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community building | katrina aftermath

New Orleans Resident Opens Community Center In Her Home

by Community Labor United Monday September 19, 2005 at 08:52 AM

September 18, New Orleans -- Mama Dee of 1733 N. Doregenois has not stopped since the day of the storm, August 29th. She, like so many New Orleans and Gulf Coast residents, is doing everything in her power and beyond imagination to maintain some semblance of everyday life and to rebuild from the shattering of the storm and neglect.
MEDIA ALERT
For Immediate Release
Attention: News Assignment

Community Labor United
People's Hurricane Relief Fund

PRESS CONFERENCE:
Monday, September 19, 10 AM
People's Hurricane Relief Fund Collection Point
1722 N. Doregenois, New Orleans

New Orleans Resident Opens Community Center In Her Home

People's Hurricane Relief Fund and Reconstruction Project Expands

September 18, New Orleans -- Mama Dee of 1733 N. Doregenois has not stopped since the day of the storm, August 29th. She, like so many New Orleans and Gulf Coast residents, is doing everything in her power and beyond imagination to maintain some semblance of everyday life and to rebuild from the shattering of the storm and neglect.

Today she announces that she will turn her home into a local office and collection point for the People's Hurricane Relief Fund and Reconstruction Project (PHRF), representing more than 45 community based, grassroots organizations in the region determined to oversee all aspects of the relief, recovery and reconstruction of their homes, neighborhoods and lives.

She will be joined at the announcement by committee representatives Curtis Muhammad of Community Labor United and Malcolm Suber, Executive Director of Urban Heart, an after school program based in four inner city schools focusing on building community schools.



According to Mr. Muhammad of the PHRF: "The government abandoned the people, the black and poor people. Now we are seeing the most remarkable determination, generosity, creativity and collectivity on the part of those whose lives have been ravaged, and from people far and wide. It is deeply moving, necessary, and hopeful in the face of the horror and neglect that can only be construed as the most blatant racism. Mama Dee is acting in the tradition of the powerful women in our community who have always stepped forward to make life possible."



PHRF stated days after Katrina that "the people of New Orleans will not go quietly into the night, scattering across this country to become homeless in countless other cities while federal relief funds are funneled into rebuilding casinos, hotels, chemical plants and the wealthy white districts of New Orleans like the French Quarter and the Garden District."

PHRF is calling on the government to:

- Provide funds for all displaced families to be reunited;
- Allocate the $50 billion for reconstruction to the victims of the hurricane in the form of a Victims Compensation Fund;
- Accept representation on all boards that are making decisions on spending public dollars for relief and reconstruction;
- Place displaced workers and residents of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast in public works jobs, offering union wages;
- Publicly account for and show the entire reconstruction process.

The PHRF, initiated by Community Labor United, is committed to supporting the leadership and oversight by evacuees in all aspects of this process including documentation of all displaced persons, family reunification, legal and health support, education and delivery of urgently needed supplies. The coalition is also appealing to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights to investigate the conditions before, during and after Hurricane Katrina.

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HAMMERHARDmediaworks
PHONE: 773.569.0568
EMAIL:  hammerhard@riseup.net
Labor donated

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HammerHard MediaWorks, a Chicago-based movement support group focused on public relations and media strategy, is working to build relationships with grassroots, community-based groups operating in New Orleans.

We would like to help get the word out about progressive/radical aid and relief projects to the corporate, progressive, and independent media in order to raise the profile of these groups and drive donations and other support their way.

We also are building working drafts of post-Katrina New Orleans media contacts. If you are an activist/progressive/grassroots/community group and want free access to these lists, or if you would like us to create and send out a press release for you, please contact:
hammerhard (at) riseup (dot) net

We are also working on putting together a new newswire for reporters, KatrinaAid Wire, that we will post on-line and e-mail to our contacts every day. The newswire will contact press releases and contact information from groups working on the ground in New Orleans. The wire should be up by the end of the week, and will be posted on our soon-to-be-up web site,  http://www.HammerHard.com