Open Letter to Pres.-Elect Obama, Speaker Pelosi and Leader Reid: Include Gulf Coast Civic Works in Economic Recovery Act

For Immediate Release

Contact: 

Dr. Scott Myers-Lipton, (510) 508-5382, smlipton@sjsu.edu

Gulf Coast Civic Works Program

Open Letter to Pres.-Elect Obama, Speaker Pelosi and Leader Reid: Include Gulf Coast Civic Works in Economic Recovery Act

WASHINGTON - President-Elect Barack Obama and Majority
Leader Harry Reid, and Speaker Nancy Pelosi received letters urging the signing
of an Executive Order authorizing the Gulf Coast Civic Works Program and the
inclusion of $6.7 billion for Gulf Coast Civic Works projects to rebuild
communities, restore the coastal environment and revitalize local economies in
the American Economic Recovery and Reinvestment Act.  The letters were
signed by 130+ diverse community, environmental, faith, human rights, labor,
and student organizations across Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Texas and their national
allies as part of the Gulf Coast Civic Works Campaign.  

Letter
Text:

The Honorable Barack Obama
President-Elect
Presidential
Transition
Office
Washington, DC 20270

 

Dear President-Elect Obama,

 

As representatives of diverse
Gulf Coast communities and their national supporters,
we would like to extend our congratulations on your remarkable Presidential
victory.  During the campaign, as hurricanes Ike and Gustav struck,
Americans were reawakened to the unmet needs Gulf Coast
communities still face in the aftermath of hurricanes Katrina and Rita more
than three years later.  In visits to the Gulf Coast,
you have articulated a desire to partner with hurricane survivors as they
rebuild their communities and revitalize the region’s economy.

Whether by inaction or
injustice, we still have failed to protect the rights and wellbeing of Gulf Coast
survivors, immigrants and their families, especially the children, the elderly,
the poor, the sick, and the vulnerable. The collapse of local institutions,
homelessness, internal displacement, poverty, abusive labor practices and
environmental degradation mean communities continue to suffer and struggle
unduly.

This crisis demands a
powerful response.  Despite the millions of hours volunteered by selfless
Americans and the heroic efforts of residents, Gulf Coast
communities still lack a robust and responsive federal partner in their
recovery.  As President of the United States of America we hope
you will move sign an executive
order authorizing the Gulf Coast Civic Works Program in the first 100 hours of
your Administration and request that Congress appropriate $6.7 billion
for Gulf Coast Civic Works projects in your upcoming economic recovery plan.

The Gulf Coast Civic
Works Program fits well
within your plan to create 3 million jobs.  The program would directly
partner with communities to create 100,000 “green” jobs and
training opportunities to tackle local recovery challenges and revitalize the
region’s economy.  Working with local officials and community
organizations it would; rebuild and repair vital public infrastructure
including schools, police and fire stations, hospitals, parks, roads, flood
protection, and restore eroding natural flood protection like marshes and
wetlands.  This comprehensive approach will train a new generation of
skilled workers, encourage green building techniques, promote local businesses
and help communities build resilience to future disasters, securing vital
national security interests along America’s
Gulf Coast.

This policy has
bipartisan support from 27 Members of Congress including Representatives Rodney
Alexander, Sheila Jackson-Lee, Charlie Melancon, Gene Taylor, and Bennie
Thompson, over 100 supporting organizations, dozens of national faith leaders,
as well as the Louisiana Republican Party, the New Orleans City Council, and
the Lafourche and Terrebonne,
LA Parish Councils.  The Gulf
Coast Civic Works Program includes oversight and community participation in
federal investment and serves as an innovative model for tackling our national
need for infrastructure and green jobs.

It is our sincerest hope
and prayer that you will issue an executive order authorizing the Gulf Coast
Civic Works Program and calling for an appropriation of $6.7 billion in your
upcoming economic recovery plan. 

Signed,

232-HELP/Louisiana 211

ACORN

AFL-CIO Investment Trust
Program, Gulf Coast Revitalization Program

Alabama
Appleseed Center
for Law & Justice, Inc.

Alabama

Arise

All Congregations
Together

Appleseed

Baptist Peace Fellowship
of North America

Bay Area Women
Coalition, Inc

Bayou Interfaith Shared
Community Organizing

Bayou Grace Community
Services

Big Brothers/Big Sisters
of Southeast Louisiana

Biloxi
Branch NAACP

BIT Bayou Interfaith
Together

BlueStone Ministries

CDC58:12, Inc.

Center for Ethical
Living and Social Justice Renewal

Christian Justice Action
(United Church of
Christ )

Christian Methodist
Episcopal Church

Church of the Brethren
Witness/Washington Office

Churches Supporting
Churches

Clergy Strategic
Alliances

Coastal Women for Change

Color of Change

Common Cause

Common Ground Health
Clinic

Community
Center of St Bernard

Community of Christ
Outreach Program

COPE Congregations
Organizing People for Equality

Deep
South Center
for Environmental Justice at Dillard
University

Desire Street Ministries

Disciples Justice Action
Network (Disciples of Christ)

ENPHRONT, INC

Episcopal Appalachian
Ministries

Episcopal Network for
Economic Justice

Equal Partners in Faith

Equity and Inclusion
Campaign

Evangelicals for Human
Rights

Every Child Matters
Education Fund Louisiana

Finding Our Folks

First
Pilgrims Baptist
Church JEDC HDM (New Orleans, LA)

FUEL Faith United for
Empowerment and Leadership 

Gert

Town
Revival Initiative

Global Green USA

Green For All

Gulf
Coast

Civic Works Project

Gulf
Coast Fair
Housing Center

Gulf Coast Southeast
Asian Resource Center, Inc.

Gulf Restoration Network

Gulf South Allied
Funders

Hands On New Orleans

Hope Community
Development Agency

Hope Haven of Hancock
County Inc.

In This Together, Inc.

Institute for Southern
Studies

Institute of Women &

Ethnic Studies

Interfaith Worker
Justice

Jewish Reconstructionist
Federation

Judy Drive
Civic Association, Meraux, LA

Keys To Abundant Life
Community Outreach Agency, Inc

Lawyers’ Committee
for Civil Rights Under Law

Louisiana
Appleseed

Louisiana
Association of Nonprofit Organizations

Louisiana
Community Reinvestment Coalition

A free and independent press is essential to the health of a functioning democracy

Louisiana
Disaster Recovery Foundation

Louisiana
Environmental Action Network

Louisiana
Housing Alliance

Lower Mississippi

Riverkeeper

May Day New Orleans

Mennonite Central
Committee U.S., Washington Office

MICAH Project

Middle Collegiate Church
(New York, NY)

Minnesota

Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild

Minnesota
Tenants Union

Minnesota-New Orleans Solidarity
Committee

MIRA! Mississippi
Immigrants Rights Alliance

Mississippi
Center

for Justice

Mississippi
Coast
Interfaith Disaster Task Force

Mississippi
Poultry Workers for Equality and Respect

MQVN Community
Development Corporation

Ms. Foundation for Women

National Alliances of
Vietnamese American Service Agencies

National Council of
Churches

National Hispanic
Christian Leadership Conference

National Economic and
Social Rights Initiative

National Employment Law
Project

National
Law Center
on Homelessness & Poverty

Neighborhood Housing
Services of New Orleans, Inc.

Neighborhood Partnership
Network

NETWORK: A National Catholic
Social Justice Lobby

New
Orleans
Neighborhood Development Collaborative

North
Gulfport Community
Land
Trust

Northside Neighbors for
Justice

Orleans
Recovery Foundation (ORF)

Ouachita Riverkeeper

OXFAM America

Pax Christi USA:
National Catholic Peace Movement

People for Community
Recovery

PICO Louisiana  

PICO National Network

PolicyLink

Praxis Project

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

Presbytery of So. Louisiana Recovery

Prince
Garrett Ministries
(McLain, MS)

Protestant Justice
Action

Providence
Community Housing

Puentes New Orleans,
Inc.

REJOICE, Inc. Resource
Center for Families

Robert
F. Kennedy
Center
for Justice and Human Rights

Samuel DeWitt Proctor
Conference

Shelter Resources, Inc.
d.b.a. Belle Reve New Orleans

Sierra Club, Mississippi Chapter

Sisters of Charity of New York, Office of
Justice and Peace

Soria
City Civic Organization (South Gulfport, MS)

South
Bay Communities Alliance

Steps Coalition

Survivors
Village New Orleans

Technical Assistance
Collaborative

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

Turkey Creek Community
Initiatives (TCCI)

Unitarian Universalist
Association of Congregations

Unitarian Universalist
Service Committee

United Christian
Community Association

United Church of Christ,
Justice and Witness Ministries

United Hearts Community
Action Agency, Inc.

United Houma Nation

UNITY of Greater New Orleans with Common
Ground Institute

Volunteers of America

Women Donors Network

YOUTHanasia Foundation
Inc.

Youth Build Americorps
Katrina Rebuilding Project

Zion Travelers
Cooperative Center, Inc

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See a summary of the Gulf Coast Civic Works Campaign here: http://www.rfkcenter.org/files/3%20pager%20GCCW-12_12_2008.doc

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