Tuesday, July 03, 2007

VICTORIA CHAVEZ speech from 7/3/07 AJR22 hearing

On behalf of the students from SJSU Gulf Coast Civic Works Project and the 40 other universities 8 of which are in California would like to thank Sally Lieber and the fellow members of the state assembly for inviting us to speak on behalf of the non-binding resolution AJR22.

As California residents we hold a particular interest in lending support for a public works program for reconstructing the gulf coast because of our particular vulnerability to natural disasters. If we were to undergo a natural disaster such as a massive earthquake in the bay area we would hope to expect immediate relief and reconstruction efforts. We do not want to stand over the rubble of our homes waiting for help to arrive a week later and a solution two years after that.

This understanding is what led 15 campuses across the nation to participate in Louisiana winter this past January. during our visit to the gulf coast we heard first hand accounts during town hall meetings of residents primary concerns; some of which centered around rebuilding and taking part in the reconstruction themselves.

Similarly during a solidarity dinner held at SJSU during one day of the national post Katrina awareness summit we were fortunate enough to connect with Katrina survivors currently living in the Bay Area. They reiterated the humble desire of returning home, and having a home to return to - it is a human right that any displaced individual has the right to return home and the federal government is responsible for providing adequate aid.

California is a politically influential state and its support of a non-binding resolution for the reconstruction of the gulf coast will not only drive our efforts, but it will push the federal government into action. we really need the state assembly to support AJR 22 in order to further our efforts in providing the Gulf Coast with a viable and promising reconstruction plan.

Sociology Major
San Jose State University
Community Change Concentration


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