Campaign Applauds Job-Creating Gulf Coast Recovery Legislation

For Immediate Release

Gulf Coast Civic Works Campaign
Contact: 

Jainey Bavishi, Equity and Inclusion Campaign, Jainey@equityandinclusion.org (225) 772-2714;
Dr. Scott Myers Lipton, GCCWP, smlipton@gmail.com (510) 508-5382;
Diane Yentel, Oxfam America, dyentel@oxfamamerica.org (202) 496-1304;
Jeffrey Buchanan, RFK Center, buchanan@rfkmemorial.org (202) 257-9048;

Campaign Applauds Job-Creating Gulf Coast Recovery Legislation

The Newly Introduced Bipartisan Gulf Coast Civic Works Act (HR 2269) Promotes Infrastructure, Training, Comprehensive Flood Protection and Energy Efficiency.

WASHINGTON - The Gulf Coast Civic Works Campaign, a diverse
national partnership of community, environmental, faith-based, human rights and
student organizations, applauds the introduction this afternoon of bipartisan
legislation to rebuild more equitable and resilient communities across the
areas still recovering from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in Alabama, Louisiana,
Mississippi and Texas. 

The Gulf
Coast Civic Works Act of 2009 (H.R. 2269) would create 100,000
"green" living wage jobs and training opportunities for Gulf Coast
residents and displaced people to rebuild critical infrastructure, restore natural
flood protection and increase energy efficiency.  This important
legislation allows the federal government to partner directly with local
leaders and non-profits to address remaining recovery challenges while building
resilience to climate change, mitigating the effects of future deadly storms
and confronting poverty. It also addresses the challenges faced by internally
displaced, elderly, disabled, women, low income, immigrant and minority
communities.

HR 2269 was introduced in the U.S. House yesterday afternoon by
Representatives Zoe Lofgren (CA), Joseph Cao (LA), Charlie Melancon (LA), Gene
Taylor (MS), John Conyers (MI), Barbara Lee (CA), John Lewis (GA), Peter Stark
(CA), and Charlie Rangel (NY). 

Learn more about the bill at http://gccwc.wordpress.com.

Almost four years after Hurricane Katrina, our nation's largest
natural disaster, America's
Gulf Coast remains a domestic human rights
crisis.  As we approach the 2009 Hurricane Season beginning June 1st,
levees remain vulnerable, tens of thousands of people have not been able to
return home, schools, hospitals and transportation infrastructure remains
damaged, and residents continue to struggle for access to affordable housing
and living wage jobs.

"Nonprofit and community groups have been the heroic leaders of
the citizen-led Gulf
Coast recovery.  The
Gulf Coast Civic Works Act will efficiently allocate funds for job creation and
infrastructure development, two significant recovery needs, by avoiding layers
of governmental red tape and dispersing funds directly to the entities,
regardless of sector, which are ready to do the work," said
Jainey Bavishi, director of the Equity and Inclusion Campaign, a coalition of
organizations working on recovery across Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi.

"ACORN finds the Gulf Coast Civic Works Act to be a reasonable
and viable pilot project not just for rebuilding the Gulf Coast from the 2005
hurricane season but for providing a community driven recovery plan for any and
every part of America where natural or other disasters occur," said
Bertha Lewis, Chief Organizer/CEO of ACORN. "Locals should be at the
forefront of recovery and rebuilding of communities following hurricanes,
floods, fires, or even bridge collapses. Our infrastructure is in need of
repair nationwide and ACORN believes HR 2269 provides a valuable blueprint for
how that can happen."

"This legislation takes an important step towards assuring that
communities that are most vulnerable to the direct effects of climate change be
able to prepare for and adapt to those impacts by building resilience and
reducing risk," said Rhonda Jackson,
Gulf Coast Program Manager, Oxfam America. "The bill would create jobs to
assist in restoring the Gulf
Coast's first line of
defense against hurricanes and floods by rebuilding the coastline and will
employ local citizens in this important work."

"The introduction--and hopefully quick passage--of the Gulf Coast
Civic Works Act, is important not just for the Gulf Coast
but the entire nation," said Dr. Scott Myers Lipton, co-founder of the
Gulf Coast Civic Works Project, a student advocacy organization with members on
over 30 campuses across the nation. "This legislation, with its focus on
enlisting communities in their own restoration and expanding opportunity
provides the Obama Administration and Congress with an effective new model for
disaster recovery and infrastructure development."

"Passing
HR 2269 would be a bold stand for the fundamental rights of displaced and
low-income Gulf Coast
residents," said Monika Kalra Varma,
Director of the Robert
F. Kennedy
Center for Human Rights.
"The right to participate in recovery, to return home with dignity and
safety, and to decent work opportunities - these are the basic human
rights that we have denied survivors of hurricanes Katrina and Rita for too
long."

Marking
the beginning of the 2009 Hurricane Season, on May 30th - June 1st
the Gulf Coast Civic Works Campaign will be bringing 400 advocates to Washington D.C.
for training and meetings with members of Congress and the new Administration
advocating for this critical legislation. For more information on how to
participate in these events and support the legislation please visit: http://gccwc.wordpress.com

Gulf Coast Civic Works Campaign partner organizations include:

232-HELP/Louisiana
211

ACORN

ACT
All Congregations Together

Alabama
Appleseed Center
for Law & Justice, Inc.

Alabama
Arise

Baptist
Peace Fellowship of North America

Bay
Area Women Coalition, Inc.

Bayou
Grace Community Services

Biloxi
NAACP

BISCO
Bayou Interfaith Shared Community Organizing

BIT
Bayou Interfaith Together

CDC
58:12, Inc.

Center
for Ethical Living and Social Justice Renewal

Churches
Supporting Churches

Clergy
Strategic Alliances, LLC

ColorofChange.org

Commission
on Stewardship of the Environment, Louisiana
Interchurch Conference

Common
Ground Health Clinic

Common
Ground Relief, Inc.

COPE
Congregations Organizing People for Equality

Dando
la Mano / Extending a Hand

Desire
Street Ministries NOLA

Disciples
Justice Action Network (Disciples of Christ)

Episcopal
Network for Economic Justice

Equity
and Inclusion Campaign

First
Pilgrims Baptist JEDC-HDM

First
Unitarian Universalist
Church of New Orleans, Social Justice Team

Franciscan
Action Network

Friends
Committee on National Legislation

FUEL
Faith United for Empowerment and Leadership

Gert
Town Revival Initiative, Inc.

Global
Green USA

Gulf
Coast
Civic Works Project

Gulf
Restoration Network

Holy
Cross Neighborhood Association

Hope
Community Development Agency

Institute
for Human Rights and Responsibilities, Inc.

Institute
of Women & Ethnic Studies

Interfaith
Alliance

Jewish
Council for Public Affairs

Jewish
Reconstructionist Federation

JustFaith
Ministries

Lawyers
Committee for Civil Rights Under Law

Louisiana
Conference of The UMC Disaster Reponses, Inc

Lower
Ninth Ward
Center
for Sustainable Engagement and Development

Maria
Iñamagua Campaign for Justice

May
Day New Orleans

Mennonite
Central Committee-New Orleans

MICAH
Project

Minnesota
Tenants Union

Minnesota-New
Orleans
Solidarity Committee

Mississippi
Center
for Justice

Mississippi
Coast
Interfaith Disaster Task Force

Mississippi
Immigrants Rights Alliance

Mississippi
Low Income Child Care Initiative

Moore
Community House

MPOWER
Mississippi
Poultry Workers for Equality and Respect

MQVN
Community Development Corporation

National
Council of Churches

National
Council of Jewish Women

National
Economic and Social Rights Initiative

National
Employment Law Project

National
Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference

National
Lawyers Guild - Minnesota
Chapter

National
Policy and Advocacy Council on Homelessness (NPACH)

NETWORK,
a National Catholic Social Justice Lobby

New Orleans
East Cooperative Parish

New
Orleans Institute

New Orleans
Neighborhood Development Collaborative

New
Voices, Academy for Educational Development

Northside
Neighbors for Justice

Oak
Park Civic Association

Ouachita
Riverkeeper

Oxfam
America

Pax
Christi USA

PICO
Louisiana  

Presbyterian
Church (U.S.A.) Washington Office

Providence
Community Housing

Puentes
New Orleans, Inc.

Renaissance
Neighborhood Development Corporation

Retired
Senior Volunteer Program

Robert
F. Kennedy
Center
for Justice and Human Rights

Samuel
Dewitt Proctor Conference

Sierra
Club, Delta Chapter

Soria
City
Civic Organization

Special
Commission on the Just Rebuilding of the Gulf Coast,
National Council of Churches

Squandered
Heritage

St.
Bernard Project

STEPS
Coalition

Student
Hurricane Network

Survivors
Village New Orleans

Terrebonne
Readiness & Assistance Coalition - TRAC

Texas
Environmental Justice Advocacy Services, (t.e.j.a.s.)

The
Episcopal Church

The
Episcopal Diocese of Louisiana
Office of Disaster Response

The
Latino Leadership Circle

The
Presbytery of South Louisiana Recovery

The
Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association

Turkey
Creek Community Initiatives

Union
of Black Episcopalians

Unitarian
Universalist Association of Congregations

Unitarian
Universalist Service Committee

United
Hearts Community Action Agency, Inc.

UNITY
of Greater New Orleans
with Common Ground Institute

Women
In Construction, Moore
Community House

Workers
Emergency Relief Campaign

Youth
Inspirational Connection, Inc.

Youthanasia
Foundation

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