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NYC CAN Files Petition

On Wednesday, June 24, 2009, the New York City Coalition for Accountability Now filed a petition containing 52,000 signatures calling for a referendum on the creation of a New York City independent commission to investigate the events of September 11, 2001.

9/11 Family Members Maureen Hunt and Manny Badillo, and First Responders Charlie Giles of the FealGood Foundation and Bill Gleason of the World Trade Center Rescuers Foundation arrived at the City Clerk’s office to deliver the petition, where they also spoke on behalf of all the proud and concerned citizens who deserve an unbiased, nonpolitical investigation of the tragedy that has affected us so deeply.

“Now that we have delivered this petition to City Council, we have taken the first step towards a real investigation into the death of our family members and friends,” Badillo, who lost his uncle and mentor Thomas Joseph Sgroi, told the group of supporters gathered at the steps of the City Clerk’s office. “Every family member, survivor and first responder should be encouraged that accountability will come, and must double their efforts to support the important work happening with NYC CAN.”

City Council now has until August 24 to approve the placement of the referendum on the November 3 ballot. As hundreds more 9/11 family members, first responders and survivors join this campaign and lobby their council members to support the petition, the chances of finally seeing an impartial investigation grow.

In the unlikely event City Council does not approve the placement of the referendum on the ballot, we are prepared to deliver an additional 30,000 signatures on August 24, which should be enough to eclipse the 15,000 valid signatures needed by law to override City Council and guarantee it gets on the ballot. We have already collected 8,000 of the additional 30,000 signatures and we are moving ahead at a rate of 4,000 per week.

Now more than ever is the moment to raise our voices in unison and demand an investigation untainted by partisan politics, an investigation interested only in facts and accountability. "We now need the support of every 9/11 family group to make this happen,” said Donna Marsh O’Connor, NYC CAN Executive Council Member and mother of Vanessa Lang Langer, Regus Business Center, WTC South Tower, in response to news the petition had been filed.

In front of the City Clerk’s office Charlie Giles echoed the call for unity. “Whether you lost a loved one or you are suffering today from the toxins you inhaled eight years ago, there is one thing we have all been denied: answers. Why do we still go untreated? Why do the families still call out for justice?”

Every family member, first responder, and survivor can sign a Statement of Support on NYCCAN.ORG to voice their support. In the past week we have accumulated over 60 signatories. Please help us reach 1,000 to amplify the call for a new investigation.

“We have never had a real investigation. It is past time,” said O’Connor.

The New York City Coalition for Accountability Now


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