The campaign trail in the mayor's race led to Queens on Sunday, with both Joe Lhota and Bill de Blasio visiting areas that were devastated by Hurricane Sandy almost a year ago. NY1's Courtney Gross filed the following report.
Bill de Blasio says rebuilding after Hurricane Sandy will take more than brick and mortar: It's about jobs -- living wage ones.
"We have to use it as a moment to not just right the wrongs of sandy, but to start righting some greater wrongs. Because the Rockaways have been ignored for decades," De Blasio said.
It was his first trip out to the storm-ravaged area since the Democratic primary.
He offered a vision for rebuilding: Making sure billions of dollars in federal funding goes to good-paying jobs for local residents.
He isn't quite yet sure how he'll do it, calling it "aspirational."
"To the maximum extent the law allows and the city has the flexibility that we are getting people decent paying jobs as part of this recovery effort," De Blasio said.
He toured Far Rockaway for more than two hours on Sunday, taking questioning at a town hall forum, visiting the former site of Peninsula Hospital and the home of a family whose home was destroyed.
And in a rare moment of agreement, de Blasio actually praised the current mayor during his trip to Far Rockaway. He said he would want to pick up where Mayor Bloomberg left off in terms of making the Rockaways more resilient.
De Blasio's Republican rival was also visiting a neighborhood in Sandy's path, marching in Howard Beach's Columbus Day parade.
Joe Lhota's campaign blasted de Blasio's Rockaway trip, calling it blatant political maneuvering. Lhota touted his own time helping storm-ravaged areas.
"I spent an enormous amount of time there. I was there the day after the storm hit, working with the communities to make sure they get up and running," Lhota said.
Lhota says he is looking for permanent solutions to protect against a future storm.
"I have talked to the people of the Rockaways over time about how important it is to start building jetties," Lhota added.