30 SECONDS CAN HELP BRING A PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE TO NEW ORLEANS
In recognition of the 2nd anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, please take a moment to contact your lawmakers today and ask them to support an effort begun by Friends of New Orleans' local partner, Women of the Storm, to help bring a 2008 presidential debate to New Orleans.
It makes sense that discussions about the nation's domestic agenda take place in New Orleans, a city that is rebuilding its infrastructure and confronting social, environmental, and security issues on a daily basis. The funds to host the debate are already in place, the city has the hotel and convention infrastructure to be a gracious host and the effort has received endorsements from both sides of the aisle, including Senators Clinton, Obama, McCain and Governor Romney.
The Commission on Presidential Debates is currently deliberating, but is expected to announce their decision within a matter of days.
What happened on August 29, 2005 was not a natural disaster, it was an avoidable, manmade disaster caused by the engineering mistakes of the Corps of Engineers. Yet two years after the flooding of New Orleans, thousands are still displaced, basic infrastructure and services have yet to be fully restored, and efforts to strengthen levees and restore Louisiana’s disappearing coastline have been inadequate. To address these issues, we need an action plan for the region that includes:
* Total and world class flood protection, including an immediate and comprehensive wetland restoration plan, levee, pumps, and tax credits for households engaging in flood mitigation activities like raising their homes and using cisterns.
* Comprehensive supports for the expeditious return of those displaced including stable, safe and environmentally sound housing, job assistance and other services.
* Access to health services including mental health support and wellness care for every survivor, displaced or returnee in the process of rebuilding.
* Access to quality schools for every child.
We cannot continue to ignore the plight of the people along the Gulf Coast, and those who remain displaced. As the candidates seeking the office of President of the United States talk about their plans for the country, it only makes sense that discussions about the nation’s domestic agenda take place in New Orleans, a city that is rebuilding its infrastructure and confronting social, environmental, and security issues on a daily basis.
FONO local partner organization Women of the Storm has collaborated with Dillard, Loyola, Tulane and Xavier Universities on an application to bring a 2008 Presidential debate to New Orleans, and their effort has received endorsements from both sides of the aisle. The Commission on Presidential Debates is currently deliberating, but is expected to announce their decision within a matter of days.
As we commemorate the second anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, we ask you to take this action today to reopen a national dialog about these issues. Please contact The Commission on Presidential debates and urge them to choose New Orleans as a site for one of the 2008 Presidential debates.