Gulf Coast Civic Works Act:
“Green” Jobs to Rebuild America’s Gulf Coast Communities
No region of the United States has a greater need for rebuilding its infrastructure and restoring its environment than America’s Gulf Coast. The Gulf Coast Civic Works Act funds “green” resident-led recovery projects, building on the success of community organizations in Gulf Coast recovery, to help meet the overwhelming unmet needs of the individuals, families, and communities devastated by hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Gustav, and Ike. The program would be a pilot project administered by the Office of Gulf Coast Recovery and Rebuilding using a hybrid model to partner directly with communities in planning, overseeing and administering recovery projects to assist the survivors of these disasters, provide communities with tools to build resilience against the impact of future disasters and revitalize the region economically. The bill would create a minimum of 100,000 prevailing wage jobs and training opportunities for local and displaced workers on projects reinvesting in infrastructure and restoring the coastal environment utilizing emerging green building techniques and technologies. This program would empower residents to realize their right to return with dignity and create stronger, safer, and more equitable communities.
Rebuilds Vital Public Infrastructure and Restores the Environment
- Rebuilds and repairs vital infrastructure including schools, police and fire stations, hospitals, parks, roads, water and sewer systems, workforce housing, and cultural centers.
- Builds equitable flood protection and restores natural flood protection such as barrier island, marshes and wetlands that defend the livelihood of coastal families and billions of dollars of Gulf Coast commerce, including a majority of our nation’s energy infrastructure.
- Enhances energy efficiency and conservation to save on energy costs and eliminate carbon emissions to better protect vulnerable populations from the effects of climate change.
- Serves as a national model for building on the strength of community action and engaging residents in disaster recovery and sustainable economic development.
Creates Good “Green” Jobs and Provides Job Training
- Creates 100,000 good wage jobs and training opportunities for Gulf Coast residents and encourages contractors to provide opportunities for apprenticeship and on-the-job training.
- Encourages cutting edge green building techniques and technologies to minimize carbon emissions and energy needs, preparing workers and businesses for this growing industry.
- Creates a Civic Conservation Corps for young workers to train a new generation to restore the coastline and provide much needed economic opportunities for area youth.
Spurs Equitable and Sustainable Community Development
- Encourages equitable development engaging community leaders and local officials to determine projects based on community needs through innovative local advisory councils.
- Focuses benefits locally through first source hiring provisions for locals and displaced.
- Engages community organizations in federal development and recovery projects.
- Strengthens workforce by providing jobs, much needed skills training and additional funding for community colleges and training facilities.
- Creates contracting opportunities for local businesses.
Requires Accountability and Community Oversight
- Works with the Office of Gulf Coast Recovery and Rebuilding to provide oversight and transparency, give logistical and administrative assistance, and allocate funding to the local communities through a resident-driven grant-making process.
- Involves communities in overseeing contractors to avoid waste and fraud.
For More Information about the Gulf Coast Civic Works Act contact:
Jeffrey Buchanan, RFK Center firstname.lastname@example.org
Stephen Bradberry, ACORN email@example.com
Diane Yentel, Oxfam America firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Scott Myers Lipton, GCCWP email@example.com
Ore Alao, Equity & Inclusion Campaign firstname.lastname@example.org