Brooklynites outraged that President Obama doesn’t visit Sandy-scarred neighborhoods

Sandy-damaged County of Kings stinging over Presidential flyby, critics say

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President Obama skipped Brooklyn in his tour of Hurricane Sandy-slammed neighborhoods on Thursday, outraging residents in the borough that cast more votes for the commander in chief than any other part of the city.

“He should’ve made one stop, just to get out and say something, let people know ‘hey, we’re here,’ give them some reassurance,” said Coney Island resident Alberto Rodriguez, an avid Obama supporter who has been cleaning out Sandy-flooded businesses along Surf Avenue. “When people see a big figure, it means a lot for them.”

Brooklynites in other storm-battered neighborhoods were similarly miffed at the President’s decision to fly over Coney Island and Rockaway as he made his way to Staten Island.

“We really don’t know why he didn’t stop by Red Hook,” said Frances Medina, a coordinator with the not-for-profit Red Hook Initiative, which has handled much of the recovery effort in the washed-out neighborhood. “People are saying that we’re okay, but there are still buildings without power and heat. The situation is not done.”

“Contrary to popular belief, we still need help,” Medina wrote on Twitter.

Brooklyn pols called on Obama to come to Brooklyn as soon as he announced his tour, claiming that the President’s presence will give borough Hurricane Sandy victims a much needed boost.

Obama’s decision to visit Staten Island did just the opposite, officials say.

“He should come here. It is important that he visit and for residents to get to see him,” said Assemblyman Alec Brook-Krasny (D–Coney Island), a resident of devastated Seagate, noting that Bam lived in Park Slope in the 1980s. “We are still waiting for him. In these areas, there are a lot of people who voted for him, and they are going to be missing him.”

Councilman Mike Nelson (D–Brighton Beach) agreed that an executive visit would have brought comfort and confidence to his weather-wounded district.

“Being here and seeing people with their homes down and damaged, it’s a little disappointing. I wish he would have come in here and see it close up,” said Nelson.

“These are American citizens, and it’s like the Third World here now. Having the power of the Presidency on the ground here would seem to insure it’s going to get taken care of quicker.”

Borough President Markowitz, Brooklyn’s other commander in chief, led the charge to add Brooklyn onto Obama’s itinerary, but ended up greeting the leader of the free world in Staten Island.

“Obviously, I’d like it if he’d stopped in Brooklyn,” said Markowitz. “But Staten Island got hit badly. And we’re one city, and I’m thrilled the President made the time to join us.”

Hurricane Sandy left seven Brooklynites dead and left more than 100,000 residents without power for more than a week. Three weeks after the super storm, hundreds of Brooklynites remain homeless or without electricity, heat, or hot water.

The White House didn’t say why Obama skipped Brooklyn, but the President — who did not mention the borough in his remarks on the Rock — left open the possibility of visiting the borough in the future.

“We are going to be here until the rebuilding is complete,” Obama said. “I’m also going to be coming back in the future to make sure that we have followed through on that commitment.”

–with Eli Rosenberg

Reach reporter Will Bredderman at (718) 260–4507 or e-mail him at wbredderman@cnglocal.com. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/WillBredderman

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Reader Feedback

Bob from Gerritsen Beach says:
Mr. Markowitz, stop creating an issue where none exists.
It's not important to Sandy's victims if Pres. Obama came into their neighborhood or not. What is important is that someone like you gets into the trenches and make sure that the insurance companies play fair with us victims.
Let the insurance companies know that someone is watching them and make sure that they play by the rules and not take advantage of people in need. Then and only then will you be earning your paycheck.
Nov. 15, 2012, 6:13 pm
Chris from Red Hook says:
I live in Red Hook. Whereas it would have been nice to see him here I totally understand why he went to Staten Island. Limited time , they got hit even harder and a family lost their kids...
Nov. 16, 2012, 7:13 am
Tinman from Sheepshead Bay says:
Thanks, Bob, for being a voice of reason in a sea of irrationality.

If the president had to stop in every devastated NY community, the GOP would have slammed him for ignoring his other office responsibilities.
Marty's a lame duck cheerleader. Let him stick to boosting the borough and the Barclay's Center, not politics.
Nov. 16, 2012, 7:56 am
Jim from Red Hook says:
He chose one place over another. If he would have came, at least the Sanitation Dept would tidy up the place.
Nov. 16, 2012, 10:21 am
Bob from Gerritsen Beach says:
Thanks Tinman for your feedback.

Of course you know I'm not the original voice of reason Mr. Bob Grant.
Nov. 16, 2012, 6:14 pm
Karin Rosado from Red Hook says:
I am a strong supporter for Obama but this is truly disappointing. Many residences in Brooklyn are suffering and it seems like our suffering doesn't matter let alone even get recognized. Thank God for the role of assemblyman Felix Ortiz and non-profit organization Red Hook Initiative, who've had done a great job in managing Red Hook. Thus, it would have been nice for President Obama, who my family and I cheered on during elections, to show his people in Brooklyn that we matter too. "/
Nov. 17, 2012, 12:37 am
A presidential visit would have been a traffic nightmare. Who needs it. As long as FEMA sends $$ to those in need in Brooklyn who needs a visit by Obama.
Nov. 28, 2012, 1 pm
Jerry from Marine Park says:
Wah wah wah. I can't believe the President came to NY and didn't stop at my house and help me clean up. And he could have stopped in Philadelphia to pick up some cheese steaks on the way too. Wah wah wah. Grow up!
Nov. 28, 2012, 10:55 pm

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