Logo of NYC CAN

Logo of NYC CAN

New York -- On Wednesday, June 24, 2009, the New York City Coalition for Accountability Now (NYC CAN) filed petitions for a referendum to create an independent investigation of 9/11/01.

The group, led by Victims’ Families, submitted 52,000 signatures to the City of New York. The new Commission would be independently funded, yet have legal authority from the City Council. If approved, New York City voters will be able to vote on this in the City-wide elections this November.

"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," said Brooklyn's Manny Badillo, who lost his uncle and mentor Thomas Joseph Sgroi on 9/11. As Badillo left the City Clerk's office, he told supporters, "Every family member, survivor and first responder should be encouraged—accountability will come."

Badillo was joined by 9/11 Family Member Maureen Hunt, as well as First Responders Charlie Giles and Bill Gleason of the World Trade Center Rescuers Foundation.

City Council now has until August 24 to approve the placement of the referendum on the November 3 ballot. NYC CAN is prepared to deliver an additional 30,000 signatures on August 24, if City Council does not approve putting the referendum on the ballot. Recent legal precedents show that NYC CAN faces an uphill battle in the NYC Courts.

In front of the City Clerk's office, NYC CAN Executive Director Ted Walter said, "Now more than ever, we must all raise our voices and demand an investigation untainted by partisan politics. We want an investigation interested only in facts and accountability."

Without endorsing any specific explanation for what did happen on 9/11, NYC CAN simply asks for a new, unprejudiced investigation. Critics of the 9/11 Commission point out conflicts of interest and possible manipulation by the Bush/Cheney White House. As the New York Times’ Philip Shenon (author of The Commission) pointed out last year, former Bush National Security advisor Phil Zelikow ran the "independent" 9/11 Commission. “Executive Director” Zelikow ignored calls from Victims’ Family members to step down. Zelikow drafted the 9/11 Commission Report which chose not to “assign individual blame” for the intelligence failures on 9/11. The Report claimed to be unable to investigate who financed the attacks, and concluded that terrorist financing was of "little practical significance."

In 2006, a Zogby poll showed that 66% of New Yorkers want a new investigation. Will the NYC courts and electoral system allow voters to vote on it in November? On July 20, NYC CAN issued a call for supporters to contact their City Council representatives, and urge support.

First responder Charlie Giles suffered severe health damage from working on the “pile” at Ground Zero. At NYC CAN’s filing of the petition, he asked, " Why do we still go untreated? Why do the families still call out for justice?"

For More Information:
The New York City Coalition for Accountability Now

Every family member, first responder, and survivor can sign a Statement of Support on  http://www.NYCCAN.ORG./