Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Update From The Katrina/Ritaville Express

I thought you all might appreciate an update from the KatrinaRitaVille Express FEMA Trailer Tour (with thanks to Judy Hatcher at the Environmental Support Center in Washington DC):

Hello Everyone -

I pray that each of you is safe and unharmed after Hurricane Gustav. My mother and neighbors in Turkey Creek are all doing fine. With deep consideration, the KatrinaRitaVille Express FEMA trailer will return to the gulf coast this week instead of going to St. Paul for the Republican convention. It was a big hit at last week's DNC in Denver.

I am also reaching out because of Gustav's national press coverage so far. The most impacted people and places are once again missing from media's dominant "spin." I have not seen one single report addressing just how wounded these communities remained from Katrina and Rita when Gustav struck.

With the gulf coast unexpectedly (and briefly) back in the spotlight, it seems both possible and important to drive home a different "big picture" - one shared by GCF (Gulf Coast Fund) Advisors and Grantees for almost three years. If this doesn't happen, it seems clear already that improved evacuation measures and NOLA's escape from total disaster will be used to close the book on our region's and communities' unmet recovery needs.


In closing, consider the following post from the KatrinaRitaVille Express website:

Many gulf coast community leaders are connected through the KRV Express, the Gulf Coast Fund for Community Renewal, and other regional networks spawned by the Hurricanes of 2005. Because our "family" of struggling communities and grassroots leaders spans coastal LA, MS, AL and TX (and a 49-state Diaspora), we share the sorrow of knowing that someone(s) dear to all of us have suffered Gustav's heaviest blows. We also know that longterm adversities are again most likely in low-income and/or minority communities that have still not recovered from Katrina or Rita. Throughout the gulf region, these people and places suffer disproportionately from inadequate infrastructure and services, accelerated wetlands loss, toxic contamination, and the narrow definitions of "disaster" and "recovery" embraced by media, government and Big Business. From Mobile and Biloxi to Houma and Port Arthur, we are concerned for one another's safety and united in our commitment to region-wide renewal that is healthy, just and sustainable for all.


Derrick Evans, Acting Coordinator
KatrinaRitaVille Express FEMA Trailer Tour

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