Monday, July 21, 2008

Support the Gulf Coast Works Act of 2008

It has been nearly three years since Hurricanes Katrina and Rita devastated the gulf coast region, leaving behind a wake of suffering and human misery unmatched in recent American history. Sadly, the victims of this crisis are still suffering and residents of the Gulf Coast region are still waiting for the government to do the right thing by investing in the region, cleaning up and rebuilding New Orleans and surrounding communities. The scale of this crisis is unimaginable for a modern, developed nation with the industrial strength and collective will we have to remedy the situation. As a country, it is time for us to come together and call for justice for the victims of Katrina and Rita with a comprehensive, public works program designed to address the real needs of people who are still suffering from this natural disaster.

In New Orleans and surrounding regions, people continue to suffer from unhealthy living conditions. Many areas lack basic social services and there always remains the looming threat of Mother Nature once again taking more. We have the means to address this crisis. Recently Congress introduced the Gulf Coast Works Act, which is designed to restore the region. The Gulf Coast Works Act will ensure that real progress is made toward restoring the environment, rebuilding infrastructure, and revitalizing the workforce of the area. The Act will provide 100,000 job opportunities for residents to rebuild their communities and it will create incentives for local and national business to participate in the redevelopment of the Gulf Coast region.

If this bill is introduced into the Senate I will work to support this companion legislation as a candidate and work to ensure that all victims of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita have the opportunity to rebuild their lives and make New Orleans the city it truly deserves to be. Real solutions to the problems of jobs, infrastructure development and environmental restoration are possible with the collective participation of our entire society. Unfortunately, at a time when the people of New Orleans really needed our support our President was too busy waging war halfway around the world. Instead of dealing with the real crisis at home, the Bush administration and FEMA largely neglected the disaster which had struck the gulf region, betraying a fundamental trust that the people have in government that it will be there at times of national crisis.

Thankfully, some people still believe that when disaster strikes, we the people will respond. In addition to the numerous private efforts which have accomplished many good works since 2005, the federal government has finally woken up to the reality of the situation and is finally going to do something right. The Gulf Coast Works Act will create a federal authority with the ability to implement and coordinate the necessary federal response in the event of a future natural disaster in the region. It will put people to work rebuilding vital infrastructure and restoring the environment and it will spur sustainable development in the community, giving people a sense of dignity and justice.

By working to rebuild the roads, levees, police stations, schools, firehouses and public utilities in the gulf region we are rebuilding America. By cleaning up the marshes, wetlands and restoring the natural ecology of the region we are protecting the planet. By serving as a national model for disaster recovery and infrastructure development we are protecting the future.

for more information on the Gulf Coast Civic Works Act please visit:

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