CommunityPam's House Blend

People's rebuke of Dear Leader today at NOLA photo op today, 2PM

Scout Prime passed this along. It looks like the Commander of Incompetence will be met with some frank expression of frustration and anger from Katrina survivors at 2PM today at the Samuel Green School in NOLA.

We live in a devastated city and you are a big part of the reason why it sill sits in ruins. Your administration has abandoned our children by savaging their public schools. Your administration has tortured our working class people by refusing to reopen the city’s public housing developments. And your administration is fully complicit in placing our uninsured in harms way by ruthlessly pursuing the privatization of local public healthcare in the aftermath of Katrina. And, finally your administration is guilty of sending our sons and daughters of to war for oil and empire just when we need them most to help us rebuild our community.

Sponsors of the meeting include the United Front For Affordable Housing and Survivors Village.

It’s 18 months after Katrina, and the stalled recovery of the region and lack of Congressional action is mind-boggling. You can read about the scope of the crisis in the the Institute of Southern Studies‘ Gulf Coast Reconstruction Watch report A New Agenda for the Gulf (pdf). Some of the depressing stats are after the jump.From the press release, which is up at ISS’s blog Facing South:

* A lack of affordable housing is still a major problem; over 100,000 are still living in FEMA trailers or receiving housing aid. Congress can quickly help Gulf residents get back into homes by speeding up compensation to homeowners; extending aid to renters; cracking down on insurance companies that denied coverage; and reversing HUD’s decision to raze 5,000 barely-damaged public housing units in New Orleans.

* Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast’s health care system, especially for the most vulnerable, and plans to use a Medicaid waiver and Medicare pilot project have been delayed. Washington can help by re-starting these efforts; linking displaced patients with care; and injecting resources into community-based clinics.

* The region’s economy is still hobbling and good jobs are scarce, yet efforts like the Bush Administration’s “Gulf Opportunity Zones” have been scattershot and ineffective. Attaching accountability standards to federal subsidies, as well as launching a Gulf Civic Works Program to hire 100,000 displaced people to rebuild, would boost the region’s revivial.

* The 2007 hurricane season is less than four months away, but the Gulf’s storm defenses are still woefully inadequate; three scientific studies have blasted the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ levee plans. Gulf advocates are calling for prompt building of levees that can withstand a Category 5 hurricane, and for Congress to create a commission to investigate levee failures and cancel wasteful projects like the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet.

President Bush and Congressional leaders claim that over $100 billion has been spent on Katrina recovery, but the report notes that this spending has been undermined by “missteps, delays and general lack of creative vision.” Money has often bypassed those in need; for example, rebuilding contracts worth over $8 billion — many given to politically connected firms without open bidding — are under investigation for fraud and abuse.

He’s the decider, isn’t he?

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding