Alex Constantine - July 16, 2009
July 15, 2009*
*New York* - Outside City Hall today relatives of 9/11 victims, first responders and survivors of the September 11th attacks gathered to endorse a November ballot initiative to establish a new 9/11 investigation under the auspices of the city government of New York. Support on the street is high, the group says, and polls indicate a majority of New Yorkers wants a new investigation.
On June 24, the group leading the ballot initiative, the New York City Coalition for Accountability Now (NYC CAN) filed a petition containing 52,000 signatures with the office of the City Clerk. The official filing initiated a 60-day period specified in Section 37 of the New York Municipal Home Rule Law in which the City Council is asked to review the petition and approve its placement on the upcoming November ballot.
Since this milestone filing, the group has gathered an additional 15,000 signatures and received several endorsements from prominent leaders. Renowned whistleblower and former FBI agent Coleen Rowley, who TIME magazine selected as one of three "Persons of the Year" in 2002, endorsed a new investigation yesterday, as reported by RAWSTORY . Bill Doyle, who lost his son Joseph, has been an outspoken leader of an active community of relatives of the 9/11 victims and he too released a statement endorsing a new inquiry in New York. Joining Doyle in support as signatory to an NYC CAN online petition is Christine O'Neil, wife of ex-FBI Agent John O'Neil, who was killed on the job at the World Trade Center and Lorie Van Auken, a widow from New Jersey and former member of the 9/11 Family Steering Committee.
Manny Badillo, who lost his uncle Thomas, and who serves NYC CAN as Director of Outreach, said in an opening statement "Thomas Keane and Lee Hamilton, the Chairmen of the 9/11 Commission, after issuing their report, both admitted that the Commission was unsuccessful. In their own words, the Commission was 'Set Up To Fail'." Sen Cleland called it a national scandal.
Badillo was joined by 9/11 victim family members Donna Marsh O'Connor and Bob McIlvaine, and survivor Janette MacKinlay, all members of the NYCCAN Executive Council who also made impassioned statements of support. Eileen Coles, an US Air Force Desert Storm veteran and former intelligence officer, stated, "Our only way forward to restore our national honor is to answer the questions and demand accountability. This will not happen without a truly impartial and scientific examination of the evidence."
NYC CAN is non-partisan organization comprised of 9/11 Families, First Responders, Survivors and proud, concerned citizens committed to bringing about an independent, impartial investigation into the events of September 11. For more info: http://www.nyccan.org