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actions & protests | homelessness | katrina aftermath

KATRINA HOTEL EVICTIONS - TURN UP THE HEAT

Just as we feared, most of those evicted on the 13th did not have alternative housing. Some were arrested for trespassing as they sought shelter in abandoned buildings, and many dispersed throughout the country, refugees once again. This cannot be allowed to happen again. March 1st will be the final battle for thousands of NOLA families facing homelessness.
Just as we feared, most of those evicted on the 13th did not have alternative housing. Some were arrested for trespassing as they sought shelter in abandoned buildings, and many dispersed throughout the country, refugees once again. This cannot be allowed to happen again. March 1st will be the final battle for thousands of NOLA families facing homelessness. In the face of our last court case, FEMA provided extensions through March 1st to many NOLA hotel residents, but that will not happen again! It will only be organization and action that can avert this crisis - the courts have already failed the people. Federal Judge Duval refused to intervene, saying, "I'm not sure if I'm serving justice but at least I know I'm following the law." When the courts are not just, justice is up to the people!

If you can come to New Orleans we still need you. Everyone else should continue calling and writing everyday before the March 1st evictions. On the 13th, private security firms, mercenaries, with shotguns stood ready to evict families with nowhere else to go. It was public pressure through the calls and emails sent in, the threat of an injunction, and our presence at the hotels that kept families housed until March 1st. We need to turn up the pressure because we can no longer rely on legal means to help these residents.

CONTACTS

FEMA
Nicol Andrews, Deputy Strategic Director, 202-646-7917,  nicol.andrews@dhs.gov
David Passey, Region VI Public Affairs, 940-898-5287,  david.passey@dhs.gov
Carl Suchocki, Disaster Response and Recovery, 202-646-3988
Michael Widomski, Recovery Specialist, 202-646-4337,  michael.widomski@dhs.gov
Debbie Wing, Response Specialist, 202-646-3572,  deborah.wing@dhs.gov

MAYOR NAGIN ph 504-658-4900, fx 504-658-4939

CITY COUNCIL MEMBERS ph 504-658-(1010 John Batt) (1020 Renee Pratt) (1030 Jacquelyn Clarkson) (1040 Cynthia Morrell) (1050 Cynthia Lewis) (1060 Ed Sapir) (1070 Oliver Thomas)

GOVERNOR BLANCO ph 866-366-1121, fx 225-342-7099

WHEN YOU CALL OR WRITE:
Tell each council member and the mayor to provide housing now! Council members must stop pushing trailer parks out of their districts, and the mayor must take a stand for housing NOLA citizens. Now is not the time for self-interested political jockeying.

Tell the elected officials: There are major effortrs organizing the upcoming voting for their evacuated constituents. If they do not act in the best interests of ALL their constituents they will be defeated in the upcoming elections.

Tell the elected officials: Governor Blanco's plan to shelter survivors for 30 days in cities far from their jobs and their damaged homes is unacceptable. Those shelters must be provided in New Orleans.

Tell FEMA: The Stafford Act requires that transitional housing and rental assistance must be provided locally to the survivors workplace. Trailers hours outside of NOLA are not feasible, or acceptable.
Tell FEMA and the elected officials: Do not remove the cruise ships as planned on 2/28. Canceling housing for thousands of city workers and residents right after Mardi Gras is grossly manipulative, and will make the housing crisis that much more severe.
Tell everyone: The money that has been pledged to the recovery belongs to the people, not the corporations. Homeowners who need grants to rebuild are being pressured into taking loans from the Small Business Association. Rebuild NOLA homes, and give corporations the loans.

NO MORE HOMELESS KATRINA SURVIVORS!

On March 1st, the New Orleans homeless population will skyrocket, and the basic rights of Katrina survivors will be trampelled again. FEMA's short-term hotel program expires for virtually all of the thousands of displaced hurricane survivors and most of these evacuees have not been provided with long-term, or even transitional housing solutions.
For those lucky enough to have gained access to FEMA's long-term resources, many have been told they must live far from their jobs, far from homes needing repair, and out of reach of their communities. Transitional housing is meant to aid people in fixing up their houses and reclaiming their previous lives. Despite not having any local long-term housing for the hotel guests, mercenary security groups are on call to evict people at gun point. There are three groups of people who are making the decision to evict these people; these three groups should be the targets of our dissent.

FEMA - The Short Term Lodging program is required to provide shelter until transitional housing is provided. All FEMA guests should be extended until a long-term solution has been found for them. Rental assistance needs to cover a market that is roughly triple the pre-Katrina levels. Trailers must be placed locally for survivors to maintain their jobs, rebuild their homes and reclaim their lives.

LOCAL POLITICIANS - Hundreds of FEMA trailers have arrived in New Orleans, yet they sit in train yards unoccupied. City officials continue to bicker over where the trailers should be placed. Many public housing developments also lie vacant, despite remaining virtually unscathed through the storm. The only solution the Governor has offered is a thirty day shelter program in either Baton Rouge or Lafayette. This is not an option for those who maintain jobs or are fixing up their homes within New Orleans.

If justice must come from the people, we need as much pressure as possible on these targets. Please start calling FEMA and the New Orleans elected officials. Don't let survivors be taken out by governmental neglect, corporate greed and private mercenaries!

For more info contact
 http://www.no-heat.org, 504-883-8225
 http://www.commongroundrelief.org