Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Students, Faith, & Community Groups to Hold Rally at Rep. Miller's Office

Ysenia Sepulveda, GCCWP student organizer,
(510) 828-5503, isyjsepulveda@att.net
Eric Acedo, GCCWP student organizer,
(408) 710-7092, cireodecamah@aol.com

Students, Faith, & Community Groups to Hold Rally at Rep. Miller's Office, Groups Call for Action on Human Rights Crisis in the Gulf Coast Friday, March 19th at noon

SAN JOSE, CA – FEBRUARY 19 – The Gulf Coast Civic Works Project, the national student movement to pass the Gulf Coast Civic Works Act (HR 2269), along with the San Jose/Silicon Valley NAACP, the Bay Area Katrina Solidarity Network, and faith-based groups from the East Bay, will hold a rally in front of Rep. George Miller's office (1333 Willow Pass Road, Suite 203, Concord) on Friday, March 19th at noon.

The goal will be to highlight the continuing human rights crisis in the Gulf Coast. As a response to the crisis, 43 Congress members and 250+ organizations are calling on the passage of HR 2269, which is a federal bill to create 100,000 jobs for local and displaced residents to rebuild infrastructure and restore their environment.

The Gulf Coast Civic Works Act was first introduced into Congress two years and four months ago, where it was sent to the Education and Labor Committee, currently chaired by Rep. George Miller. Since then, its supporters have waited patiently for a hearing on the bill. However, almost 2 and 1/2 years later, no action has been taken on the HR 2269.

As HR 2269 languishes in Committee, the human rights crisis in the Gulf Coast continues, as housing, schools, and hospitals have been slow to return, thus making it very difficult for residents to return to their homes. For example, in New Orleans, 69,727 residential addresses are unoccupied, 71% of the schools are still closed, 57% of child care centers are closed, and 44% of the hospitals are closed. In Mississippi, there is a lack of affordable housing to absorb the 1,000s of households in FEMA temporary housing programs. The good news is that there is $19 billion of federal money not obligated and unspent that could be used for GCCW projects.

What we are asking from Rep. Miller is this: (1) to include HR 2269 in the upcoming Congressional jobs bill or (2) commit to hold a hearing for HR 2269 in the spring/summer.

Support continues to grow for the Gulf Coast Civic Works Act. Most recently, the Biloxi City Council, passed a resolution in support of the Gulf Coast Civic Works Act. This action by the Biloxi City Council follows the decision by New Orleans, Lafouche, and Terrebonne Parishes, three Louisiana parishes that have passed similar resolutions in support of HR 2269.