Filipino Florida Democrat candidate rallies community support in hurricane relief efforts

by Paul Garilao, ABS-CBN News

MEXICO BEACH, FL — In the wake of the most powerful storm to hit the Florida panhandle, Filipino American Dr. Jennifer Zimmerman rallied the community to donate food, water and supplies to help the victims of Hurricane Michael.

Zimmerman is a congressional candidate for Florida’s 1st district under the Democratic party. Her district includes parts of the panhandle.

Even with the midterm elections just weeks away, Zimmerman said this is not a time for politics.

“It doesn’t matter what your party affiliation is — red or blue, right or left — our brothers and sisters need our help.”

Zimmerman, along with her partners from the immigrant community and business sector, traveled to the hardest-hit areas to distribute aid, not only to survivors of the storm, but also to the hardworking volunteers.

She said in times of despair the human spirit shines through.

“This is not about photo-ops. This is not about looking good in front of a camera. There is no power, no clean water, nothing. And yet, it was humanity coming together.”

Zimmerman’s opponent, incumbent Congressman Matt Gaetz, also took steps to help his struggling constituents.

After Hurricane Matthew hit the area, Gaetz wrote a letter to FEMA requesting immediate assistance to affected communities.

He also mobilized relief drive efforts in Panama City over the weekend.

The situation remains dire for Canlas and many other Floridians in the wake of Hurricane Michael.

President Donald Trump said he would ask Congress for emergency disaster aid.

At least 32 people were killed by the monster storm. More than 1,000 remain missing, and search and rescue efforts are ongoing.


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