James Rucker: Are we finally ready to help rebuild the Gulf Coast?

James Rucker of ColorOfChange.org today sent out an email promoting a bill in Congress that will give Katrina survivors a fair chance to rebuild their lives. But it won’t become law if enough representatives don’t stand up to support it.

Three years after Hurricane Katrina, there’s finally legislation.

The Gulf Coast Civic Works Act would hire 100,000 Gulf Coast residents and evacuees, providing them with training and jobs to rebuild their homes and communities. It started as nothing more than a good idea, but after thousands of ColorOfChange.org members called on Congress to support the plan, and after years of persistent activism from students and Gulf Coast organizations, it now has a real chance of bringing some justice to the Gulf.

Even though it’s come this far, it will take massive public pressure on each member of Congress to get the bill passed. If we want justice for Katrina survivors, we need to make our voices heard now as the media focuses its attention on the third anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.

I’ve signed on with ColorOfChange.org to tell my member of Congress to co-sponsor the Gulf Coast Civic Works Act, will you join us?


The Gulf Coast Civic Works Act represents a powerful shift from what’s currently happening in the Gulf. It calls for hiring 100,000 Gulf Coast residents to rebuild New Orleans and the surrounding region. They’ll be provided with temporary housing and job-training and will build and repair houses, schools, parks, and other civic buildings.

The idea behind the Gulf Coast Civic Works Project is not new. During the Great Depression, the federal government believed it had a responsibility to ensure that those hit hardest did not fall through the cracks. It also knew that those Americans wanted a hand up, not a handout. So, in 1935, Congress created a program to hire out-of-work Americans to get things done to benefit their communities.

It’s a plan that makes sense–for displaced survivors, for the communities of the Gulf Coast, for the nation as a whole. It provides an opportunity to invest in Americans while reversing the most glaring problems that plague current rebuilding plans: gentrification, government waste, and massive corporate profiteering. It would revitalize the Gulf Coast’s economy while rebuilding its infrastructure, and it’s a model that could be applied to solve similar problems across the country.

Learn more and please join us by calling on your representative to co-sponsor the Gulf Coast Civic Works Act. It only takes a minute:



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