November 5, 2012

After Hurricane Sandy, New York Senator Works on Relief Efforts

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Ahead in the polls, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) has shifted her attention from campaigning to community service after Hurricane Sandy devastated much of New York City and the surrounding area.

In the days leading up to Tuesday’s election, Gillibrand –– along with Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) –– has been touring New York City and surveying the damage caused by Hurricane Sandy, according to New York One.

After hearing about insufficient relief efforts in Staten Island, Gillibrand promised to bring supplies from both the American Red Cross and the Federal Emergency Management Agency to the area, according to The Staten Island Advance.

“Staten Island families are suffering,” Gillibrand told The Advance on Thursday. “We will be your advocate. We know you need immediate assistance. We will bring the resources.”

These resources included aid from the Red Cross and an mobile kitchen that could feed thousands, according to her Facebook page. Gillibrand said she would continue to work for relief for those most affected for those most affected.

“My visit to Staten Island this morning was devastating, but I’m pleased that The Red Cross has since sent 10 trucks into the area to help,” she said. “As millions of our fellow

Americans continue to struggle in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, we’re working with local and federal officials and agencies around the clock to make sure we get them the help they need.”

Gillibrand is running for her first full term in the Senate after she was appointed to the Senate in 2009 and then won a special election to finish Hillary Clinton’s term in 2010, according to The Associated Press. She previously served in the House of Representatives for New York’s 20th Congressional District.

In the weeks leading up to the election, Gillibrand has gone throughout New York State, most recently to Yonkers, Binghamton and Glen Cove, according to her Facebook page.

She currently commands a substantial lead over her Republican opponent, Manhattan lawyer Wendy Long, according to a poll released by Siena College on Oct. 26. Gillibrand is heavily favored to win the election, and is leading among 67 percent of surveyed voters, compared to 24 percent for Long, according to the poll’s results.

Gillibrand and Long clashed during a debate at Skidmore College on Oct. 17.

The two candidates differed on several issues, including gun control, women’s rights and budget control, according to The New York Times.

Gillibrand argued that Long’s plan for spending cuts instead of tax increases was “inflexible,” The Times reported on Oct. 17.

“We can cut spending, but we have to do it precisely and carefully,” she said. “We cannot have a slash-only approach, as my opponent has.”

As the election nears, Gillibrand has been endorsed by The New York Times, The Rochester Democrat and Chronicle and The Staten Island Advance.

“Gillibrand has been a steady voice of reason in Washington, fighting for farmers, battling to retain crucial food stamps,” The Times said in its endorsement.

Original Author: Caroline Flax