Groups Call On Federal Government To Remember The Unfinished Work In New Orleans
The work is not over in New Orleans according to several Gulf Coast groups that released a statement calling on the federal government to continue its efforts of cleaning up the mess left behind by Hurricane Katrina. The deadly storm’s 4-year anniversary is this Friday.
Four organizations teamed up with the Institute for Public Accuracy to outline the city’s continuing challenges. Most of the complaints are still directed at the federal government’s lack of attention to the rebuilding efforts.
In that press release Executive director of the Institute for Southern Studies, Chris Kromm said that Washington needs to take action.
“New Orleans and the Gulf Coast are still waiting for Washington to show leadership in the Katrina recovery. Four years after the storm, one out of three New Orleans addresses are still unoccupied — yet the Congressional district that includes New Orleans (LA-2) received the LEAST federal stimulus dollars of any district in the country. President Obama campaigned on his commitment to rebuild the Gulf Coast, but on issues from housing to health care, jobs and coastal protection, communities are waiting to see those promises turn into action.”
Kromm’s organization will be releasing a survey of over 50 groups, grading Obama’s record on Katrina rebuilding issues.
Monique Bonner is the executive director of Moving Forward Gulf Coast and leads a census coalition of residents and those still displaced by the hurricane in an effort to ensure that residents on the path to return will be counted where they are rebuilding.
“Right now, thousands of residents are still rebuilding against the odds. They are navigating tremendous red tape and almost negligible recovery assistance to get their homes rebuilt,” Bonner said. “Now, the government is saying even if you are actively rebuilding, you have to be counted where you are staying, not where you live. Unless the census makes special provisions for those displaced by Katrina, the government will be denying the region millions in funding. Given our already stressed public infrastructure, it will be like Katrina hitting us all over again.”
Meanwhile, the city’s mayor Ray Nagin believes that the situation in New Orleans is improving, citing lower rates of poverty and stronger infrastructure.