Friday, April 17, 2009
New Orleans - a petition
I'm back from New Orleans and still processing all that we saw and experienced. I'll be posting more on this in the future to be sure. In the meantime, Robert Green sent me this petition. I signed it and think it's tremendously important - please sign it and share the link. Here's the text:
"On August 29th , 2005 Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans. The hurricane terrorized the whole city. Many, fortunate enough to evacuate, did so in frightful haste. The many poor, were left behind to weather the storm and fend for themselves. Katrina came and with it, a storm surge 13 to 18 feet high. The remaining residents of Lower 9th Ward persevered and then…. The federally built levees broke. Over 1,300 lives were lost, 22,000 homes were destroyed, and hundreds of thousands of people were dislocated. The federal government, slow to initially respond eventually showed up, after national outrage over President Bush and FEMA’s performance. The surviving and returning residents of the Lower 9th Ward found their once thriving community, obliterated. They were ground zero. They buried their dead and salvaged what little possessions that were left, and hoped for help. After months of waiting, President Bush and Congress responded by allocating billions of dollars towards rebuilding the Gulf Coast Region including New Orleans. Over three years later, 99% of the Lower 9th Ward has still not been rebuilt. Not one major housing development by Federal, State or Local government has taken place. Over 2,200 homes were lost in the Lower 9th Ward. Actor Brad Pitt has committed to eventually building 150 homes in the community. To date, less than 15 have been built. His project has proven however that there is a viable way to rebuild the Lower 9th Ward with housing that is stronger, safer and smarter. We applaud his efforts. Unlike him, the government has ignored the Lower 9th Ward and with your support, we seek to change that! We of the Rebuild the Lower Ninth Ward Coalition have a plan to rebuild the housing, schools, recreation and commercial establishments lost to Katrina. The funding to accomplish this goal has already been allocated but the “will” by State and Local government, is not. They have been busy spending rebuilding funds in other parts of the city to the exclusion of the hardest hit community in New Orleans, ground zero, the Lower 9th Ward. Our new President Barack Obama has stated it best, “This will be a priority of my presidency. And I will make clear to members of my administration that their responsibilities don’t end in places like the 9th Ward –they begin there.” We intend to keep him to his word and you can help! Sign our petition, encourage your family, friends, churches and schools to do the same! Together, we can help this community, that have lost everything. It’s the right thing to do, and the American thing to do! Give your support and prove that after a natural disaster we take care of our own! If you would like Rebuild the Lower Ninth Ward Coalition updates, please include contact information on the petition."
again - here's the link to sign
And here are a few more photos of what much of the lower 9th ward still looks like. It's a disgrace that this has been allowed to happen.