After Sandy: Day Laborers Rebuilding Their Community

Brooklyn, NY – Today, November 17, 2012, day laborers from the Bay Parkway Community Job Center along with Council Member Domenic M. Recchia Jr, Council Member Vincent J. Gentile and other local organization will convene at the Restaurant Tacos Dona Zita in Coney Island, located at 1221 Bowery Street Brooklyn, NY 11224 at 11AM to help clean up homes and small businesses in and around Coney Island.

ConeyIslandHomeownerSuperstorm Sandy did not discriminate in its destruction–it took homes, businesses, and great community organizations like the Bay Parkway Community Job Center. Our job is so difficult because we must rebuild both our infrastructure and the very institutions that hold Coney Island together. The hundreds of workers who use the Center are vital contributors to the community and the economic well-being of South Brooklyn. For Coney Island to fully recover, we must not only clean up but also put people back to work and reopen our businesses. I’m proud to be here today to keep doing what we do best, working hard and making our community a better place,” said Council Member Domenic M. Recchia Jr.

Despite losing their own home, the Bay Parkway day laborers are committed to rebuilding their own center as well as their communities by working in solidarity with their neighbors and their elected leaders.

The same way families in Coney Island lost their homes and our neighbors had to close down their businesses, we had to experience the same in Bay Parkway,” said Jose Gonzalez, day laborer and member of the Bay Parkway Community job Center.

Day Laborers have found strength in their unity. “These are times where we all need each other. No matter if you own a business or if you work for one,” said Camilo Hernandez, day laborer and member of the Bay Parkway Community job Center. Camilo Hernandez has been one of the day laborers that has joined with Council Member Domenic M. Recchia Jr.’s relief effort every other weekend in the Coney Island area helping distribute needed supplies to many low-income families.

The Bay Parkway Community Job Center has been an integral part of the fabric of the local economy for over 12 years. The Community Job Center provides a crucial link between affected homeowners and business owners and local workers. Since day laborers already work in construction, remodeling, carpentry, painting and cleanup, their skills are in great demand to reconstruction of highly impacted areas such as Coney Island, Seagate, Brighton Beach, Manhattan Beach, Gerritsen Beach and among others. Without their center, day laborers will be vulnerable to abuse, non-payment of wages, serious injury, and even death.

Today, November 17, 2012, Day Laborers, elected leaders, local organizations, LiUNA/Local 10 will gather at the Restaurant Tacos Dona Zita in Coney Island, located at 1221 Bowery Street Brooklyn, NY11224 at 11:00 AM to help perform much of the heavy lifting in Coney Island.