Hey y'all. Vtdblue/Terry here. I could use your help with contacting organizers and volunteers who've worked with all the outstanding the ad hoc citizens' Sandy relief efforts. I know some of you have been closely following or involved yourselves.
Some folks here already know this, but aside from being a dyed in the wool progressive activist, I also do the academic thing for a living.
Long story short, I and some colleagues just landed a very small amount of money to research and collect the stories about how citizens disaster relief organizations such as Occupy Sandy, People's Relief, the Redhook Initiative, etc., managed to so quickly and effectively get relief and assistance out after the storm to those most in need (using "newer" social networking media, technology and systems, as well as tried and true boots-on-the-ground community organizing, sweat, toil, and tears). This is a multidisciplinary research effort, involving our emergency management and homeland security policy research center at the University of Akron, and at least one of the members of our team has done similar work in New Orleans on post-Hurricane Katrina citizens' communication and mutual aid efforts.
We are very excited about this project, and it will be a way of both chronicling what has occurred, and systematically analyzing how and why it worked so well -- especially in the first hours and days (Michael Bloomberg's Scrooge act, aside), so that the lessons can be promoted and repeated in future disasters in the Northeast (Climate change "winter is coming," as it were), and elsewhere around the country. And with any luck we'll help publicize and legitimize the "model" in academic and policy (the Powers That Be) circles, and get some good. broader popular PR for the innovative and uniquely effective Occupy Sandy (and related) aid efforts.
We'd like to interview folks and compile their stories, but are anxious to get down there, starting as early as next weekend, for a few days to make some contacts and do some interviewing.
Here's where you, my friends, could help out. I have some names of some of the main organizers, some addresses of aid centers and hubs, and know a few folks from here and other liberal blogs who were involved in related efforts in NY. But we're still working on email, Facebook contacts, and even phone numbers of key people to begin with. From there we can get other referrals, etc.
SO... If any of you would be willing to pass along names and contact info for people you know who we might talk to, I would be grateful. And I can tell you, FWIW, that we're going to make sure all discussions will be confidential and anonymous.
Many thanks for any leads, fellow VOTSizens.
Terry/Vtd Blue/(and Tyree here on VOTS)
p.s. The reason this is last minute is because we didn't get the funding until now, and are concerned that to track people down we need to do it before the holidays and new year, and effing Michael Bloomberg, cause volunteers and leaders alike to scatter.