Katrina's second crisis

Tom Paine
by Van Jones & James Rucker

08/28/06

Last year, Americans met a massive human tragedy with a massive opening of our homes and our hearts. But as we enter the 12th month of this ongoing crisis in the Gulf Coast, it is clear that charity alone won't do. For too many of those whose lives were uprooted and overturned by Hurricane Katrina, the horrors of those first awful weeks in the fall of 2005 have given way to new fears, new struggles and new displacements. Many are not much better off than they were 12 months ago; some are arguably worse off. They are trying to rebuild their lives, to prevent the loss of their battered homes, to find jobs and to take care of their children. But despite the initial outpouring of support, those who were left behind in August 2005 are being left behind again. This is the second crisis of Katrina. How did it come to this? Why, when our individual actions exemplified such deep empathy and compassion, has our collective response fallen so short? Why, when we did so much as individuals to knit a fabric of community around those who lost everything, do we find our national safety net in such tatters?

http://tinyurl.com/ntrp3



After the deluge

In These Times
by Jane Slaughter

08/28/06

'In New Orleans, the history of work in this country over the last 15 years was compressed into six months,' says Saket Soni, an organizer for the New Orleans Worker Justice Coalition, one of several groups reaching out to workers in the post-flood city. To give workers a voice in its reconstruction, he says, the Coalition must somehow bring together new Latino immigrants with displaced New Orleanians, mostly African Americans, who are still struggling to return to the city. Before the levees broke, Latinos made up three percent of New Orleans' population. Today, they’ve risen to 20 percent, as immigrants seeking work in demolition and construction have arrived from other U.S. cities and from south of the border. A study by Tulane University and the University of California, Berkeley found that nearly half the reconstruction workers in the area are Latinos...

http://www.inthesetimes.com/site/main/article/2794/


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