Charlie Melancon (D-LA), Joseph Cao (R-LA), Rodney Alexander (R-LA), Gene Taylor (D-MS) and Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) are sending a powerful bipartisan Dear Colleague Letter to every member of Congress on June 1st urging them to mark the beginning of Hurricane season by co-sponsoring HR 2269, the Gulf Coast Civic Works Act. It states that:
“It is the responsibility of every Member of Congress to ensure that the federal government responds to the needs of all Americans. The Gulf Coast Civic Works Act ensures that real progress is made toward rebuilding and sustaining the Gulf Coast region.”
Also our friends from the KatrinaRitaVille Express and many GCCWC partners are in DC today kicking off Hurricane Season with a Press Conference in front of FEMA HQ in DC urging action on Gulf Coast recovery, see below:
*For Immediate Release:*
June 1, 2009
Contact: Sabrina Williams 202/728-9557 or 305/904-3960
****PRESS CONFERENCE TODAY 11AM****
*THE FEMA TRAILER “EXPERIENCE” COMES TO THE NATION’S CAPITAL *
Nearly four years has passed since Hurricane Katrina and thousands of families in the Gulf Coast region lost their homes. Due to government inaction many of these families have spent the past four years living in desperate conditions—FEMA trailers. June 1st marks the beginning of the 2009 hurricane season and FEMA’s eviction deadline for those who have no choice but to live in FEMA trailers. The airwaves will be filled with messages about the importance of preparedness and the government’s continuing inaction. A coalition of civil rights groups, affordable housing advocates, and Hurricane Katrina survivors are coming to the nation’s capitol to ask the question: What has the Obama Administration done to fix the problems that Gulf Coast residents continue to endure today, whether still displaced or at home? How prepared is the Obama Administration to deal with the ramifications and the devastation that poor displaced survivors of Hurricane Katrina are currently facing due to his inaction on Gulf Coast recovery within his first 100 days in office?
This is President Obama’s Gulf Coast now and nothing has been done yet to remedy the government’s failures. Survivors of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita are calling upon him to show his commitment to the Gulf Coast by August 29 (Hurricane Katrina anniversary). His actions will determine his commitment to the hurricane survivors and to other poor people of color who might find themselves displaced in the future due to another natural disaster.
The displaced residents and recovering communities of the Gulf Coast need the Obama Administration and Congress to:
· Develop and implement a permanent housing plan;
· Establish a preventive disaster recovery plan;
· Pass the Gulf Coast Civic Works Act (HR 2269); and
· Overhaul the Stafford Act.
Residents are fighting back! They are issuing a call to action and laying down the gauntlet for President Obama and Congress.
*Who:* Displaced Gulf Coat Residents and Human Rights Advocates
Harold Toussaint, New York Katrina-Rita Survivors Assembly
David Gauthe, BISCO Bayou Area Interfaith Shared Community Organizing (Thibodeaux, LA)
Trinh Le, Hope Community Development Agency (Biloxi, MS),
Jonathan Rhodes, Student Hurricane Network,
Stephen Bradberry, ACORN, (New Orleans, LA) and
Derrick Evans, Turkey Creek Community Initiatives, (Turkey Creek, MS)
*What: * Press Conference
*When: * Monday, June 1 11:00 AM
*Visual: * FEMA Trailer
*Where: *FEMA: 500 C Street S.W.Washington, D.C. 20472