New Orleans March to Highlight Bad Policies in Rebuilding

For Immediate Release

Katrina Information Network
Contact: 

Evelyn Lynn: 504-251-2907
Safe Streets/Strong Communities Media Coordinator
Tara Young: 202-758-8804
Katrina Information Network National Coordinator

New Orleans March to Highlight Bad Policies in Rebuilding

Sankofa Second Line and Rally a Tour of Bad Recovery Policy

NEW ORLEANS - More
than a dozen community groups, several neighborhood associations and
hundreds of New Orleanians will gather for a Katrina commemoration
second line and rally on Friday, August 29, 2008 at 1 p.m.  The
event, titled "Sankofa: Remembering Storms of the Past, Building a
Brighter Future," will shine a spotlight on the ongoing disaster of bad
public policies that continue to stall communities and prevent
thousands of residents from returning after three years since Katrina
made landfall.

 

 "Neighbors
from across the city will stand together with displaced New Orleanians
to demand the right to determine our city's future - a future that
supports children and families, not these profiteering corporations,"
says Norris Henderson of Safe Streets/Strong Communities.  "We
want to expose the disastrous policies that have been imposed on us
without our input or consent and present a better way to build a safe,
strong community."

 

Residents are concerned about deep budget cuts in many human services programs.  According
to analysis by The Praxis Project, a Washington, DC based policy
advocacy group, the New Orleans City budget has increased by more than
500% since Katrina thanks to state and federal recovery revenues.  Much of the spending has been concentrated in business area development, increased policing and incarceration facilities.  However, schools and parks and other services have suffered deep cuts.  Some youth programs have been cut completely. 

 

"The
Mayor announced to the world that New Orleans was 'open for business'
but we're here to tell you that it is closed for families," says former
public housing resident Barbara Jackson.  "Five thousand demolished homes.  Eight thousand new jail beds. This is their one for one replacement plan for us."

 

This
second line is one of dozens of commemoration activities taking place
nationwide and is partially sponsored by the Right to the City
Alliance, a national network of community organizations working to
address access to housing, services and quality of life in urban areas. 

 

"We
will gather in eight cities including Los Angeles, New York City,
Oakland, Providence Rhode Island, San Francisco, Washington, D.C. and
Miami to call for an end to these misplaced priorities in the Gulf,"
says Denise Perry of Power U in Miami and the Right to the City
Alliance.  "We cannot forget about the thousands of former
New Orleans' residents that are still locked out of the region as
developers seek to remake the city into a playground for the rich." 

 

The second line route will wind along five symbolic points in New Orleans:

 

  • Site
    of the demolished BW Cooper housing development to underscore the
    housing crisis for the city's low income residents and the thousands
    still trying to return home (S. Galvez and Martin Luther King Blvd.)
  • Corner of Martin Luther King Blvd. and Claiborne Avenue - on the plight of day laborers and other immigrants.
  • The Greyhound bus station - the bus terminal was used as a makeshift jail in the days after Katrina.  Mayor
    Nagin and Governor Kathleen Blanco boasted that it symbolized the
    survival of New Orleans, as its first institution rebuilt (Caliope and
    Loyola Ave.).
  • Charity Hospital - The hospital stood for years serving the poor and uninsured.  It suffered little damage by Hurricane Katrina, but it remains closed (Gravier and Lasalle).  
  • Craig
    Elementary School - a symbol of the extreme cuts in education and
    opportunities for youth (St. Phillip St and N. Villiere.). 

 

The
second line in New Orleans will begin at the corner of South Galvez and
Martin Luther King Blvd. at 1 p.m. and end at 5 p.m. with a final rally
at the Treme Community Center (1600 St. Phillip Street, New Orleans).

 

For more information about the second line and rally, please call 504-522-3949 x223 or visit www.katrinaaction.org.

 

 

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