Senate Republicans and members of the Independent Democrats will gather in Queens today for the first meeting of the Bipartisan Senate Task Force on Hurricane Sandy â€” and they have invited a couple of members of the Democratic conference as well.
"There isn't any room for poltical differences," said Queens Sen. Joe Addabbo who is a member of the Demcoratic conference. "We have no room for that when there are still 10,000 without power in the Rockaways."
Addabbo will be just one of a number of legislators who have seen their districts ravaged by the storm. From Staten Island to Long Island, the senators who will gather in the Rockaways today represent areas that need immediate attention.
Sens. James Sanders, Dean Skelos, Diane Savino, Andrew Lanza, Jeff Klein, Diane Savino, Martin Golden and Charles Fuschillo have been confirmed for the gathering. The group will tour the Rockaways and then meet with community leaders.
Addabbo says it will be the task force's job to keep the Legisalture connected to the areas and constituents that need the most help.
"We have to have a constant dialogue while listening to the needs of people and we need to feed what we arehearing into that task force," he says. "The people need to understand there is a way of getting in touch with there legislators."
Addabbo says he expects there will be many more taskforce meetings in areas hit hardest by Sandy in the coming months.
Sen. Joe Addabbo at a hearing. Photo from NYS Senate Democrats.