8/21/2010 Stories of Survival in the Post-Katrina Gulf These books present must-read portraits of the diverse people rebuilding lives five years after Hurricane Katrina by Brentin Mock
One of the more fascinating stories Horne tells comes in the chapter "In Search of Common Ground," about Black Panther activist Malik Rahim, who rode out the storm (his neighborhood, Algiers, wasn't flooded) and then organized hundreds of visiting volunteers to form the first running health clinic. The setting wasn't exactly fertile for this clinic's sprouting: Horne reports how white vigilantes armed with guns were looking for African Americans under a "shoot first, ask later" policy. But with the help of his white comrades, who traveled from as far as Washington, D.C., Rahim was able to maneuver around to get his health clinic, Common Ground, running. The list of books about Katrina is extensive and ever growing. These works, released in the last year, also offer sobering insights.
8/9/2010 Five Years since Hurricane Katrina: Pain Index Still at Crisis Level for Many by blackvoicenews.com
It will be five years since Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans on August 29. The impact remains quite painful for many. This article looks at what has happened since Katrina - not from the perspective of the higher ups looking down from their offices, but from the street level view of the people – a view which looks at the impact on the elderly, the renter, people of color, the disabled, the working and non-working poor. So, while one commentator may happily say that the median income in New Orleans has risen since Katrina, a street level perspective recognizes that is because large numbers of the poorest people have not been able to return.
6/10/2009 Study on government response to Katrina highlights need for Stafford Act reform
The Rockefeller Institute of Government released a report last week calling for a presidential appointee to take charge of the government's response to major disasters like Hurricane Katrina. The Stafford Act that authorizes the federal government response to disasters should be amended to allow the president to quickly appoint a special officer-in-charge — with pre-approved discretionary funding — to oversee effective government response to a major disaster, according to a new report issued today by two of the principals involved in a long-term study of governmental response to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005.
3/26/2009 Federal judge rules against St. Bernard Parish in multi-family housing lawsuit by Chris Kirkham, The Times-Picayune
A federal judge has ruled in favor of a fair housing group that claimed a St. Bernard Parish building ban unfairly discriminated against minorities trying to rent in the parish. U.S. District Judge Ginger Berrigan has ordered the parish to lift its moratorium on construction of multi-family housing, paving the way for a Dallas developer to begin construction of four 72-unit mixed-income apartment complexes in Chalmette. In the court order, issued last night, Berrigan cited plaintiffs' arguments that the housing ban would have a disparate impact on African-Americans.
3/17/2010 Special Report After Katrina: Redemption and Rebuilding
Special issue of The American Prospect dedicated to the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and the community rebuilding progress.
2/23/2009 The Power of Race and Place: How and why the predominantly black areas of the Gulf Coast are still struggling to recover from Hurricane Katrina by Robert Bullard and Beverly Wright for The American Prospect
It is clear that race and place greatly determine personal ability to recover from Hurricane Katrina and color a personal view of recovery. Communities least affected by the storm tend to have larger percentages of white residents. These communities are also more likely to describe the recovery as satisfactory. While these areas received less damage, they have also benefited the most from federal dollars for recovery. Flood insurance claims were larger, leading to a large concentration of hazardous mitigation dollars flowing into these areas. Because of this, these areas are well on the way to a full recovery.
12/4/2008 Many Children Lack Stability Long After Storm by Shaila Dewan for The New York Times
After more than three years of nomadic uncertainty, many of the children of Hurricane Katrina are behind in school, acting out and suffering from extraordinarily high rates of illness and mental health problems. Their parents, many still anxious or depressed themselves, are struggling to keep the lights on and the refrigerator stocked. More than 30,000 former trailer residents landed in apartments paid for by the federal government until March 2009, a small fraction are in the hands of private charities or government housing programs for the disabled, and thousands more simply traded in their trailers for other temporary quarters. Case managers promised by FEMA to help these families find permanent homes have yet to start work in Louisiana.
11/4/2008 Legacy of shame: the on-going public health disaster of children struggling in post-Katrina Louisiana by the Children’s Health Fund.
Children who remain displaced three years after hurricane Katrina are plagued by alarmingly high rates of medical problems, according to a report by the Children’s Health Fund. They fare worse than poor children elsewhere in the USA, says the Fund, whose mobile medical units provided post-disaster care in the area. Between January and September 2008, the Fund reviewed medical charts for hurricane-affected children in Louisiana’s second largest city, Baton Rouge, which became home to people who fled New Orleans after hurricanes Katrina and Rita hit in 2005. Their sample included children housed temporarily in ‘villages’ set up by the US Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
10/5/2008 Why CDC Responded With ‘Lack of Urgency’ to Formaldehyde Warnings by Joaquin Sapien for proPublica
The Centers for Disease Control study sounded reassuring when it was made public in 2007. Hurricane Katrina survivors didn't have to worry about reports that there were harmful levels of formaldehyde in their trailers. The air was safe to breathe and the contamination would not reach a "level of concern" as long as they kept the windows open. Today, senior CDC officials acknowledge that the study was based on a fundamental error. An agency standard says that people exposed to as a little as 30 parts of formaldehyde per billion parts of air (ppb) for more than two weeks can suffer constricted airways, headaches and rashes. The trailers all measured above that level.
9/22/2008 Toxic Trailers - Toxic Lethargy: How the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Has Failed to Protect the Public Health - Staff Report Subcommittee on Investigations and Oversight by Committee on Science and Technology for U.S. House of Representatives
The mission of ATSDR, a sister agency of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “is to serve the public by using the best science, taking responsive public health actions, and providing trusted health information to prevent harmful exposures and disease related to toxic substances.” Unfortunately, the agency failed to meet any of those objectives when it produced a “health consultation” on formaldehyde levels in travel trailers provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to survivors of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in February 2007. In almost every respect ATSDR failed to fulfill its mission to protect the public from exposure to formaldehyde at levels known to cause negative health effects. The agency’s incomplete and inadequate handling of their public health assessment, the failure to quickly and effectively correct their scientific mistakes and their reluctance to take appropriate corrective actions was all marked by notable inattention and inaction on the part of ATSDR’s senior leadership. As a result, tens of thousands of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita families living in trailers with elevated levels of formaldehyde were kept in harm’s way for at least one year longer than necessary. To view the full report please click HERE (PDF).
5/1/2008 Environmental Justice through the Eye of Hurricane Katrina by Reilly Morse for the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies
Disaster Preparedness Reports: The Joint Center commissioned a series of reports that examine the fundamental issues that led to different outcomes for Hurricane Katrina survivors tied to their race and ethnicity. This paper analyzes historic patterns of environmental racism found in New Orleans and coastal Mississippi, and makes important recommendations for achievable remedies. It also provides a summation of the
environmental justice movement, highlighting its relevance to ensuring effective disaster preparedness planning for the future.
4/2/2008 The Audacity of Corporate New Orleans; Name Change an insult to memory of Mayor Ernest N. Morial by Vincent Sylvain, The New Orleans Agenda
Last year when I received word that officials at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center were considering changing the name its name I was assured by the communication department that my information was incorrect and was assured that no such discussions were being entertained. To my disbelief it was announced this week that the "Convention Center has been renamed in promotional and advertising material in an attempt to better market it in an increasingly competitive environment center will now be called the New Orleans Morial Convention Center in brochures, pamphlets and on the uniforms and badges of employees, among other places."
3/27/2008 Contaminated homes denied funds by David Hammer, The Times-Picayune
It was one thing for Leatrice Roberts to find out that the government had sold her a townhome built on top of a waste dump. But it was mindboggling to learn, at age 74, that the Road Home can't buy her out because the land is contaminated. The state's $10.3 billion Road Home program pays homeowners up to $150,000 to rebuild their homes or to buy them out and transfer the land to a New Orleans redevelopment authority. Financing for the program comes from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, which currently runs HANO -- the same agency that decades ago built the Press Park complex where the Robertses' storm-damaged townhome is located. In the past two weeks, state officials informed homeowners such as Leatrice Roberts who lived atop the old Agriculture Street landfill before Hurricane Katrina hit that their Road Home applications had been placed on hold indefinitely because they live on a Superfund cleanup site.
2/25/2008 For Katrina Evacuees, A Chance to Be Heard Their Votes May Be Pivotal in Texas by Krissah Williams Washington Post
In a cramped guard booth on the edge of a community of luxury townhouses, the sense of helplessness that has become so familiar to Gregory Sam since Hurricane Katrina uprooted him from his home town of New Orleans can become all-consuming. For the nearly quarter-million people such as Sam who were evacuated to Texas after the hurricane and its floodwaters left New Orleans devastated in 2005, powerlessness has been a constant theme, exacerbated by their reliance on goodwill and the government for help in starting over again. Angry at the Bush administration for failing them both before and after Katrina, many view the March 4 Democratic presidential primary as a chance to exert some control over their futures.
2/18/2008 Nightmare continues Presence of dangerous fumes confirmed in Katrina victims’ FEMA trailers by Las Vegas Sun
Everything associated with the federal government’s involvement in providing temporary shelter for victims of Hurricane Katrina was fouled up beyond comprehension. The hurricane struck the Gulf Coast regions of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama in late August 2005, leaving tens of thousands of people homeless. It took about six months for the Federal Emergency Management Agency to respond with 125,000 trailers. But even after the trailers and mobile homes were set up and approximately 100,000 people had moved into them, the nightmare continued. Almost immediately, and from every location in which the temporary homes had been placed, the occupants began complaining of fumes that were making them sick.
2/14/2008 FEMA Plans Trailer Exodus Over Chemical by By Michael Kunzelman for the Associated Press
After downplaying the risks for months, the Federal Emergency Management Agency said Thursday it will rush to move Gulf Coast hurricane victims out of roughly 35,000 government-issued trailers because tests found dangerous levels of formaldehyde fumes. FEMA Administrator R. David Paulison said the agency hopes to get everyone out and into hotels, motels, apartments and other temporary housing by the summer, when the heat and stuffy air could worsen the problem inside the trailers.
1/31/2008 Judge Throws Out Katrina Suit Against Army: Says Corps Of Engineers Failed To Prevent Levee Breach, But Immune To Prosecution by CBS News
A federal judge threw out a key class-action lawsuit against the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers over levee breaches after Hurricane Katrina, saying that the agency failed to protect the city but that his hands were tied by the law. U.S. District Judge Stanwood Duval ruled Wednesday that the Corps should be held immune over failures in drainage canals that caused much of the flooding of New Orleans in August 2005. The ruling relies on the Flood Control Act of 1928, which made the federal government immune when flood control projects like levees break.
1/29/2007 Probe: FEMA sugarcoated danger of hurricane trailers by CNN.com
The Federal Emergency Management Agency manipulated scientific research to play down the danger posed by formaldehyde in trailers issued to hurricane victims, according to an investigation by congressional Democrats. Democrats on a House Science and Technology subcommittee wrote the letter to Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff. FEMA is part of the Homeland Security Department. In a separate letter, lawmakers said the federal health agency that provided guidance to FEMA was "complicit in giving FEMA precisely what they wanted." Victims living in FEMA trailers have complained of health problems related to formaldehyde, but initial FEMA tests revealed the air quality in the trailers was safe if those trailers were properly ventilated.
1/28/2008 CDC Suppressed Toxic Trailer Warnings: Agency Suppressed Repeated Warnings From Top Scientist About Formaldehyde Fume Dangers by CBS News.
CBS News has learned that the Centers for Disease Control, the nation's top public health agency, suppressed repeated warnings from one of its top scientists, raising questions about whether the CDC bowed to pressure from FEMA to conceal the long-term health risks of formaldehyde in the trailers it distributed to hurricane victims - health risks like cancer and birth defects. A string of internal documents obtained exclusively by CBS News reveal that Dr. Christopher De Rosa, director of the CDC's Division of Toxicology and Environmental Medicine, told his superiors "there is no safe level of exposure" to formaldehyde in trailers. That warning never made its way into any public report about the trailers.
1/18/2008 FEMA Flip-Flops Again on Trailers by Marc Kaufman for the Washington Post
Those trailers the Federal Emergency Management Agency bought to house Hurricane Katrina victims were at the center of the storm again yesterday -- and not in a way that's going to make folks at the beleaguered agency any happier. FEMA hurriedly bought the 145,000 trailers and mobile homes via no-bid contracts just before and after Katrina hit the coast in August 2005. But the purchase quickly became problematic, with some communities refusing them for a variety of reasons. FEMA was forced to put trailers on the market, selling them to anyone for 40 cents on the dollar. Yesterday, however, the emergency agency offered to buy them back, for their original purchase price, because of concerns that the trailers are tainted with formaldehyde. The agency said it is making the offer because of concerns about "possible adverse health effects" associated with the trailers.
12/12/2007 FEMA to start testing air quality in trailers by Dec. 19 by Associated Press
Air-quality tests on the government-issued trailers housing thousands of Gulf Coast hurricane victims are scheduled to begin by next Wednesday, nearly two months after the Federal Emergency Management Agency postponed them. Harvey Johnson, FEMA's deputy administrator, disclosed the agency's latest plans for the tests during a hearing Wednesday in Washington before the Senate Homeland Security Committee. Senators pressed Johnson to explain the delays in testing 500 occupied trailers in Mississippi and Louisiana, where tens of thousands of homes were damaged or destroyed by Hurricane Katrina in August 2005.
9/16/2007 IRS has bad news on Road Home by David Hammer for the Times-Picayune
Now that the Road Home has paid out more than 50,000 grants, many of those recovering homeowners are encountering a new cruel reality: They may have to send up to 35 percent of the federal grant right back to Washington in the form of income taxes. If they claimed a casualty loss for their damaged property as a deduction on their 2005 tax return, they must add the grant to their taxable income in the year it's received. Or, worse, they may find that their decision to claim a casualty loss -- made long ago, in some cases before the federal government sent billions to Louisiana for the Road Home program -- will suddenly thrust them into a higher tax bracket, forcing them to pay higher taxes on all of their income for this year.
9/18/2007 Katrina Cottages a must for Coast recovery from The (Pascagoula) Mississippi Press
A Mississippi Cottage might be the next best thing to a real home for thousands of Coast residents.
The cottages, which come in one-, two- and three-bedroom models, are being used by the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency to replace the cramped travel trailers that were issued to many Coast residents who lost their homes to Hurricane Katrina. Since the Federal Emergency Management Agency began wheeling the tiny trailers into Mississippi after the Aug. 29, 2005 storm, there have been problems.
9/17/2007 Louisiana to buy 19,000 ruined homes by Brad Heath, USA TODAY
Areas of Louisiana devastated by Hurricane Katrina could remain deserted as the state acquires nearly 19,000 storm-damaged homes in the nation's biggest post-disaster buyout, a USA TODAY analysis shows. The mass of deserted land - derelict homes and empty lots, most of them in neighborhoods where Katrina's flooding was most severe - poses a significant new obstacle for communities struggling to rebuild. Most still aren't sure what they'll do with all the property.
9/8/2007 Crescent City sits at critical juncture: Historian says redevelopment hurt by ineptitude and indifference by Allan Turner for the Houston Chronicle
Two years after Hurricane Katrina blasted into the Mississippi and Louisiana coasts to create the costliest natural disaster in the nation's history, New Orleans stands at a crucial crossroads.
In one direction looms a future as a casino-driven adult entertainment mecca, said historian Douglas Brinkley. In the other, the promise of rebirth as a cultural capital and city of stable, close-knit neighborhoods.
Key to the city's fate, said Brinkley, is whether the American public is prepared to commit $50 billion or more to enhancing the city's levees and restoring eroded wetlands that shield the largely below-sea-level city from nature's fury.
9/6/2007 Lift Every Voice by Paul Greeberg for Beyond Katrina
About six or eight months ago, the real post-Katrina malaise started to set in among the masses, near and far. I noticed it first when I spoke with the new editor of a blog I had been writing for since the storm. She was based in Los Angeles, had never been to Louisiana, and in our first conversation informed me that the blog would be discontinued. I asked why, and she said, "I just think people are ready to move on from all of that now."
So, I was forced to deduce that people drowning in a major urban area of the U.S., with little or no assistance from their government, was what she meant by "all of that." And, "all of that" must have also referred to tens of thousands of people losing their homes and everything they owned, all in one day. Suddenly, the L.A. lady in charge had proclaimed that people were ready to move on...from all of that.
8/29/2007 New Orleans marks 2nd anniversary of Hurricane Katrina with prayers, protest, disappointment by The Associated Press
Prayers, protests and a lingering disgust with the government's response to Hurricane Katrina marked the disaster's second anniversary Wednesday, with a presidential visit doing little to mollify those still displaced by the storm.
8/2/2007 FEMA Suspends Use of Disaster Trailers by The Associated Press
The Federal Emergency Management Agency has stopped donating and selling disaster trailers while it studies reports that people living in them after hurricanes Katrina and Rita got sick from formaldehyde exposure. Federal health scientists are in Louisiana and Mississippi investigating the safety of the travel trailers being used by hurricane victims, FEMA officials said. The scientists have been asked to identify an acceptable air quality level for formaldehyde, which is commonly used in building materials but can cause respiratory problems in high doses or with prolonged exposure.
8/1/2007 Katrina's Wake: Arsenic-Laced Schools and Playgrounds Put New Orleans Children at Risk by NRDC
When Hurricane Katrina tore through New Orleans in August 2005, the levee failures inundated the city -- particularly its most vulnerable neighborhoods -- with a hazardous sea of fuel, sewage and chemicals. Two years after the storm, a team of researchers from NRDC, working in partnership with local community groups, has found that hazardous levels of arsenic are still present in the soil at several locations in New Orleans -- including schools, playgrounds and residential areas.
7/21/2007 Corps Details New Orleans Flood Risk After Repairs: Study Likely to Stir Rebuilding Debate By Peter Whoriskey for the Washington Post
In this city still half-emptied from one of the worst floods in American history, one question provokes the ever present doubt. Today, for the first time since Hurricane Katrina, U.S. officials offered some specific answers, the results of a landmark study of the flood threat. After nearly two years of levee repairs, the chances are 1 in 500 that nearly all of the city will be flooded again this year with more than six feet of water, according to flood risk maps issued today by the Army Corps of Engineers.
7/14/2007 Hurricane Victims Say Agents Advised Against Flood Coverage by Joseph B. Treaster for The New York Times
Six weeks before Hurricane Katrina tore up the Gulf Coast of Mississippi last August, Dr. Munson Hinman went to see his insurance agent to buy flood coverage for his home near the beach. He had a blank check in his pocket, but, Dr. Hinman testified in Federal District Court here on Tuesday, the agent talked him out of buying the coverage. “He didn’t tell me directly not to get it,’’ Dr. Hinman recalled. “But in a roundabout way he said it wasn’t necessary. He was emphatic about that it wasn’t necessary.’’
7/10/2007 First trial of insurance lawsuit set to open by Michael Kunzelman for the Associated Press
A trial set to open here Monday is expected to be the first legal test of the wind-versus-water debate that has pitted thousands of Gulf Coast policyholders against their insurance companies since Hurricane Katrina. The lawsuit, filed on behalf of a Pascagoula police officer against Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co. after the insurer refused to cover damage to his home, will be heard by a federal judge, not a jury. The case is believed to be the first Katrina-related insurance suit to be tried since the storm roared ashore Aug. 29 and destroyed or damaged tens of thousands of Gulf Coast homes.
7/1/2007 PATCHWORK CITY: Largely Alone, Pioneers Reclaim New Orleans by Adam Nossiter for the New York Times
Determined former residents who are bringing the Gentilly neighborhood of New Orleans back to life say government help has been minimal. To view the full article please click HERE.
6/27/2007 Breathtaking' Waste and Fraud in Hurricane Aid by Eric Lipton, The New York Times
Among the many superlatives associated with Hurricane Katrina can now be added this one: it produced one of the most extraordinary displays of scams, schemes and stupefying bureaucratic bungles in modern history, costing taxpayers up to $2 billion. A hotel owner in Sugar Land, Tex., has been charged with submitting $232,000 in bills for phantom victims. And roughly 1,100 prison inmates across the Gulf Coast apparently collected more than $10 million in rental and disaster-relief assistance. There are the bureaucrats who ordered nearly half a billion dollars worth of mobile homes that are still empty, and renovations for a shelter at a former Alabama Army base that cost about $416,000 per evacuee.
6/25/2007 Hurricane Katrina: EPA's Current and Future Environmental Protection Efforts Could Be Enhanced by Addressing Issues and Challenges Faced on the Gulf Coast by The Government Accountability Office (GAO)
In 2005, Hurricane Katrina's impact on the Gulf Coast included damage to the environment from chemical and hazardous materials releases. Also, the widespread demolition and renovation activities still under way in New Orleans may release asbestos fibers into the air, posing a potential additional health risk. This report, conducted at the Comptroller General's initiative, addresses (1) the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) actions to assess and mitigate Katrina's environmental impacts, (2) the extent to which EPA has assurance that public health is protected from asbestos inhalation risks in New Orleans, (3) the extent to which EPA's environmental health risk communications provided useful information to the public, and (4) challenges EPA faces in addressing environmental impacts. To view the full article please click HERE. To view the The Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality response please click HERE (7/12/2007).
6/19/2007 Hurricane Katrina Response: Committee Probes FEMA's Response to Reports of Toxic Trailers
The Committee on Oversight and Government Reform held a hearing investigating formaldehyde levels in FEMA trailers provided for victims of the Gulf Coast hurricanes and FEMA’s response to these reports. The Committee heard from current residents occupying FEMA trailers, experts who are familiar with the health impact of formaldehyde, and from FEMA Administrator Paulison. Formaldehyde is a chemical used in paint and adhesives, and is classified as a “known carcinogen” by the International Agency for Research on Cancer. Reports of high formaldehyde levels found in FEMA issued trailers and FEMA’s response raise serious public health concerns. To view the report please click HERE.
5/31/2007 After Katrina: Rebuilding a Healthy New Orleans
The Final Conference Report of the New Orleans Health Disparities Initiative is now available. The report, titled Rebuilding a Healthy New Orleans grew out of a community-based conference in June of 2006 on the need to address minority health disparities in both the health care system rebuilding and in the environment after Hurricane Katrina. To view the report please click HERE.
5/30/2007 No Black Plan for the Cities, Despite the Lessons of Katrina by blackagendareport.com.
The Katrina catastrophe indisputably revealed the corporate plan for America's cities. No sooner had the waters receded than corporate planners devised elaborate schemes for a "new" New Orleans - a "better" city in which Blacks would never again be allowed to become majorities. African American "leadership" should have understood that, with Katrina, corporate America had shown its hand: dramatic reduction of Black populations is at the core of the corporate urban "renaissance" model. Nevertheless, African Americans have failed to tackle the job of comprehensive urban planning that serves existing populations, and conserves Black political power for the future. To view the full article please click HERE.
5/1/2007 Hurricane Katrina Evacuees Distrusted Authorities by The University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), Health Sciences
While investigating the impact of Hurricane Katrina on New Orleans evacuees, a group of UCLA researchers stumbled across something they had not been looking for - the deep level of distrust the largely minority victims felt toward public health authorities. In a study appearing in the May issue of the Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved, the researchers write that this distrust likely played a role in residents’ response to evacuation warnings and advice. Researchers had been querying the residents about their evacuation experiences, including how they had been evacuated and who had helped them. They got answers to those questions - and more. To view the article please click HERE.
5/1/2007 Lousy Time at Louisiana by Medindia
New Orleans is facing an ordeal of sorts. After hurricane Katrina what can be worse? Apparently, the region is unable to meet up to the growing demands of healthcare , mainly due to the shortage of practicing doctors. This has made life extremely tough for people who need to pick up the threads of their life, post Katrina. To view the article please click HERE.
1/5/2007 Journal Of Health Care For The Poor And Underserved Devotes Latest Issue To Impact Of Hurricane Katrina On USA's Healthcare System by Medical News Today
The latest issue of the peer reviewed Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved (JHCPU) addresses the detrimental effects of Hurricane Katrina, on the management of health care in this country and on the continued suffering of many Americans as a result of the natural tragedy. Studies in the JHCPU show that there are clear limitations in the healthcare system during times of crisis. For instance, those suffering from chronic diseases found it difficult to obtain proper medical treatment, follow-up care, and prescription medications. To view the article please click HERE.
4/30/2007 N.O. Plans Memorial for Katrina Deceased by New Orleans CityBusiness
New Orleans business leaders announced plans Tuesday to build a permanent memorial to bury the unidentified and unclaimed deceased victims of Hurricane Katrina and to honor all the victims of the storm. The memorial is an effort by the New Orleans Katrina Memorial Corp., led by New Orleans Coroner Dr. Frank Minyard along with co-chairpersons Sandra R. Duncan of Rhodes Funeral Homes Inc. and Gerard L. Schoen III with Lake Lawn Metairie Funeral Home. To view the article please click HERE.
4/26/2007 HOUSING ASSISTANCE EXTENDED FOR GULF COAST HURRICANE VICTIMS FOR ANOTHER 18 MONTHS
Federal Coordinator for Gulf Coast Rebuilding Donald E. Powell, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Alphonso Jackson and FEMA Administrator R. David Paulison announced today that the temporary housing assistance programs for Gulf Coast hurricane victims have been extended by 18 months until March 1, 2009. The current FEMA extension ends on August 31, 2007. HUD and FEMA are also working on a plan whereby HUD would take over management of the rental housing program on behalf of FEMA beginning on September 1, 2007. To view the press release please click HERE.
3/2/2007 Katrina, 18 Months Later by The Institute for Southern Studies for The Hill Blog
President Bush made a quick tour of Gulf Coast yesterday to check on the status of the region’s recovery, eighteen months after Hurricane Katrina struck shores. He probably needed the refresher: the president hadn’t set foot in the still-hobbled region in six months, and didn’t even mention the Gulf in his January State of the Union address. To view the article please click HERE.
3/1/2007 Katrina, Eighteen Months Later by Chris Kromm and Sue Sturgis for The Nation
President Bush headed to the Gulf Coast this week to check on the status of the this region's recovery, eighteen months after Hurricane Katrina struck shores. Bush probably needs the refresher: He hasn't set foot in the still-hobbled region in six months, and didn't even mention the Gulf in his January State of the Union address. But when asked to single out what is most to blame for the ongoing crisis in the Gulf Coast, many Gulf residents will quickly point to Washington. It was ineffectual levees--built and overseen by the US Army Corps of Engineers--that flooded 80 percent of New Orleans, wiping out thousands of homes, hospitals and schools. It was the botched emergency response, "coordinated" by now-disgraced FEMA officials in DC, that contributed to the deaths of hundreds trying to flee the storm. To view the article please click HERE.
3/1/2007 Bush tours Gulf Coast to reassure Katrina victims by Ben Feller for the Associated Press
Hurricane Katrina's damage was so vast that it's hard to estimate when the recovery will be completed, the federal official overseeing the effort said Thursday. The monster hurricane in 2005 was the most destructive natural disaster in U.S. history. Schools and businesses have long reopened and families are returning home, he said. Yet in the region, particularly in New Orleans, frustration is soaring over sporadic progress. Bush was first stopping at Long Beach, a coastline town that was flattened by Katrina, and then heading to Biloxi, Miss., for an update on rebuilding efforts from Mississippi leaders. Bush was to spend his afternoon in New Orleans, with a speech at a charter school. To view the article please click HERE.
2/28/2007 The right of return in New Orleans for Facing South
Bill Quigley, a people's lawyer in New Orleans and advisory board member of Gulf Coast Reconstruction Watch, has an excellent overview this week of the situation in the Gulf Coast, 18 months after Katrina. Quigley has been a leader in trying to save 5,000 units of public housing in New Orleans that HUD is planning to tear down, even while thousands of people are searching for affordable housing in the city. The units were barely damaged by the storms, leading many to speculate the real motive is gentrification. To view the article please click HERE.
2/26/2007 New Orleans Still a 'Disaster,' Report Says By Bob Dart, Cox News Service
Eighteen months after Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans is still a "disaster," according to a report released Monday by a Southern research group tracking the recovery. "One and a half years later, hundreds of thousands of people are still facing a grim reality: New Orleans and the Gulf Coast are still in crisis," reported the Institute for Southern Studies, a nonpartisan, nonprofit group founded by veterans of the civil rights movement and based in Durham, N.C. "Katrina may have fallen off the national radar, but the disaster never stopped," said the report by the Institute's Gulf Coast Reconstruction Watch. To view the article please click HERE.
10/27/2006 Post-Katrina Injustice
Host Steve Curwood talks with social scientists Beverly Wright and Robert Bullard about the issues of environmental justice and discrimination that the poor and black people in New Orleans are facing in the rebuilding efforts following Hurricane Katrina Air Date: Week of October 27, 2006
10/24/2006 AP: Whites on top of Katrina insurance By Rukmini Callimachi and Frank Bass, Associated Press Writers
The Littles and the Kitchens watched helplessly as Hurricane Katrina battered their homes. Both families waited patiently for an insurance adjuster to settle their losses. And both were sorely disappointed with the outcome. Then, their paths diverged. Richard and Cindy Little, a white couple living in a predominantly white neighborhood, filed a complaint with the Louisiana Department of Insurance. Eventually, they won full reimbursement for their repairs. Doretha and Roy Kitchens, a black couple living in New Orleans' overwhelmingly black Lower Ninth Ward, simply gave up and took what their insurer gave them. They didn't know they could appeal to the state. Though poor and minority neighborhoods suffered the brunt of Katrina's fury, residents living in white neighborhoods have been three times as likely as homeowners in black neighborhoods to seek state help in resolving insurance disputes, according to an Associated Press computer analysis. To view the article please click HERE.
10/23/2006 Rand Gulf States Policy Institute,'From Flood Control to Integrated Water Resource Management. Lessons for the Gulf Coast from Flooding in Other Places in the Last Sixty Years'
10/12/2006 Emergency Evacuation Report Card 2006: 25 Urban Areas Could Face Greater Challenges than New Orleans Experienced after Hurricane Katrina New research findings by the American Highway Users Alliance
The American Highway Users Alliance has released a first-of-its-kind study today evaluating the emergency evacuation capacity of the 37 largest US urban areas - with at least 1,000,000 population. The potential for terrorist attacks and last year's New Orleans' flood destruction underscore the necessity for providing sufficient evacuation capacity from the nation's urban areas. Yet, the Department of Homeland Security says, "Significant weaknesses in evacuation planning are an area of profound concern." The Emergency Evacuation Report Card is an initial attempt to assess the evacuation capacity of the 37 largest urban areas - those with more than 1,000,000 population. Evacuation planning is new to US urban areas and, as a result, evacuation capacity can be expected to fall short of optimal levels. For the full report please click HERE.
10/1/2006 Announcing: The October 2006 New Orleans Recovery Report Card
The Center for Social Inclusion (CSI) announces the release of the October 2006 New Orleans Recovery Report Card.
The Report Card is a useful advocacy tool that provides a grade for each New Orleans neighborhood based on the ability of former New Orleans residents to rebuild their lives. The grade is based on five categories: utilities, economy, health, housing, and public education.
The New Orleans Recovery Report Card, updated for October 2006, is attached to this email. The first Report Card can be found in CSIs recent report entitled The Race to Rebuild: The Color of Opportunity and the Future of New Orleans
The Report Card will be updated and released every month to track the New Orleans recovery efforts. For a more detailed version of the October Report Card, go HERE.
9/11/2006 Can Americans Trust the Government to Protect Them? Lessons from the World Trade Center Ground Zero and the Aftermath of Katrina by Robert Bullard
In Post-Katrina America, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) became a four-letter word for ineptness-fueling mistrust of government. Millions of Americans asked, "Can we trust the government to protect us?" This question is now directed at the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) by thousands of first responders and volunteers who in September 2001 worked at "ground zero" at the World Trade Center in New York City. Cate Jenkins, a scientist for the EPA, says her agency lied about the WTC site when it claimed air at ground zero was safe to breathe in the weeks after the 9/11 attacks. EPA is accused of a cover-up. To view the full article please click HERE.
9/11/2006 Housing in New Orleans: One Year After Katrina
This report, prepared by the NAACP, The Opportunity Agenda, and the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity, assesses the state of housing in New Orleans one year after Hurricane Katrina. It analyzes housing conditions in the city prior to the storm, progress made since,and areas in which the rebuilding effort has fallen short. In addition, it offers practical recommendations to ensure the reconstruction of housing is faster, fairer, and more effective.
Download the Report (pdf)
Read our Fact Sheet on Housing in the Gulf
For more information please click HERE
9/9/2006 Center for Social Inclusion New Website
The Center for Social Inclusion proudly announces the launch of a new interactive website. The website provides a multimedia experience of structural racism and solutions for the Gulf Coast region and the country. This website exists to help transform the public conversation on race, poverty from one of blaming the victims to our national need for public investment in opportunities for our people to build the nation. To visit the website please click HERE.
9/7/2006 EPA Gives New Orleans A Clean Bill of Health: Should Government Monitor or Clean Up Toxic Contamination? By Robert D. Bullard
EPA gives New Orleans and surrounding communities a clean bill of health in its final sediment report, issued nearly a year after Hurricane Katrina struck. The agency pledged to monitor a handful of toxic hot spots. Government officials concluded that Katrina did not cause any appreciable contamination that was not already there. Although EPA tests confirmed widespread lead in the soil - a pre-storm problem in 40 percent of New Orleans - EPA dismissed residents' calls to address this problem as outside of its mission. No decision has been made regarding cleanup of the benzo(a)pyrene contamination found in the Press Park area near the old Agriculture Street landfill. EPA announced in April that the carcinogen had been found at levels almost 50 times the health screening level. To view the full article please click HERE.
8/29/2006 The National Alliance to Restore Opportunity to the Gulf Coast & Displaced Persons
One year after Katrina, the National Alliance to Restore Opportunity to the Gulf Coast and Displaced Person calls for a Season of Prayer and Action to embrace our mutual interdependence and responsibility for one another's well-being and to urge upon the federal government the role we know it must play if we are to respond adequately to this continuing disaster. By the The National Alliance to Restore Opportunity to the Gulf Coast & Displaced Persons
8/22/2006 GulfGov Reports: One Year Later. First Look at the Recovery, Role, and Capacity of States and Localities Damaged by the 2005 Katrina and Rita Hurricanes by The Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government and the Public Affairs Research Council of Louisiana
New Report from the 2006 by The Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government and the Public Affairs Research Council of Louisiana called: GulfGov Reports: One Year Later. First Look at the Recovery, Role, and Capacity of States and Localities Damaged by the 2005 Katrina and Rita Hurricanes provides a broad look at how the storms have changed these communities across a wide spectrum of areas, including the impact on their state and local economies, the role of nonprofits in the relief and recovery efforts, and how they plan to rebuild for the future. In addition, the project will examine closely how government at every level has helped or hindered the process. This is a long-term project that will track the progress these communities make--or do not make--over time. The jurisdictions chosen for the project are representative of areas that were devastated by the storms or that have benefited from them. To view the full report please click HERE.
8/1/2006 The Race to Rebuild: The Color of Opportunity and the Future of New Orleans by The Center for Social Inclusion A new report prepared by The Center for Social Inclusion: A Project of the Tides Center explores the underlining racial problem present in areas devastated by hurricane Katrina. According to the report the problem in the Gulf Coast in August 2005 was not a hurricane. The levees broke and too many people were poor, sick and unable to flee. The "problem" is man-made, and this is good news. We can solve problems we create. This report identifies the problem as our failure to invest in ourselves and each other through our government. It also identifies the role that race has played in driving the problem and detouring us from the solution. To view the full report please click HERE.
8/1/2006 Forgotten Communities, Unmet Promises: AN UNFOLDING TRAGEDY ON THE GULF COAST by Oxfam America
One year ago, in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, elected officials at all levels pledged bold new action and committed to righting inequities as devastated communities rebuilt—better, safer, with more access to opportunity than before. However, despite their pledges that the most vulnerable citizens would get the help they needed to reclaim their lives and livelihoods, lawmakers have lacked the political will to turn their rhetoric into action. This examination of three communities emblematic of longstanding poverty and exclusion - the urban neighborhoods of East Biloxi, Mississippi, and the rural communities of Vermilion and Plaquemines parishes in Louisiana - reveals that government neglect at all levels extends beyond the well-publicized failures in New Orleans to encompass an entire region in distress. To view the full report please click HERE.
6/20/2006 Don't Trash Our Neighborhood: A New Orleans East Vietnamese community battles a landfill in its midst. By Frank Etheridge
Despite high winds and massive flooding from Hurricane Katrina, this Vietnamese community near Chef Menteur Highway along Alcee Fortier Boulevard and Dwyer Road is much farther along the road to recovery than similarly devastated areas. Forty-five of the 53 Vietnamese-owned businesses concentrated in the area are back, community leaders say, and roughly 95 percent of the homes in the area have been gutted. Beyond gutting, families like Luu's are already replanting gardens. Most credit the renewal to the determined, self-sufficient nature of the community as well as the church's leadership. To view the article please click HERE.
6/15/2006 5,000 Public Housing Units in New Orleans Are to Be Razed by SUSAN SAULNY for the New York Times
Federal housing officials announced on Wednesday that more than 5,000 public housing apartments for the poor were to be demolished here and replaced by developments for residents with a wider range of incomes.
The announcement, made by Housing and Urban Development Secretary Alphonso R. Jackson, provoked strong criticism from low-income tenants and their advocates, several of whom noted that thousands of public housing apartments had been closed since Hurricane Katrina. But local officials have for months said they do not want a return to the intense concentrations of poverty in the old projects, where crime and squalor were pervasive. To view the article please click HERE.
6/7/2006 Reports Reveal Katrina's Impact on Population by RICK LYMAN for the New York Times
New Orleans is nearly 64 percent smaller, according to a Census Bureau study. After the twin barrages of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita last year, the City of New Orleans emerged nearly 64 percent smaller, having lost an estimated 278,833 residents, according to the Census Bureau's first study of the area since the storms. To view the article please click HERE.
5/22/2006 Levees ailing before Katrina hit, report finds (AP)
New Orleans' levee system was routinely underfunded and therefore inadequate to protect against hurricanes, according to an independent report released Monday. The report also called for an overhaul of the agencies that oversee flood protection. It took aim at Congress for its piecemeal funding during the past 50 years, and at state and local levee authorities for failing to properly oversee maintenance of the levees.
To view an article about the release of the report please click HERE.
To view the full report please click HERE.
4/14/2006 LET THEM EAT DIRT: Will the "Mother of All Toxic Cleanups" Be Fair to All NOLA Neighborhoods, Even When Some Contamination Predates Katrina? By Robert D. Bullard
Hurricane Katrina has been described as a one of the worst environmental disasters in U.S history. A September Business Week commentary described the handling of the untold tons of "lethal goop" as the "mother of all toxic cleanups." However, the billion dollar question facing New Orleans is which neighborhoods will get cleaned up and which ones will be left contaminated. Sediments of varying depths were left behind by receding Katrina floodwaters primarily in areas impacted by levee overtopping and breaches. More than 100,000 of New Orleans 180,000 houses were flooded, and half sat for days or weeks in more than six feet of water. Returning residents are getting mixed signals from government agencies when it comes to contamination and potential public health threats. Government and independent scientists remain worlds apart and offer divergent interpretations of what contamination is in the ground, how harmful it is to returning residents, and the appropriate remediation plan. Just this past week, a multi-agency task force issued a press release, Release of Multi-Agency Report Shows Elevated Lead Levels in New Orleans Soil, Consistent with Historic Levels of Urban Lead, that appears to endorse the notion that it's acceptable for New Orleans residents to return to neighborhoods with elevated lead if those same neighborhoods were polluted before Katrina. The federal EPA and the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality recommend that "residents in the vicinity protect themselves and their children from potential exposure to lead in the home and in the surrounding soil of their neighborhoods." Instead of cleaning up the mess, government officials appear to be taking the position that "dirty neighborhoods should stay dirty forever." The Deep South Center for Environmental Justice at Dillard University (DSCEJ) in partnership with the United Steelworkers (USW) have undertaken A Safe Way Back Home pilot neighborhood clean-up project-the first of its kind in New Orleans. Click HERE to view the full article.
4/13/2006 Sweet Victory: Uniting to Clean Up NOLA by Sam Graham-Felsen and Katrina vanden Heuvel, The Nation
Over half a year after Katrina, New Orleans remains in a shambles. But in the face of the federal government's shamefully lackluster reconstruction effort, progressive activists are stepping up. Last week, the United Steelworkers (USW) union and the Deep South Center for Environmental Justice teamed up to address one of New Orleans' most pressing yet unaddressed problems: toxic soil. Currently, yards throughout New Orleans are contaminated with deadly heavy metals such as arsenic--some samples of which were 40 times greater than the permitted level--making it unsafe for residents to return to their homes.
4/6/2006 Lead found in soil of many areas of N.O. Contamination by toxic metal predates Katrina, scientists say. By Matthew Brown, West Bank bureau
As the city's leaders pledge to rebuild a new and better New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, an old problem, lead in the soil, has reared its head again. Although federal and state officials insist the contamination predates Katrina -- an assertion backed up by several independent scientists -- government agencies are being forced to confront the issue as environmental surveys turn up the heavy metal across wide swaths of the city. The 14 areas identified by the EPA are scattered across older New Orleans neighborhoods: three sites in Gentilly, two in Treme, two in Central City and one each in the Bywater, Lower 9th Ward, Carrollton, Uptown, Mid City, St. Roch and Seventh Ward.
3/31/2006 Seven Months After Katrina: Is the "Twenty-Point Plan" Fact or Fiction? by Robert D. Bullard
March 31, 2006 -- It has now been seven months after Katrina struck and three months since I wrote Katrina and the Second Disaster: A Twenty-Point Plan to Destroy Black New Orleans. At the risk of sounding like an alarmist, things don't look good on the ground in New Orleans for the home team. As each month passes, it appears that the "Twenty-Point Plan" is gradually being implemented. Whether this is by design or by default, the end results are the same. Katrina floodwaters may have swept New Orleaneans from their city but the politics of race is keeping most African American evacuees from returning. . For the full Article please click HERE.
3/23/2006 Residents To Fema: This Is How To Clean Up Tainted Properties In New Orleans, Steelworkers and Deep South Center for Environmental Justice Demonstrate How to Conduct Environmental Clean Up & Safety Training
Neighborhood contamination in the wake of Katrina has lingered so long without government intervention that two unusual partners are joining forces to do something about it. Dillard University's Deep South Center for Environmental Justice (DSCEJ) and the United Steelworkers (USW) union announced today the kick-off of A Safe Way Back Home project, an environmental neighborhood clean up initiative and community outreach campaign.
The project, running from Thursday through Sunday, will remove tainted soil from properties on the 8100 block of Aberdeen Road in New Orleans, replacing the soil with new sod, and disposing the contaminated dirt in a safe manner. Participants include residents and Steelworkers who have received certificate training in Hazardous Materials handling in programs funded by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS).
For more information visit the DSCEJ website or click Here.
3/15/2006 RAND STUDY ESTIMATES NEW ORLEANS POPULATION TO CLIMB TO ABOUT 272,000 IN 2008 by the RAND Corporation
The population of New Orleans will likely reach about 272,000 in September 2008 --amounting to 56 percent of the population of 485,000 before Hurricane Katrina struck in August, according to a study issued today by the RAND Corporation. The report, produced by the RAND Gulf States Policy Institute, estimates the city's current population at about 155,000 and forecasts it will rise to about 198,000 in September. Only a few thousand people were living in New Orleans last September. The new RAND study provides the most detailed estimates to date of the likely rate at which residents may return to New Orleans. It was prepared at the request of the Bring New Orleans Back Commission and is designed to help government officials plan the city's rebuilding. For the full report please click HERE
3/15/2006 HURRICANE KATRINA: ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT & LESSONS ON PUBLIC HEALTH & JUSTICE
Texas Southern University, Thurgood Marshall School of Law is emerging as a forum for both policy and legal discussions regarding Hurricane Katrina. In keeping with its dedication to scholarly research regarding the impact of Hurricane Katrina, Thurgood Marshall School of Law and its Environmental Law & Justice Center will host the second Katrina conference entitled Hurricane Katrina: Environmental Impact & Lessons on Public Health & Justice on March 31, 2006. This symposium will present an in-depth analysis of various implications of Hurricane Katrina; including: Toxic Torts & Katrina; An Intersection of Public Health and Environmental Protections: Lessons from Katrina; Environmental Justice & Katrina; and New Orleans: The Ultimate Brownfields Project. The conference is open to the public. There is NO ADMISSION FEE, so register early to reserve your seat.
Register on-line at www.tsu.edu/academics/law/alumni/registration.asp.
3/15/2006 Building Demolition Begins in New Orleans: Army engineers have started tearing down homes identified as public safety risks, while preservationists work to save historic neighborhoods. By Angelle Bergeron, for Engineering News-Record
Business Week Online
Building demolition in New Orleans has just begun, while rebuilding efforts in the city continue to be stymied by uncertainties. Meanwhile, preservationists, architects and structural engineers are still hard at work trying to save the city's historic neighborhoods and significant structures from demolition.
On March 6 the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers began tearing down the first 125 homes in the city that had been identified as a "risk to public health and safety." These were slated to be destroyed by the end of the month, says John Fogarty, assistant area engineer tasked with debris removal and demolition for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Structures in the first wave of demolition were located in public rights of way, and the majority were in the Lower Ninth Ward neighborhood, Fogarty said.
3/9/2006 HIGH TECH, STATE OF THE ART WEB PORTAL IS "FIRST STOP ON THE WAY HOME" FOR DISPLACED LOUISIANA RESIDENTS AND BUSINESSES
Finding information about jobs, affordable housing, reviving a business, voting, and social services for displaced residents, businesses, government agencies, and nonprofit organizations starts with www.LouisianaRebuilds.info. The Louisiana Recovery Authority, in partnership with several national and local organizations, today announced the web portal as the "first stop on the way home" for the hundreds of thousands who have been displaced by hurricanes Katrina and Rita. The state-of-the-art site features content and links to resources both in the state and around the country and is a one-stop compilation of information related to rebuilding and planning. Offline resources are in development to bring the same rich portal content to residents without Internet access.
3/8/2006 Disaster Response System Shuts Out Latinos By Sue Sturgis
The federal government and American Red Cross are dangerously unprepared to serve Latinos during disasters, according to a new report from the National Council of La Raza, the Washington-based Hispanic civil-rights organization. The report specifically examines the response to Hurricane Katrina.
3/4/2006 Post-disaster health risks weighed by SUSAN KIM for the Disaster News Network Current News
Responders are weighing whether post-disaster illnesses need to be better tracked. If people get sick after visiting or returning to a disaster area, health officials recommend they see their doctor, then report the illness to their local or state health department. Ideally, states lift significant ailment trends up to the Centers for Disease Control. For workers who get sick in a disaster zone, illness and injury data is collected on a national level by the Occupational Safety and Health Organization (OSHA).
3/3/2006 National Day of Prayer and Call to Action The National Alliance to Restore Opportunity to the Gulf Coast and Displaced Persons
The National Alliance to Restore Opportunity to the Gulf Coast and Displaced Persons, an alliance of faith based, civil rights and humanitarian organizations, invites you to join us for a National Day of Prayer and Call to Action during the weekend of March 3-5, 2006, six months after the breach of the levees in New Orleans. We will share our thoughts, prayers, concern and support for the victims of Hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma and for everyone whose lives have been affected by these combined tragedies. We are asking that you and your church, synagogue, mosque, or other spiritual or religious group engage in prayer, reflection and dialogue on March 3rd, 4th or 5th, as part of your traditional worship service. You will be joining with other congregations across the country to acknowledge the continued suffering of countless people throughout the Gulf Coast and beyond. This weekend is dedicated to giving us a renewed opportunity to embrace our mutual interdependence and responsibility for one another's well-being and to urge upon the federal government the role we know it must assume in order to help us care for each other. http://www.linkedfate.org/event_info.html
3/2/2006 Laid to Waste Portraits of loss in the wake of Katrina BY CHRIS JORDAN for Grist Magazine
On a misty November morning in 2005, I was photographing in New Orleans' Ninth Ward neighborhood a few blocks from where one of the levees had failed 10 weeks earlier. Squatting in a driveway in foul-smelling mud, adjusting the knobs on my camera, I stood up to stretch my back and noticed a man sitting on some concrete steps a few houses away.
2/27/2006 Poll: Effects of Katrina differ by race, Storm affected black New Orleans residents more than whites (CNN)
Black residents of New Orleans were hit harder than their white counterparts by Hurricane Katrina, but they were also more likely to express optimism about the city's future, according to a poll released Monday. Fifty-three percent of black respondents in the CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll reported they lost everything when Katrina slammed into the Gulf Coast August 29, compared with 19 percent of white respondents.
2/25/2006 Hazardous duty: EPA tries for clean sweep of pollutants. By MIKE KELLER for the Biloxi Sun Herald (MS)
It's just after noon and needleless pines are providing little relief from an uncharacteristically powerful February sun, which is boiling emergency-response team-members' brains under their white hard hats.
They have been deep inside a muggy, forested area north of U.S. 90 in Hancock County since early morning, pulling propane and oil tanks like hunting trophies back to their pickups on the road. This one team has retrieved seven so far, ranging in size from 50 to 250 gallons. Some of the tanks have been empty and some have contained cocktails of fuel and seawater deposited in them Aug. 29.
For the entire article, see
2/19/2006 Two disasters nearly 80 years apart reveal lingering inequities in the Mississippi Delta By HUGH WELSH for the Columbia Missourian
A generation after the Civil War, the rural town of Greenville, Miss., was considered a good place for African-American families to work and call home. There was a lot of rich farmland and employment opportunities were plentiful. Compared to most places in the South, the issue of race didn't dominate the agrarian existence of the residents. Even the Ku Klux Klan was discouraged from having demonstrations anywhere near the town.
2/17/2006 Corps closes landfill over asbestos fears: EPA says grinding may release fibers. By Mark Schleifstein for the New Orleans Times-Picayune
The Army Corps of Engineers temporarily shut down the Empire Landfill on Thursday afternoon after the Environmental Protection Agency questioned whether asbestos was being released into the air by the grinding of unsorted construction waste at the site.
In a letter to the Corps, an EPA regulator warned that "regulated asbestos-containing material," such as roofing tiles or siding containing asbestos, cannot be subjected to grinding because asbestos fibers can be released into the air. The asbestos waste also may not be disposed of in a construction debris landfill that is not compliant with federal air pollution regulations, the letter said.
2/16/2006 Imprisoned in New Orleans By JORDAN FLAHERY and TAMIKA MIDDLETON for Reconstruction Watch
NEW ORLEANS -- When Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast, there was no evacuation plan for 7,000 prisoners in the New Orleans city jail, known as Orleans Parish Prison, or the 1,500 prisoners in nearby jails. According to first-hand accounts gathered by advocates, prisoners were abandoned in their cells while the water was rising around them. They were subjected to a heavily armed "rescue" by state prison guards that involved beatings, mace and being left in the sun with no water or food for several days, followed by a transfer to state maximum security prisons.
2/14/2006 U.S. Disaster Medical System Is Ailing By SEAN REILLY Reconstruction Watch
Like millions of Americans, Dr. Eva Briggs was deeply moved by the devastation inflicted by Hurricane Katrina. Unlike many, the family physician from Syracuse, N.Y. had much-needed skills to offer the relief effort. By Briggs' account, what she got in return was a dispiriting two-week stint in Louisiana that felt more like an inept public relations exercise than a mission of mercy. Four years after 9/11, her experience illustrates the disorganization that continues to hobble the federal medical strategy for confronting large-scale disasters.
2/10/2006 Landfill report sounds alarm Site could be liability for FEMA, it says By Gordon Russell for the New Orleans Times-Picayune The federal government could "be exposed to high risk of future environmental liability" because of its heavy use of the reopened Old Gentilly Landfill, which may have deficiencies in design and monitoring, a new report commissioned by the Federal Emergency Management Agency says. The document lends some credence to claims made by environmental groups that the site, which is owned by the city of New Orleans and was reopened as a landfill for construction and demolition debris shortly after Hurricane Katrina, could turn into a toxic and costly ecological catastrophe along the lines of the old Agriculture Street landfill.
2/10/2006 Post-Katrina Throwback to Segregation Alarms Fair-Housing Activists by Michelle Chen for the NewStandard
Tearing open old scars of social inequity, the housing crisis confronting New Orleans hurricane survivors amplifies the city's historical race and class divisions. Across the country and inside the city itself, the dislocation of the city's residents exposes a continuing legacy of housing discrimination and segregation. Activists say emerging patterns of post-disaster housing discrimination span many levels, from building owners who refuse to rent to certain groups, to government institutions that keep communities locked in poverty.
2/5/2006 How badly was the Big Easy polluted? by Anton Caputo for the San Antonio Express-News (TX)
Thomas Rickerson stares at the image of his wife smiling brightly on her wedding day. It's one of the few photographs in his wedding album unfouled by the crude oil from a nearby holding tank that washed over his neighborhood after Hurricane Katrina. "Look at how beautiful that girl was when I married her. Still is," said Rickerson, 53, glancing up at his wife, Karen, who is carefully laying out other rescued photos on the driveway to dry.
1/25/2006 Hurricane Katrina: Who Was Hit? Who Will Return? The First In-Depth Demographic Analysis of the Strike Zone
The images were accurate: The Gulf Coast's poor, black residents were hit hardest by Hurricane Katrina, according to findings by a Brown University sociologist. Professor John Logan's new research is the first of its kind from the disaster zone and raises provocative questions about the future population of New Orleans.
1/15/2006 Louisiana: FEMA By The Numbers by Steve Sabludowsky for the Bayoubuzz
FEMA has been quite active in Louisiana due to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Here is an update from FEMA on what federal and state agencies have done in the three months since Hurricanes Katrina and Rita hit Louisiana.
1/11/2006 New Report: Action Plan for New Orleans: The New American City
Bring New Orleans Back Commission Urban Planning Committee By Wallace Roberts & Todd, LLC - Master Planner. This report shows the vision for the City of New Orleans. It covers a wide range of topics from rebuilding housing to creating new transit solutions for the city. To view the report please click HERE.
1/11/2006 Plans to rebuild New Orleans spark controversy by AP. NEW ORLEANS (AP)
Angry residents expressed frustration Wednesday at the debut of rebuilding proposals for this devastated city, taking aim at a suggested four-month moratorium on new building permits in areas heavily flooded by Hurricane Katrina.
1/6/2006 New Orleans Homeowners Fight to Save Homes from Bulldozers by Michelle Chen for The NewStandard
Lower Ninth Ward residents and their advocates talk about why they persist in opposing City Hall's plans to demolish and clear out thousands of storm-ravaged houses in their beleaguered neighborhood.
1/1/2006 Brookings Creates "Katrina Index" to Track Progress in New Orleans
Three months after Hurricane Katrina came ashore, it is difficult to gauge what progress-if any-has been made in rebuilding New Orleans and its region. The Metropolitan Policy Program at the Brookings Institution is trying to track project with its index project. Indicators include: How many people are back in New Orleans on a permanent basis? How many are living in trailers? Who has running water and electricity? What public schools are open again? Who is working, and how much are they being paid? The Brookings index captures roughly 50 economic and social indicators like these, finding that the region remains mired in a state of emergency. Click here to see the index or here to read a review of the federal response after the storm.
12/23/2005 KATRINA AND THE SECOND DISASTER: A Twenty-Point Plan to Destroy Black New Orleans By Robert D. Bullard-EJRC
As reconstruction and rebuilding move forward in New Orleans and the Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama Gulf Coast region, it is clear that the lethargic and inept emergency response after Hurricane Katrina was a disaster that overshadowed the deadly storm itself. Yet, there is a "second disaster" in the making-driven by racism, classism, elitism, paternalism, and old-fashion greed. The following "Twenty-Point Plan to Destroy Black New Orleans" is based on trends and observations made over the past three months. Hopefully, the good people of New Orleans, Louisiana, the Gulf Coast, and the United States will not allow this plan to go forward-and instead adopt a principled plan and approach to rebuilding and bringing back New Orleans that is respectful of all of its citizens. To view the full article please click HERE.
12/20/2005 National Fair Housing Alliance Uncovers High Rate of Housing Discrimination Against African-American Hurricane Evacuees
WASHINGTON, D.C., The National Fair Housing Alliance (NFHA) released today a report documenting a significant incidence of housing discrimination against African-American persons displaced by Hurricane Katrina. NFHA also announced the filing of five race-based housing discrimination complaints against rental housing complexes located in Dallas, Texas; Birmingham, Alabama; and Gainesville, Florida. These complaints, filed with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), are based on evidence uncovered by testing conducted in seventeen cities. These are the first in a series of complaints to be filed against apartment complexes throughout the South and Southwest because rental managers denied housing or gave untruthful information to African-Americans who identified themselves as people displaced by Hurricane Katrina.
12/20/2005 No Home for the Holidays: Report on Housing Discrimination Against Hurricane Katrina Survivors
In response to concerns of housing discrimination against persons forced to evacuate because of Hurricane Katrina, The National Fair Housing Alliance (NFHA) conducted an investigation of rental housing practices in five states to determine whether victims of Hurricane Katrina would be treated unfairly based on their race. We conducted tests over the telephone to determine what both African-American and White home seekers were told about unit availability, rent, discounts, and other terms and conditions of apartment leasing. In 66 percent of these tests - 43 of 65 instances - White callers were favored over African-American callers. We also conducted five matched pair tests in which persons visited apartment complexes. In those five tests, Whites were favored over African-Americans three times.
12/10/2005 Economic and Construction Outlook in the Gulf States After Hurricane Katrina by AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker, PhD, Hon. AIA
Drawing from material supplied to the AIA by the economics consulting firm, economy.com, and from surveys of AIA members, the report addresses the effect of the broader economy on the rebuilding of the Katrina-stricken Gulf Region as well as a likely timetable for the construction. It presents separate economic and construction indicators for Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama, plus materials price estimates and the labor outlook for the region.
11/16/2005 FAIR HOUSING CENTER FILES DISCRIMINATION COMPLAINT AGAINST HOUSING AUTHORITY OF NEW ORLEANS
On November 16, 2005, the Greater New Orleans Fair Housing Action Center (GNOFHAC) filed a housing discrimination complaint against the Housing Authority of New Orleans (HANO). The complaint, filed with the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, accuses HANO of violating a 2003 enforcement agreement entered into between former St. Thomas Housing Development residents, the City of New Orleans, HANO, and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development during the HOPE VI redevelopment of St. Thomas, now known as River Garden.
11/10/05 Will "Greening" the Gulf Coast after Katrina Help or Hurt Blacks? by Robert D. Bullard and Monique Harden.
There is no question that rebuilding the Gulf Coast region after Hurricane Katrina should employ the best green technology available and should employ practices that are sustainable. However, it is imperative that rebuilding, green or otherwise, is fair, just, equitable, inclusive, and carried out in a nondiscriminatory way. For the full article click HERE.
11/2/2005 Hurricane response plan too late, Strategy to help poor hit snags by Bob Kemper - AJC Staff
10/31/2005 An Alternative Plan - Post Katrina by Jeffrey Lowe, chair of Planning and Black Community Division for the American Planners Association lays out the rebuilding plan for New Orleans created by black social scientists. For the Tavis Smiley Show. For the Interview click HERE. Click HERE to view the document.
10/27/2005 Prevailing Wages to Be Paid Again On Gulf Coast: Rule Was Waived for Post-Katrina Work, By Griff Witte for the Washington Post
10/07/05 - HURRICANE RECOVERY: EPA bill would create a new health hazard by Robert Bullard
They say those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it. But you would think it would take more than four years to forget valuable lessons. After the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center, we realized the necessity of protecting public health in the wake of a disaster.Days after the attacks, the Environmental Protection Agency found that worrisome levels of asbestos, a cancer-causing agent, contaminated parts of lower Manhattan. But that warning never reached the public because the White House edited it out of its news release to speed recovery. Today, 70 percent of the thousands of workers who cleaned up the nearby buildings are sick, many have been left incapacitated and others have died. Doctors predict the related death toll will eventually reach the thousands.
10/4/2005 The Katrina Legal Aid Resource Center
The Katrina Legal Aid Resource Center is for the victims of Hurricane Katrina, for the legal aid and defender programs that are helping them (including those who were themselves directly affected by the storm and those who are helping evacuees), and for private attorneys who are seeking ways to offer legal assistance. This site is a collaborative effort of the American Bar Association, the Legal Services Corporation, the National Legal Aid and Defender Association, and Pro Bono Net. It seeks to coordinate the efforts of the many lawyers who have come to the fore to help in this crisis to address the needs of those who need help. For more information please click HERE.
10/3/2005 Signs of Environmental Hazards Dampen Katrina Homecoming by Michelle Chen for The NewStandard
City officials urging residents to repopulate select parts of New Orleans know little about the storm's ecological impact, leading critics to question the sensibility and motives of the effort.
For the full article please click HERE.
9/29/2005 NBEJN Katrina Survivor Testifies in Congress
The co-chair of the National Black Environmental Justice Network, Dr. Beverly Wirght, testified before the U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on Environment and Hazardous Material, Committee on Energy and Commerce. A Hurricane Katrina Survivor and director of the Deep South Center for Environmental Justice at Dillard University in New Orleans, Dr. Wright testified on critical health, environmenal, and economic justice concerns in the aftermath of Katrina. To view her testimony click HERE.
9/29/2005 LEGACY OF UNFAIRNESS: WHY SOME AMERICANS GET LEFT BEHIND by Robert D. Bullard and Beverly Wright
As the floodwaters recede in New Orleans and the Gulf Coast region, it is clear that the lethargic and inept emergency response after Hurricane Katrina was a disaster that overshadowed the deadly storm itself. Questions linger: What went wrong? Can it happen again? Is government equipped to plan for, mitigate against, respond to, and recover from natural and manmade disasters? Can the public trust government response to be fair? Does race matter? For the full article please click HERE.
9/29/2009 Kerry, Durbin, Solis, Hastings Fight to Protect Public Health And Environmental Equality in the Gulf Coast
Bill would put Congress on record against gutting health and environmental protections for victims of Katrina
To view the Press Release please click HERE.
9/26/2005 HIGH WATER: How Presidents and citizens react to disaster by DAVID REMNICK for the New Yorker
On September 10, 1965, President Lyndon Johnson had lunch in the Roosevelt Roomthe "Fish Room," as F.D.R. called itwith several aides and half a dozen ambassadors of modest-sized countries. Then he returned to the Oval Office for a routine round of meetings and telephone callsa fairly ordinary, crowded day amid the growing crisis of the war in Vietnam. At 2:36 P.M., according to copies of Johnson's daily diaries, the President took a call from Senator Russell Long, of Louisiana. The day before, Hurricane Betsy had made landfall on the Gulf Coast. Storm gusts were up to a hundred and sixty miles an hour, and in New Orleans levees had been breached, causing much of the city to flood overnight.
To view the full article please click HERE.
9/26/2005 An Unnatural Disaster: The Aftermath of Hurricane Katrina by the Center for Progressive Reform
In the weeks since Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast, much attention has been paid to the manifest failure of government rescue efforts. The searing images on Americans' television screens, persisting for days after the storm had passed, demanded as much. But as cleanup and rebuilding commence, a broader view is in order, one focused less on the apparent incompetence and unpreparedness of the government officials charged with managing such emergencies, and more on the failures of policy-making and resource allocation leading up to the disaster. An examination of those failures leads to a simple conclusion: the hurricane could not have been prevented, and some flooding may have been inevitable, but at least some, and perhaps much, of the damage visited upon New Orleans by Hurricane Katrina could have been prevented by wiser public policy choices. To view the full report please click HERE.
9/16/2005 New Orleans' Dispossessed Reach for Cohesion and Clout by Jonathan Tilove-Newhouse News Service
Cast to the four winds, the populace of New Orleans -- especially the black and poor -- grows more dispersed by the day. In theory, this remains the citizenry of the Crescent City. And amid the chaos of recovery and relocation, activists, organizers, clergy, elected officials, urban planners and political thinkers are struggling to make that citizenship real -- to bind Hurricane Katrina's diaspora so its people can influence the decisions that determine their city's fate.
9/16/2005 SAVING OUR SELVES (S.O.S) COALITION, & SELF HELP NETWORKS, MAIN KATRINA RELIEF HELP FOR RURAL MISS., ALA. POOR. (Press Release)
To view the press release please click HERE.
9/8/2005 Race to the Bottom Slow Katrina evacuation fits pattern of injustice during crises By Liza Featherstone
Much of the world -- including white America -- has been shocked by the devastation in New Orleans, and by the ongoing failures it has exposed at every possible level of government. Even normally unflappable TV news anchors and politicians have been moved to outrage, asking why those left behind were mostly black, poor, disabled, elderly. Veterans of the environmental-justice movement, especially those working in New Orleans, are just as appalled -- but they are less surprised. Indeed, they're finding their most chilling fears confirmed.
9/7/2005 The fatal mix of environmental damage, poor resource allocation, inequality By Hari Osofsky
In 1968, the Kerner Commission report found that the United States "is moving towards two societies, one black, one white - separate and unequal." In 2005, those seeking refuge in the New Orleans Superdome, weeping over drowned relatives, and wading through toxic water were predominantly African-American Hurricane Katrina's aftermath demonstrates this country's crisis of environmental justice. As the endless images cruelly reveal, the effects of this hurricane were not distributed randomly. Low-income people of color lived in more vulnerable situations and had fewer options. Last Friday's New York Times quoted one man who stood waiting in front of the Superdome as saying, "We're just a bunch of rats."
9/2/2005 Gulf 's Toxic Stew Adds to Crisis for Black Residents, by Mary M. Chapman, BET, News Report
Weary, anxious and in shock, Thomas Reed is doing the only thing he can do - wait. He's sitting in a hotel room 400 miles from his drowned hometown, fielding calls from worried loved ones, one eye on the TV set. He can barely believe what he's seeing. "I have never, ever seen anything like this," says Reed, a Black group insurance salesman who fled New Orleans with his two kids Sunday for Greenville, Miss. "I even see some faces I recognize." Most of them Black faces.
9/192005 This is Criminal: A detailed account from Green Party leader Malik Rahim in the Algiers neighborhood of New Orleans,
by Malik Rahim for the Green Party of Louisiana
It's criminal. From what you're hearing, the people trapped in New Orleans are nothing but looters. We're told we should be more "neighborly." But nobody talked about being neighborly until after the people who could afford to leave -- left.
If you ain't got no money in America, you're on your own. People were told to go to the Superdome, but they have no food, no water there. And before they could get in, people had to stand in line for 4-5 hours in the rain because everybody was being searched one by one at the entrance.
I can understand the chaos that happened after the tsunami, because they had no warning, but here there was plenty of warning. In the three days before the hurricane hit, we knew it was coming and everyone could have been evacuated.