One of the things lamented by the pastors at the Churches Supporting Churches meeting we attended in New Orleans was the dearth of national dialogue about rebuilding on the Gulf Coast. It is astonishing that in an election year, the candidates are not talking about the Katrina debacle -- even though the hurricane and her aftermath brought the problem of the social disenfranchisement of the most vulnerable members of our society - the poor, the elderly, the disabled - into sharp focus.
This is a letter from the RFK Center for Human Rights that explains one easy way we can help put the issue of a just rebuilding back onto the table -- by voting for a question to be asked of the candidates for each party's nomination for President.
More than two year after the 2005 Hurricanes and the levee failures, thousands of Americas remain displaced from their neighborhoods as the Gulf Coast region struggles to address an ongoing community infrastructure crisis.
ABC, CNN, FOX News, MSNBC, and the other networks hosting Presidential Debates will not question candidates on how, as President, they plan to rebuild Gulf Coast communities and help residents return.
ACORN, Color of Change, Gulf Coast Civic Works Project and RFK Memorial Center for Human Rights are working to make sure the issue of Gulf Coast rebuilding is addressed in the California Republican and Democratic Debates on January 30th and 31st.
Together we can urge Politico.com, co-host of both California Debates, to ask the candidates whether they will support the Gulf Coast Civic Works Act, H.R. 4048, but we need your help.
At Politico.com you can vote for questions to be asked of the candidates -- can you vote for a question about the Gulf Coast Civic Works Act? It's easy and just takes a minute or two. Click the link below and follow the directions on ColorofChange.org:
The Gulf Coast Civic Works Act, if enacted, will help residents realize their human right and rebuild stronger communities by:
- Creating 100,000 living wage jobs and training opportunities
- Rebuilding schools, police and fire stations, hospitals and flood protection and restoring the wetlands
- Promoting local businesses and improve economic and social conditions
- Helping displaced families to return home and participate in rebuilding with safety and dignity
- Giving residents a voice in how their communities are rebuilt
With the help of our supporters, the Gulf Coast Civic Works Act questions on Politico.com have risen to the top 5 most popular questions for both Democratic and Republican candidates.
If enough of us vote for these questions, we have a very good chance of bringing the Gulf Coast Civic Works Act into the Debates and shining a national spotlight on this issue. But we can't do it without your participation. Will you help?
Monika Kalra Varma
Director, Center for Human Rights
Robert F. Kennedy Memorial