Obama vows red tape won't hinder Sandy recovery

On Saturday in a briefing with FEMA, other government agencies, and local officials President Barack Obama said the country had no patience for red tape or bureaucracy during the recovery from hurricane Sandy.

Jonathan Ernst/Reuters
President Barack Obama attends a briefing with FEMA administrator Craig Fugate (l.) and cabinet secretaries about relief operations in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, at FEMA headquarters in Washington, November 3. President Obama told emergency response officials on Saturday to cut through government "red tape" and work without delay to assist areas ravaged by monster storm Sandy to return to normal.

President Barack Obama told emergency response officials on Saturday to cut through government "red tape" and work without delay to assist areas ravaged by monster storm Sandy to return to normal.

"There's nothing more important than getting this right," the president said at the beginning of a briefing with officials from the Federal Emergency Management Administration, the Department of Homeland Security, and state and local governments.

The governors of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut were among elected officials participating in the video briefing on efforts to help the East Coast states reeling from Monday's storm that left 102 dead, millions without power, and whole neighborhoods destroyed by flooding.

Obama said people working on rescue and relief efforts are making a "120 percent" effort, but urged those providing disaster relief to work without delay.

"We don't have patience for bureaucracy. We don't have patience for red tape," the president said in remarks three days ahead of his election showdown with Republican challenger Mitt Romney.

Relief efforts are focusing on restoring power and pumping water out of flooded areas, Obama said. Efforts are also concentrated on meeting the needs of people affected by the storm, removing debris, and positioning National Guard in areas where they can be helpful, he added.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.