Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Day of Action for New Orleans

It's hard to believe that two years have gone by already while poor families in the gulf states continue to suffer ridiculous and preventable torment at the hands of the government elected to protect them. For this reason, I offer the following from Essence. Please spread the word and be a part wherever possible. No-one benefits from the despair and humiliation of others, especially our own. Make it known wherever you are in whatever way you can that we all deserve a life even after tragedy falls upon us.


The Essence Music Festival in New Orleans was a huge success. It brought more than $120 million, hope and moments of happiness to the city and raised the spirits of people throughout the region. But as the second anniversary of Hurricane Katrina approaches, the situation in New Orleans remains dire. Some 250,000 people are yet displaced throughout the nation, unable to return because they have no homes, no jobs nor the financial means to rebuild. Two years later, 70 schools in Orleans Parish are still closed. There are no mental health services and no hospitals to serve the uninsured poor. The $1.175 billion in federally appropriated funds for the Katrina rebuild and relief effort are being held up by FEMA.

Enough is enough! It's time for our community to stand up and take action. There must be a national outcry, a day of outrage, a day of protest, prayer and possibility that the media cannot ignore; a day on which we demand that our national decision makers redirect our tax dollars away from war and war profiteering to create a regional Marshall Plan that restores New Orleans and the Gulf Coast.

This is our call to action:

1. We demand our national leaders redirect tax dollars away from the war to create a regional Marshall Plan that restores New Orleans and the Gulf Coast.

2. We demand funding for the rebuilding of the levees, for the safety of the people of New Orleans.

3. We want to return to New Orleans and need expeditious housing and job assistance to come back home.

4. We demand adequate health care. No displaced child or adult should go sick, untreated or without medication because his or her state-based medical insurance is not valid in the state where they've been temporarily relocated.

5. We need government funding for mental health counseling and support services for those dealing with the aftermath of their loss.

This is what we're asking you to do:

1. Stand with us on Wednesday, August 29th, in New Orleans as we take to the streets for a massive demonstration and march, 10 AM - 4 PM, on Convention Center Blvd, directly across from the Morial Convention Center's Hall D.

2. Call your congressional and state representatives and the White House to demand the immediate restoration and betterment of New Orleans, Gulf Port, Biloxi and the entire Gulf Coast region. The toll-free number for the congressional switchboard is: (888) 226-0627. You can also email your Congressmen and women and senators by logging onto and, respectively.

3. We urge you to rally 10 family members, friends and colleagues to call their congressional leaders in a show of solidarity and protest and demand the restoration of the Gulf Coast region.

It's time for action. Let's take a stand.

We will be there

Bring umbrellas and water.

Log onto to get involved and register for 8/29, A Day of Presence: We Matter, We Care, We Act

Questions? Email us at or call us at (504) 304-7947.

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