing are so far. Tens of thousands of Americans have been evacuated from their homes, and 32,000 area residents are currently in shelters. At least 200,000 homes and businesses are without power. Reports estimate that the storm may cost somewhere in the range of $50 billion to $190 billion.

With the fifth anniversary of Hurricane Sandy approaching, the coalition – which included Human Services Council, New York State Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (NYVOAD), Habitat for Humanity NYC, Waterfront Alliance, Faith in New York, Rebuilding Together NYC, St. Bernard Project, South Brooklyn Community Organizations Active in Disaster (SBCOAD), Queens Long Term Recovery Group, Staten Island Long Term Recovery Group, Yellow Boots Local Recovery Group, and more – reminded New Yorkers that in our time of need, individuals and local governments from across the country did their part to provide our region with assistance. Mayor Bill de Blasio, the FDNY, and the NYPD have already sent 120 brave first responders to Texas to coordinate and assist with search-and-rescue operations.

Council Members Treyger and Richards encouraged New Yorkers interested in providing financial support to go through reputable sources, including the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund (https://ghcf.org), established by Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner. The NYC Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City is also accepting donations for Hurricane Harvey relief through their website (http://www1.nyc.gov/site/fund/initiatives/hurricane-harvey.page).

“Unfortunately, here in New York, we are all too familiar with the kind of damage and destruction that Mother Nature can cause,” said Council Member Mark Treyger. “Yet we also know the capacity for kindness and generosity that our fellow Americans showed our city in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. The footage and reports out of Houston and the surrounding areas have been heartbreaking. We must stand in solidarity with our fellow Americans in Texas and Louisiana and do what we can to offer them help during their time of need. I encourage all New Yorkers, to the extent of their ability, to donate to reputable Hurricane Harvey relief efforts.”

“In our darkest days after Hurricane Sandy, it was the generosity of everyday Texans and other Americans that helped us get through and rebuild our communities,” said Councilman Donovan Richards. “This is why today; I stand with my colleagues to ask New Yorkers to dig deep into their hearts to assist everyone affected by Hurricane Harvey.”

“Over the past few days, Hurricane Harvey has devastated much of the Houston area, destroying houses and leaving thousands of Texans stranded. Rescue efforts are still underway, and Texans need all the help they can get,” said Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito. “That is why I encourage everyone to contribute to the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund or the NYC Mayor’s Relief Fund, proceeds of which will directly go towards disaster relief in affected areas. New York City stands with Houston, and I encourage all New Yorkers to help out however they can.”

“I strongly support emergency funding for the areas impacted by Hurricane Harvey and believe Congress should act as soon as we return next week,” said Congressman Hakeem Jeffries. “The House must also expeditiously reform and reauthorize the NFIP.”

“What makes New York and America special is that we always deliver during a crisis, and we're always there for our neighbors in times of needs” said New York City Comptroller Scott M. Stringer. “It's in our DNA. The images out of Houston have been startling and tragic — one of America's largest cities has seen devastation. That's why today we’re making it clear that everyone has a role to play in this recovery effort. NYC is going to be there to help Texas rebuild.”

“New Yorkers know first-hand the long and expensive struggles in the aftermath of a catastrophic storm,” said Public Advocate Letitia James. “When we were hit by Superstorm Sandy, the entire country stood behind us, and now it is our turn to help those in Houston and beyond who were impacted by Hurricane Harvey. I strongly urge every New Yorker who has the resources to lend support so those suffering have the opportunity they need to rebuild their lives.”

“Hurricane Harvey’s devastation is shocking,” Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. “As New Yorkers, we have seen the effects of Superstorm Sandy, and we can imagine the hardships that the people of Texas will face as they rebuild their communities. I am urging all New Yorkers to do what they can to help with Hurricane Harvey relief efforts and for our city to do everything it can to assist our fellow Americans.”

“Here in New York City, we know all too well that the path to recovery can be difficult and long, but that journey will ultimately bring communities together and make them stronger than ever,” said Council Member Joseph Borelli. “Our hearts are with the people of Texas as they continue to endure Hurricane Harvey, and I ask that all New Yorkers join me sending support their way during this very rough time.”

“Today we call on New Yorkers to stand in solidarity with the families impacted by Hurricane Harvey and support local relief and resiliency efforts in Houston, as well as other communities in Texas and Louisiana affected by this disaster,” said Council Member Margaret S. Chin. “When Superstorm Sandy inundated Lower Manhattan neighborhoods just five years ago, every day New Yorkers acted immediately to volunteer their time, labor and resources to help their neighbors in need. In our recovery efforts, we know first-hand that every single contribution counts. Whether it is donating food, money or blood, there are always opportunities for New Yorkers to help out the families recovering, as well as the brave volunteers and emergency workers working at the front lines to save lives.” 
"Hurricane Harvey left a path of destruction that displaced tens of thousands of people,” said Council Member Chaim Deutsch. “New Yorkers were there for each other after the devastation of Hurricane Sandy. Let's all come together again to help our fellow Americans recover from Hurricane Harvey by donating money, sending a care package, or conveying a message of moral support. The courage and compassion that we have seen in images emerging from Houston this week demonstrate the very best of humanity. In that spirit of unity, New Yorkers stand with Houstonians in their time of need.”

“In the wake of the devastation from Hurricane Harvey, Americans are coming together to support their fellow citizens,” said Council Member Vincent J. Gentile. “I applaud the initiative shown by Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner in establishing the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund. I am pleased to hear that the fund will be housed at the Greater Houston Community Foundation, which does excellent work as a public charity. I encourage all of my fellow New Yorkers to help in the relief effort by donating what they can. My thoughts and prayers are with all of those affected by this horrible storm.” 

“I pray for those in Texas and Louisiana who are dealing with the fury of this hurricane and its aftermath,” said Council Member Barry S. Grodenchik. “I encourage New Yorkers, if they are able, to donate blood or to provide funding to the relief organizations that are working so hard to help people in need.”  

“My heart and prayers go out to those currently affected by Hurricane Harvey,” said Council Member Alan Maisel. “To have a year’s worth of rain within two days of torrential downpour is absolutely unimaginable. In 2012, when Superstorm Sandy hit the northeast coast, it was one of the worst storms that we have ever experienced. During and immediately after the storm, elected officials, resiliency organizations and fellow New Yorkers came together to make recovery and resiliency happen. In this time of need, it is crucial to stand side by side with our fellow Americans of the Houston area and provide as much support as possible to the Hurricane Harvey relief.”

“When Sandy devastated communities along Staten Island's East Shore, Southern Brooklyn and Eastern Queens, people from all over this country and across the world gave money, supplies and their time and labor to help us recover;” said City Council Minority Leader Steven Matteo. “Even without being asked, New Yorkers are now paying that kindness forward for the victims of Hurricane Harvey, which is why many of us on Staten Island set up our offices as collection sites for these donations. We are asking that you all continue this generosity and keep these donations coming, because our fellow Americans really need our help.”

“When national crises occur, New Yorkers have always pitched in to help,” said Council Member James Vacca. “We understand the chaos and pain that those affected by the hurricane are going through. With Hurricane Sandy still fresh in our memory it is important that we support our fellow Americans in any way that we can.”

“New York’s communities stand with the communities of Texas impacted by the storm,” said Allison Sesso, Executive Director of Human Services Council. “Human services organizations across the country are critical partners in recovery and we will be there to help in the days, months, and years ahead to help with recover and build resiliency for the future. Just like when life’s storms hit, nonprofits are there when natural disasters disrupt lives and threaten wellbeing and are pivotal players in helping communities pick up the pieces.”

“Habitat NYC sends our love and prayers to the families in the path of Hurricane Harvey” said Karen Haycox, CEO of Habitat for Humanity New York City. “We remember the overwhelming destruction of Hurricane Sandy, but most of all we remember when our country and community came together to lift our spirits and raise funds to help revive our city. Across the country countless people have donated their time and money to support families impacted along the Gulf Coast and we applaud their generosity. We encourage all New Yorkers to reciprocate the charitable efforts of those that saved our city’s communities and to donate whatever you can to help rescue and response efforts to Harvey.”
“We express our deepest sympathy to the individuals and families in Houston right now,” said Kimberly George, Executive Director of Rebuilding Together NYC. “Through our work rebuilding homes and community centers in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, we are intimately familiar with the trauma that natural disasters bring to communities.  And we know that the road to recovery will be long and hard. But we also know the power of community and the help that volunteers will bring for years to come." 

Red Hook Initiative stands with Sandy-affected communities in support of the victims of Hurricane Harvey,” said Jill Eisenhard, Executive Director of Red Hook Initiative. “The outpouring of support that we witnessed, from within and outside of Red Hook, following Hurricane Sandy provided essential aid to the community-led relief efforts. ​We encourage anyone who can offer that now. We are proud to stand with Council Member Treyger and others in highlighting opportunities to aid those affected by Hurricane Harvey.” 

“The Brooklyn Long Term Recovery Group stands in solidarity with our southern neighbors dealing with the destruction of Harvey. We are absolutely committed to promoting support in Brooklyn and are proud to be represented by like-minded elected officials from our Sandy affected neighborhoods, like council members Treyger and Donovan. We broadcast social media from FEMA, NYC and NY VOAD (Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster) in support of giving generously to long-term recovery efforts. NYC's VOAD partners supported getting Brooklyn families home long after others had left. We encourage all New Yorkers to give generously and support long-term recovery efforts in Houston.” - Brooklyn Long Term Recovery Group 

“Southern Brooklyn Community Organizations Active in Disaster stands in solidarity with the affected communities, the leadership, agencies, and volunteer crews working tirelessly to help in the wake of Hurricane Harvey. Southern Brooklyn is committed to uniting our community to rise to the needs resulting from natural disaster, working in collaboration with government officials to create community-led response and relief efforts. As a community impacted by Hurricane Sandy, we urge members in the affected communities to assist and support one another to the extent that they are able. Southern Brooklyn stands behind you and we urge our fellow New Yorkers all over our state to volunteer their support and assist with relief efforts and help our friends in the state of Texas recover from this great devastation.” - Southern Brooklyn Community Organizations Active in Disaster