Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Gulf Coast Party Platforms Project

The Gulf Coast Civic Works Campaign is leading an initiative to introduce and pass state level party resolutions in the Republican and Democratic Parties of the Gulf Coast states (AL, LA, MS) and, with the help of supporters like you, in other states across the nation, mandating party officials and delegates to the Republican National Convention in Minneapolis and Democratic National Convention in Denver to include Gulf Coast rebuilding priorities in the national party platforms.

Party platforms are written at national party conventions every four years to determine the national priorities for federal action of each parties members of Congress and Presidential candidate. The process presents an opportunity for state level party activists to influence these priorities. In addition to working to pass these resolutions, the Gulf Coast Civic Works Campaign plans to work with Gulf Coast and national NGOs, and allies on a national advocacy campaign to push these platform planks on Gulf Coast rebuilding to be a priority at each convention.

The Gulf Coast Civic Works Campaign developed a multi-issue Gulf Coast rebuilding platform plank written with input from a bi-partisan mix of leading community groups in the Gulf Coast, including ACORN, BISCO, Equity & Inclusion Campaign, Louisiana Association of Nonprofit Organizations, and more, as well as national groups like Amnesty International USA, RFK Memorial Center for Human Rights, and the Gulf Coast Civic Works Project.

The plank demands:

1) the federal government fulfill its moral obligations to rebuild and help the displaced realize their human right to return;

2) local community planning in how federal funds are used to rebuild communities;

3) enactment of HR 4048, the Gulf Coast Civic Works Act;

4) increased funding for building and providing access to affordable housing; and

5) funding for equitable Category 5 flood protection and coastal restoration.

The resolution campaign is focused currently on the political parties and eventually the conventions but similar supportive resolutions could be presented by your local municipal, county/parish and/or state level government body as well in support of these federal actions.

We need supporters to present resolutions to their state Democratic and Republican Parties in hopes of being passed by vote thereby mandating delegates from as many state parties as possible to support these planks in the national party platforms.

Any member of a state party can present a resolution or platform amendment. Still each state party has different rules and timelines for presenting resolutions and platform planks and how and when the resolutions are voted on. You will have to call your state party office (Find State Republican Party Contacts here: Find State Democratic Party Contacts here: ) to request the timeline and how best way to present a resolution and state party platform plank for your particular state party. In most states resolutions are voted on in June state party conventions or meetings of the state party central committee. In some states you must submit resolutions one month before they will be considered.

If you are interested in submitting a resolution, please call your state party office as soon as possible for details! If you have submitted a resolution or have questions, please write to Scott Myers-Lipton ( to inform the campaign of your participation so we can coordinate and help coordinate support for the resolutions within your state party.

best, scott


Dr. Scott Myers-Lipton

San Jose State University

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Sunday Times Picayune: Gulf Coast Civic Works Act in the News

Click here, to read the latest Times Picayune article that features the Gulf Coast Civic Works Act.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Gulf Coast delegation Advocates for HR 4048 on Hill

This week, the Louisiana Disaster Recovery Foundation has taken the leadership in bringing 40 Gulf Coast community leaders to DC to lobby the AL, MS, and LA congressional delegations, as well as members of the Education and Labor Committee.

One of the main goals of the group is to ask for co-sponsorship of HR 4048 and to ask for a hearing of the bill. The Gulf Coast group has spoken to, or is scheduled to speak tomorrow to, the following representatives:
  • Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D MS–2)
  • Rep. Chip Pickering (R MS–3)
  • Rep. Charles Boustany Jr. (R LA–7)
  • Rep. Spencer Bachus (R AL–6)
  • Rep. Artur Davis (D AL–7)
  • Rep. Rubén Hinojosa (D TX-15)
  • Rep. Robert C. Scott (D VA–3)
  • Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D CA-6)
  • Rep. Dennis J. Kucinich (D OH–10)
  • Rep. David Wu (D-OR-1)
  • Rep. Danny K. Davis (D IL–7)

For our part, the students have a campaign to get all 53 CA Congress members signed on as co-sponsors to HR 4048. Yesterday, we faxed the letters to 50 of the 53 CA Congress members (we already have 3 on board). Next week, we will follow up with phone calls.

We encourage all to contact their Congress members asking for co-sponsorship.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

GCCWP Student Group Contact Information

In light of where the GCCW campaign is currently at, the GCCWP has
reorganized itself to focus primarily on building the national college
campus network to help pass HR 4048.

Our thirty student leaders at SJSU have broken down into six teams.
The lead contact person for each team and contact info are listed

National Campus Outreach Teams:

1. Gulf Coast Colleges: (Leads: Latu Tapaatoutai @ and
Julia Lang @
2. Historically Black Colleges: (Leads: Tena Flores @,
Hanna @, Rochelle @,
Carlyn @, and Sonja @
3. Campus Service-Learning Centers (Leads: Roberto Garcia-Ceballos @, Marcus Kilgore @,
Alisia @ and Kristin Rasmussen @
4. National Campus Based Organizations [e.g., Campus Progress,
Amnesty International] (Leads: Harold Bell @,
Rochelle @
5. Campuses already engaged with GCCWP (Lead: Scott Myers-Lipton @

If you have any contacts or ideas for these teams, please contact the
lead person.

Please note that we also have a GCCWP team focusing on getting our 53
CA Congress members to co-sponsor HR 4048. We already have two (plus
Congressmember Lofgren, who introduced the bill). The lead person on
the CALY campaign is Chris Hauck @

REJUVENATING THE FIGHT FOR THE GULF COAST - SJSU Students Remind Community of Why They Struggle

For Immediate Release

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Contacts: Dr. Scott Myers-Lipton (510) 508-5382,
Angie Gil (650) 575-9674,


SJSU Students Remind Community of Why They Struggle

Location: Outside Amphitheatre 12:00 – 1:00 / Student Union from 1:00 – 6:00 pm

San Jose, CA – This Thursday the Gulf Coast Civic Works Project will hold its second annual Post-Katrina Summit. The day-long event, which consists of multiple activities, is a symbol that the fight must continue for victims of Hurricane Katrina. CC Campbell Rock--a native to New Orleans, a veteran journalist, and Katrina evacuee--is set to speak about the ills of one of the worst national disasters, as well as how it has affected our society. In addition to her attendance, there will also be a panel discussion with the students of the organization, a music performance, and a showing of Spike Lee's "When the Levees Broke."

The Gulf Coast Civic Works Project (GCCWP) is the national effort to pass HR 4048: The Gulf Coast Civic Works Act, which would create 100,000 jobs for Gulf Coast residents and evacuees to rebuild their communities. HR 4048 will provide our citizens with living wage jobs, make housing available for themselves and their communities, restore a sense of personal empowerment and hope, and restore faith among our citizenry of the government's ability to respond to the needs of our people.

The GCCWP, which is made up of students and faculty from San Jose State University, is no stranger to hard work. The collective has held several creative events over its 2-year lifespan in an attempt to get the country's support. Just last November the group participated in a campus wide sleep out, an event where students replicated the lives of homeless Gulf Coast residents and slept outside for a night. Students and faculty also orchestrated a Mardi Gras precession in February of this year, in which they recreated the family friendly events of the New Orleans staple.

The GCCWP has allied with regional partners (LA ACORN, All Congregations Together (ACT of New Orleans), Bayou Interfaith Shared Community Organizing [BISCO], Equity and Inclusion Campaign), as well as national partners (, RFK Human Rights Center, and Student Hurricane Network) to pass HR 4048.

Many of the SJSU students are well aware of their peers' efforts and say they are pleased to be around conscious students. Senior communications major Jason Jong said, "I think its critical that events like this take place so that we're constantly reminded of the tragedy; not the sad side of it but the side that tells you something needs to be done." He continued, "People need to understand that even though the Gulf Coast isn't on the news, doesn't mean that people's lives have been restored."