For Immediate Release
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.
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
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."
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
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
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:
All Congregations Together
for Law & Justice, Inc.
Peace Fellowship of North America
Area Women Coalition, Inc.
Grace Community Services
Bayou Interfaith Shared Community Organizing
Bayou Interfaith Together
for Ethical Living and Social Justice Renewal
Strategic Alliances, LLC
on Stewardship of the Environment, Louisiana
Ground Health Clinic
Ground Relief, Inc.
Congregations Organizing People for Equality
la Mano / Extending a Hand
Street Ministries NOLA
Justice Action Network (Disciples of Christ)
Network for Economic Justice
and Inclusion Campaign
Pilgrims Baptist JEDC-HDM
Church of New Orleans, Social Justice Team
Committee on National Legislation
Faith United for Empowerment and Leadership
Town Revival Initiative, Inc.
Civic Works Project
Cross Neighborhood Association
Community Development Agency
for Human Rights and Responsibilities, Inc.
of Women & Ethnic Studies
Council for Public Affairs
Committee for Civil Rights Under Law
Conference of The UMC Disaster Reponses, Inc
for Sustainable Engagement and Development
Iñamagua Campaign for Justice
Day New Orleans
Central Committee-New Orleans
Interfaith Disaster Task Force
Immigrants Rights Alliance
Low Income Child Care Initiative
Poultry Workers for Equality and Respect
Community Development Corporation
Council of Churches
Council of Jewish Women
Economic and Social Rights Initiative
Employment Law Project
Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference
Lawyers Guild - Minnesota
Policy and Advocacy Council on Homelessness (NPACH)
a National Catholic Social Justice Lobby
East Cooperative Parish
Neighborhood Development Collaborative
Voices, Academy for Educational Development
Neighbors for Justice
Park Civic Association
Church (U.S.A.) Washington Office
New Orleans, Inc.
Neighborhood Development Corporation
Senior Volunteer Program
for Justice and Human Rights
Dewitt Proctor Conference
Club, Delta Chapter
Commission on the Just Rebuilding of the Gulf Coast,
National Council of Churches
Village New Orleans
Readiness & Assistance Coalition - TRAC
Environmental Justice Advocacy Services, (t.e.j.a.s.)
Episcopal Diocese of Louisiana
Office of Disaster Response
Latino Leadership Circle
Presbytery of South Louisiana Recovery
Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association
Creek Community Initiatives
of Black Episcopalians
Universalist Association of Congregations
Universalist Service Committee
Hearts Community Action Agency, Inc.
of Greater New Orleans
with Common Ground Institute
In Construction, Moore
Emergency Relief Campaign
Inspirational Connection, Inc.