NewswireToday - /newswire/ -
Kew Gardens, NY, United States, 2006/01/05 - A non-profit network dedicated to making the federal government commit to protecting America’s beloved City of New Orleans with category 5–strength levees..
Levees Not War is a nonprofit network dedicated to making the federal government commit to protecting America’s beloved City of New Orleans with category 5–strength levees. The network says the White House and Congress should fulfill the promises President Bush made in his Sept. 15 speech from Jackson Square, and calls for federal action on six priorities without further delay:
• President Bush should visit New Orleans for several days (no more “drive-by photo-ops”), meet the people, walk through the devastated, depopulated neighborhoods (some 200,000 ruined homes); smell the decay; and then tell the people that the government is doing all it can;
• The President should appoint an empowered, energetic, high-profile director—someone like Colin Powell—to administer a large-scale public works program for emergency reconstruction (“recovery czar” Donald E. Powell is far too passive);
• The President should support and Congress should pass Rep. Richard H. Baker’s (R-La.) proposed Louisiana Recovery Corporation (the “federal buyout bill”) to repair housing and public works—but ensure that homeowners, not mortgage lenders, are the primary beneficiaries;
• Immediate major funding for the Army Corps of Engineers and the Small Business Administration, etc.: New Orleans must have category 5–strength levees, and small business owners need immediate relief or they’ll go out of business (many already have);
• A new Civilian Conservation Corps to help clean up the debris and rebuild the damaged infrastructure, and begin restoring the eroded coastline;
• FEMA totally refurbished and made independent of the Department of Homeland Security.
The web site is a practical, one-stop activist’s resource, listing phone and fax numbers of key senators, the White House, and news organizations; links to relief organizations other than Red Cross, environmental groups such as the Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana, and links to articles, documents, and legislation such as the Gulf Coast Rebuilding Plan proposed by Senators Kennedy and Gregg. The “Ecology/Economy” page (in development) will explain the man-made deterioration of the Louisiana coastline, the global warming/hurricane connection, and Louisiana’s irreplaceable economic contributions to the nation, including oil, natural gas, seafood, the Port of New Orleans, etc.