On May 29, 2019 Staten Island Council Member Joe Borelli will serve as a co-introductory sponsor of a City Council resolution calling for passage of the “Never Forget the Heroes: Permanent Authorization of the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund Act.” At noon that day Council Member Borelli, along with his co-introductory sponsors Council Members I. Daneek Miller of Queens and Margaret Chin of Manhattan will host a rally on Greenwich Street between Fulton Street and Dey Street to publicly announce the resolution.
Council Member Borelli, who recently announced his bid for Public Advocate, represents the south shore of Staten Island, which suffered the loss of nearly 300 victims in the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
Staten Island is home to over 5,000 victims of 9/11 toxins exposure related illnesses. This is unsurprising given the fact tens of thousands of Staten Islanders served in the 9/11 rescue and recovery efforts and worked in Lower Manhattan after the attacks. Additionally, the Staten Island Fresh Kills Landfill reopened after 9/11 to served as a receiving area for debris from Ground Zero. The NYPD treated it as an active crime scene. Over 1,200 victims were identified at the Fresh Kills Landfill. It is also included in the 9/11 VCF exposure zone- meaning individuals who worked there between 9/11/01 and 5/30/02 may be eligible for compensation.
At least in part due to the 9/11 cancer crisis, Staten Island has the highest cancer rate in the city. Council Member Borelli’s office conducted a preliminary internal study with correlative research showing higher incidence rates of bladder cancer, breast cancer in females over 50-years-old, lung and bronchus cancer, pancreatic cancer and thyroid cancer, as well as acute myeloid leukemia and chronic lymphocytic leukemia. Borelli’s research, in addition to a number of requests to Mayor de Blasio’s office led to securing $350,000 in funding to further research the higher rate of cancer on Staten Island.
We applaud Council Member Borelli for using his voice to bring more attention to the Never Forget the Heroes Act, which would rescue the 9/11 VCF from its funding crisis.
Cropped photo of Joseph Borelli: Marc A. Hermann / MTA New York City Transit