COLUMBUS, Ohio - July 15 -
Louisiana ACORN vice president Lanny Roy and La. State Rep. Elcie Guillary shared messages of success for minimum wage initiatives and hurricane rebuilding efforts with journalists covering the 2006 ACORN National Convention July 8-10 in Columbus, Ohio.
Louisiana ACORN has been working for the rights of return of Hurricane Katrina victims, while leading efforts to clean and gut homes and rebuild devastated areas.
New Orleans ACORN has gutted out more than 1,400 homes since December, and has partnered with architectural departments from Pratt Institute and Cornell University to redevelop neighborhoods.
“They wanted to take the Lower 9th Ward and turn it into a tourist attraction; ACORN blocked that,’’ Roy said. “We’re now asking them to rebuild the homes of all who want to return.’’
The 2006 ACORN National Convention is the first for Rep. Guillary, a longtime ACORN member, who is serving his fourth term in the statehouse.
“Representative Guillary never forgot his roots and has been working diligently to raise the minimum wage and living wages,’’ Roy said. “Many people are working hard everyday for slave wages. This has to stop, and we’re confident we will get the job done in Louisiana.’’
Rep. Guillary said the Louisiana legislature increased the minimum wages of state employees, and he is personally working on increasing the wage in the private sector.
“We have our foot in the door,’’ Rep. Guillary said. “With the help of Mr. Lanny Roy, and ACORN, who has been very helpful, we’re hopeful to get the state of Louisiana to pass a minimum wage and living wage in the private sector.’’
Rep. Guillary said he has been working diligently to bring residents displaced by Hurricane Katrina back home.
“We are well on our way to bring people back home,’’ Rep. Guillary said. “What Congress has to do now is to release the money, and we’re ready to go.’’
“Hurricane Katrina and Rita may have been the worst natural disasters to hit Louisiana,’’ Roy said. “Louisiana ACORN has been at the forefront weeks after the disaster hit. Bush said there was no more money for Gulf Coast rebuilding, but Louisiana ACORN showed up with 500 members in Washington, D.C., in February with HUD, and FEMA, and rallied in front of the White House. The next week, President Bush ordered $19 billion more dollars for the Gulf Coast region, and $4.2 billion specifically for Louisiana.’’
After New Orleans ACORN members Gwen Adams and Vanessa Johnson Gueringer made presentations on Hurricane Katrina recovery efforts to convention delegates, Louisiana ACORN members rocked the house with the song “Ain’t No Stopping Us Now.’’