TRENTON, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — A group of protesters is camping out near the New Jersey Statehouse all week to remind lawmakers that many Superstorm Sandy victims still need help.
“We’re one day from the (third) anniversary of Sandy, and thousands of families unfortunately are still not home for good,” Joe Mangino told WCBS 880’s Levon Putney.
“Less than 25 percent of the families in our RREM program are home for good,” Mangino said.
RREM is New Jersey’s Rehabilitation, Reconstruction, Elevation and Mitigation program aimed at helping residents repair and rebuild their homes.
The protesters are stationed at the World War II memorial across from the Statehouse, even as rain fell Wednesday. They’re hoping to convince lawmakers to act so that just about everyone is back home by Sandy’s fourth anniversary.
State Senate President Stephen Sweeney, D-Gloucester, stood with the protesters.
“Look, there’s a lot of things we can do better here,” he said. “You have to look at things as if it was you, if it was my house.”
Meanwhile, Joan Strathern, of Ortley Beach, is among those calling on state and local governments to use eminent domain to force holdouts to give up land to build the protective dunes.
“We’re in danger of losing our homes again” if the Army Corps of Engineers is not allowed to finish connecting the dunes, she said.
“The main problem is the holdouts, people who have not signed their easements,” Strathern said.