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Help Displaced Gulf Coast Residents Return Home

Two and a half months after Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast, the Bush Administration is doing little to create the conditions needed for the region’s low-income African American, Native American, and immigrant residents to return home.

With the region’s infrastructure, housing stock, and economy badly damaged, few of those displaced can return to the Gulf Coast without assurances that basic needs will be met. At a minimum, they need decent, affordable housing; well-paying jobs; services like electricity, clean water, and health care; and a voice in determining how their cities are rebuilt. But according to local organizers and media reports, when it comes to helping the region’s low-income communities of color, the federal government is continuing the same pattern of inaction and delay it exhibited when Katrina first struck.

One eyewitness said: “White New Orleans is steadily coming back, and Black New Orleans is moving out. A grassroots organizer with New Orleans Network tells me she has been speaking to people in every moving truck she sees. She reports that in every case, 'they’re Black, they are renters, they’re moving out of New Orleans, and they say they would stay, if they had a choice.’” Civil rights lawyer Bill Quigley points out, “The longer the poor and working class of new Orleans stay away, the more likely it is that they’ll never return.” (See below for links to background information.)

While the federal government neglects its responsibilities, grassroots groups rooted in the Gulf Coast’s African-American communities have launched efforts to rebuild the Gulf Coast from the ground up. United for Peace and Justice urges you to support these efforts.

From United for Peace

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