Thursday, January 11, 2007

100,000 Katrina survivors rebuilding the Gulf

From the

A bold plan exists to bring Katrina survivors home to rebuild the Gulf.
Now, Congress just needs to make it a priority.

Dear Friends,

Last week, the Democrats launched their "100 hours" agenda--a plan to begin a "new direction for our country." Sadly, it says nothing about the federal government's continued abandonment of those left behind after Katrina.

A plan to bring survivors home exists. The Gulf Coast Civic Works Project would hire 100,000 displaced residents who want to return, providing them with training and jobs to rebuild their homes and communities. It's a solution that would rebuild the Gulf by investing in its residents, but Congress won't act without massive public support.

More than ever, those of us committed to justice for Katrina survivors must make our voices heard. I've joined in demanding that Congress put Katrina back on the agenda and implement a plan to help displaced residents return and rebuild. I wanted to you let about this effort and invite you to do the same.

Just click the link below:

What's being proposed is nothing new.

During the Great Depression, the federal government believed it had a responsibility to ensure that those hit hardest did not fall through the cracks. It also knew that those Americans wanted a hand up, not a handout.

So, in 1935, Congress created a program to hire out-of-work Americans to get things done to benefit their communities. Within 2 weeks of launching this unprecedented project, over 800,000 people were hired; within 2 months, 4.2 million were working to build bridges, roads, libraries, schools and other public facilities.

If we could put 4 million people to work in just 8 weeks in 1935, why can't we immediately put 100,000 people to work rebuilding the Gulf Coast?

The Gulf Coast Civic Works Project is a plan that makes sense--for displaced survivors, for the communities of the Gulf Coast, for the nation as a whole. It provides an opportunity to invest in Americans while reversing the most glaring problems that plague current rebuilding plans: gentrification, government waste, and massive corporate profiteering.

The Gulf Coast Civic Works Project is a great idea, but it can only happen with a groundswell of public support.

You can help by letting Congress know you're behind the idea--it only takes a moment:

Thank you!


At 9:45 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a native of New Orleans and for the last 10 years a resident of the MS Gulf Coast, I certainly appreciate all the efforts to help us. It has been an overwhelming wonderful component amidst the worst experience of my life. However, I disagree with this proposed program.

I disagree that what happened in NO was a racially-motivated occurence. The white residents of St. Bernard received even less help than NO. It was due to incompetence by the local and state governments. They were successful at getting a massive evacuation done before the storm, but completely lacking in plans for the standing flood that occurred afterwards. This is hard to believe since most of us knew what would happen since the 2-weeks flood after Hurricane Betsy (my family and I were there for Betsy).

Even Spike Lee said, after his When the Levees Broke film, that,

"From: August 25, 2006
Spike Lee: It's not just a black/white thing. I think class has a lot to do with it, too. Because, it's funny, I was in Venice when all of this was happening. But when I got to New Orleans, I was amazed to see St. Bernard's Parish got demolished just as much as the Lower 9th Ward, but they never showed the St. Bernard's Parish on television."

I agree that it is a class issue.

Regardless of whether we agree on where the blame lies, the real question is whether the proposed project will produce a solution, and I fear it will not. There are construction-related jobs aplenty in both LA and MS for anyone with a desire to work. The government does not need to provide those jobs. The problem is that there are no affordable places for workers to live with their families. Grants for the poor to rebuild have already been given (at least to the states) so further funding is not necessary.

The focus of the proposal is on a select group of New Orleans citizens which I believe shows a lack of familiarity with the events that have occurred in the Katrina-devastated area, both inside and outside New Orleans.

Thank you for your time.

Lisa P.


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