New Orleans

New Orleans RIght Now (Dec 13, 2005)

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Dear Friends and Citizens,

The battle for New Orleans has not turned in our favor.

We face great odds.

Our plight can not be imagined.

The opposition we are up against meets behind closed doors in Washington planning our future and our childrens' future without us.

And though our resolve remains steadfast, the truth is, it is not enough.

We who represent only a small fraction of the true hearts of New Orleanians who have been able to return since the hurricanes are still too few in number.

Large tracts of homes in centries' old neighborhoods are at great risk of being taken from families who once lived their and deeded to large real estate moguls whose coiffures include the U.S. Treasury.

These largely invisible institutions which are manipulating buy-outs of these neighborhoods intend to restore those homes to their original conditions but not for their original inhabitants.

Their intention to repopulate the city of New Orleans does not include the interests of our real heritage and cultural history.

Federal and state commissions which have been set up to enact these so-called "new" models for urban planning are based solely on profiteering and financial greed.

It is strictly about money, money, money.

Not us.

Not the New Orleans you and I, and countless generations before us, love and know.

The abnegation of this simple truth must be dealt with in the clearest manner.

It is imperative that we combine our efforts and continue to write letters to Washington, and organize public protests, on behalf of the citizens and city of New Orleans.

I've included one such letter below by Marci Davis, in Austin Tx.

Please forward this email to anyone who will bring critical attention to our terrible predicament.

The soul of our city is diappearing.

Without actions and without your words, this great city and this great community, and everything that it ever was, will be wiped out and cease to exist.

This matter is urgent, and adding your voice to this purpose is our only hope.

Stand together with us.

Our strength is in numbers.

It always has been.

Do not delay.

Yours Sincerely,
Dave Brinks




LETTER TO CONGRESS

The Holidays are a time to celebrate with family and friends, and to savor the good things in our lives.And in successful, happy, functioning families, there is a sharing of talents and resources; a synergy that creates a greater whole. Since August 28th, 2005, New Orleans has been a family member in trouble. What is being asked on behalf of New Orleans? A major step to getting this great city back on its feet is the building of a levee system that can withstand a level 5 hurricane. Estimates say that 80% of the citizens of New Orleans have not returned, and a major factor is the state of the levees. Another issue is the lack of basic services, such as hospitals and public schools, and a third hurdle is the scarcity of available, affordable, and habitable housing stock, and the rampant housing inflation of what is on the market.Besides the fact that the strength of America rests on her reputation for fairness, largess, and justice, it is not simple charity that would have us come to the aid of this fallen Grande dame.The importance of New Orleans for America's internal esteem and outer prestige cannot be overstated. New Orleans is a symbol of art, culture, and commerce. It is iconic and emblematic of the great gumbo of cultures that is America, and one of the cities that people the world over love to visit. Many maintain an emotional and cultural connection to The Crescent City, the birthplace of Jazz.

What does it do to our national psyche to have it lie in ruin and decay, unprotected and vulnerable to mere wind and rain? If we can't protect one of our national treasures, how can we feel safe and prosperous and proud? How do we maintain a position of moral authority when the shame of economic and racial inequality that was laid bare when Katrina blew in is not addressed? And what does this demonstrate about America's ability and willingness to recover from a disaster, whether natural or through terrorism? The world is watching us. I hope that I've imparted even a portion of my energy, passion and devotion for this unique city.If I have, I'd like to ask that we consider these three steps in the rebuilding of New Orleans. 1) Building and maintaining a levee system able to withstand a level 5 hurricane. 2) Rebuilding the infrastructure. 3) Working to restore the stock of affordable housing, so that the people who add the piquant sauce to this great city can once again afford to live there.Thank you so much for taking the time and care to read this heart-felt plea.Best wishes to you, and yours, during this festive holiday season,
                         
Marci Davis105 West 38 ½ Street #205, Austin, TX 78751
512.206.4424  /  probityandfriction@yahoo.com




List of contacts:  Senators of the 109th Congress: For addresses and emails of U.S. SENATORS, go here: http://www.senate.gov/    The White HouseMailing Address The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500  
Phone Numbers Comments:   202-456-1111
Switchboard: 202-456-1414
FAX:             202-456-2461 TTY/TDD Comments:      202-456-6213
Visitors Office: 202-456-2121  
Vice President Richard Cheney: vice_president@whitehouse.gov

comments@whitehouse.gov





Dept. of Education:

Margaret Spellings, U.S. Secretary of Education
The Secretary is responsible for the overall direction, supervision, and coordination of all activities of the Department and is the principal adviser to the President on federal policies, programs, and activities related to education in the U.S.

Edward R. McPherson, Under Secretary of Education
As the under secretary of education, McPherson serves as Chief Operating Officer of the Department, overseeing the effective investment and management of the Department's grants, loans, contracts and related services. The Department of Education invests an annual budget in excess of $66 billion to promote excellence in education throughout America and manages student loans, grants and guarantees of approximately $400 billion.

U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20202





U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works:

Chairman, James M. Inhofe, Oklahoma
410 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington D.C. 20510- 6175

Ranking Member, James M. Jeffords, Vermont
456 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington D.C. 20510-6175

Transcript from the Senate Committee Hearing 11/17/05, opening statement from James M. Inhofe
"Before we get too far down the road of deciding what we should do when rebuilding, we first must understand happened to the levees and why the city was flooded. If mistakes were made in the past, they must be rectified. There are a number of experts here today that have been taking a look at this very issue, and while it is too early for final conclusions, some preliminary assessments have already been made. I understand that the Army Corps of Engineers has been making some adjustments when restoring the current protection to take into account these initial findings.
This hearing is especially important in that it will help bring into focus the degree to which the preliminary findings on the failure of the levees are being incorporated into the restoration of hurricane protection in Louisiana. Repairs to the levee system must begin now in order to prepare for the next hurricane season, which means that we can't wait for the final reports to begin the rebuilding. Conversely, if preliminary findings suggest areas of weakness in levee design or construction, it is important to incorporate those preliminary findings in near-term restoration efforts. The challenge we have at hand is incorporating the lessons learned from the ongoing assessment of levee performance while simultaneously restoring the levee system to pre-hurricane design standards."
Email: help_comments@help.senate.gov





Housing: Secretary of Housing & Development Alphonso Jackson
www.hud.gov
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
451 7th Street S.W., Washington, DC 20410
Telephone: (202) 708-1112   TTY: (202) 708-1455

updated: 12 years ago