Pass the Bill
Nayaba Arinde | 4/12/2011, 5:26 p.m.
It is a disgrace that continues to shock people the world over. "Give the 9 -11 responders money for their healthcare," is the call, certainly, citywide, and has the globe scratching its head.
Monday saw Mayor Michael Bloomberg hosting a RP-savvy press conference urging the Senate to pass the revised James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act. One would have thought looking at it that there were no Black people killed during the World Trade Center disaster, or injured during the recovery.
Apart from Rangel and couple of other Black faces, Bloomberg had himself a virtual white fest: Blacks, Latinos and Asians were not represented, although hundreds died during the collapse of the Word Trade Center towers, and hundreds if not thousands helped during the recovery efforts and the search for bodies.
Bloomberg was joined by Congress members Joseph Crowley, Eliot Engel, Peter King, Carolyn Maloney, Charles Rangel and Anthony Weiner, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly and Fire Commissioner Sal Cassano, PBA President Patrick Lynch, UFA President Steve Cassidy, UFOA President Al Hagan and Responder Advocate Joseph Zadroga, father of James Zadroga.
"The mayor and other leaders of the City don't seem to realize that we serve as first responders now, just as we did during 9-11," said Capt. Paul Washington, of Engine 234, Crown Heights, and past president the Vulcan Society (the organization of New York City's Black firefighters). "The same mindset, which prevented them from inviting us and other Black emergency service workers to speak at the press conference, is the same mindset which keeps us off of New York City's best uniformed jobs."
Washington added, "The Senate should pass [the bill] because a lot of good men and women have gotten sick over the years because they were there at Ground Zero when America needed them to be. For the Republican senators to turn their back on those heroes is shameful, but also not surprising,"
Anthony Anderson is now retired, but during 9-11 he worked for the NYPD emergency service unit as an officer. He made detective after 9-11. "I was doing search-and-recovery at Ground Zero. I was there from 9-11 to May 2002. In the beginning, they had us doing 12 tours. I lost my hearing, which was tested by the NYPD, because I was down there with the jack hammers and the machines," he told the ITALAmNewsITAL. "But I retired before I claimed what happened at the World Trade Center. So they are saying that I can't make a claim for the disability unless it is part of the World Trade Center Disability Law."
Anderson said, "I feel a little disappointed because of how long it is taking to pass this bill, because on that day nobody thought that buildings were going to fall down and you'd be digging in the dust looking for bodies. If I wasn't retired and it happened again--we would do it again. But they are making a mockery of that now. You have guys who now would think twice and might not want to respond. This is what they have done."