FEMA Protest Today

A coalition called the Hip Hop Caucus is organizing a protest of FEMA today at 11 a.m. to draw attention to the agency’s inadequate response to provide housing to hurricane survivors. The group, which seeks to “provide a comprehensive agenda for the Hip-Hop community both domestically and abroad” is holding a protest of FEMA in Washington, D.C., and encouraging supporters to call in to Congress to support a Katrina relief bill. The groups are circulating their action alert with this CNN story which reports on the slow progress of FEMA to provide for temporary housing in Louisiana. Their action alert is after the jump.


Katrina Survivors’ Day of Solidarity

Join Wednesday’s National Actions by Foot or by Phone


Washington, D.C. Protest

When: Wednesday, December 14 at 11 a.m. EST
Where: FEMA head office, 500 C Street, S.W., Washington, D.C.

(or meet at 10 a.m. at L’Enfant Plaza Metro Station)

Then at noon, join the march to Congress

Solidarity Phone-In/Lobbying Blitz

Telephone calls to make on December 14:

1. Call FEMA between 11 a.m. – noon, at 202-566-1600.

Ask for FEMA Director R. David Paulison (Homeland Security for Emergency Preparedness and Response) or David Garratt (Acting Division Director of FEMA’s Recovery Division).

What you can say:

* Do not leave survivors homeless for the holidays or any day.
* Base policy decisions on human needs, not on agency deadlines.
* Extend the December 15th and January 7 deadlines for evacuees living
* in hotels until you have specific transitional or long-term housing in place.
* After three months, FEMA has failed to provide the conditions for survivors to return to New Orleans. FEMA must provide trailers; make public housing and other available units accessible through the use of Section 8 vouchers; set up a Victims Compensation Fund like the one for 9/11 victims; and involve survivors in reconstruction plans and the allocation of resources for affordable housing for New Orleans.

2. Call your Representative toll-free at 800-426-8073 (Capitol switchboard) and ask to be connected to your member of the U.S. House of Representatives. If you’re not sure who your Representative is, tell the switchboard. They will identify your Representative and connect you.

What you can say:

My name is _______________ and I live in (your town/city).
I would likeRepresentative ____ to sponsor HR 4197–the Hurricane Katrina Recovery, Reclamation, Restoration, Reconstruction and Reunion Act of 2005–which provides the most comprehensive plan to provide for the needs of Katrina survivors. I support HR 4197 because it provides assistance with housing and jobs, facilitates the reunion of families, and upholds the right of Katrina survivors to return to their communities.

3. Call your Senators via the Senate switchboard at 202-225-3121.

What you can say:

Prevent federal funds from being used for the next two years to take private property (i.e., homes) by eminent domain. Support HR 4128, co-sponsored by Rep. Maxine Waters, as it comes to Senate.

4. Call the White House at 202-456-1111/202-456-6213 (TTY)

What you can say:

“President Bush, you promised to spend whatever it takes to ensure the recovery of the Gulf Coast region. You promised to ensure that the displaced would be able to return home. You have broken your promise to Katrina survivors and to this nation. While your family celebrates Christmas, do not let the victims of Katrina suffer as newly homeless for the holidays. Prevent FEMA from turning people out of hotels tomorrow. And on January 7, compel FEMA to expand its housing assistance and provisions for transitional and long-term housing. Meet with representatives of the People’s Hurricane Relief and Oversight Coalition to involve survivors in the process of reconstruction.”

5. Email FEMA: FEMA-Correspondence-Unit@dhs.gov

Address FEMA Director R. David Paulison (Homeland Security for Emergency

Preparedness and Response and Acting Recovery Director), and David

Garratt (Acting Division Director of FEMA’s Recovery Division).

See above for what you can write (“Do not leave survivors…”)

For more information … check out www.upfordemocracy.org, www.katrinaaction.org and www.communitylaborunited.net

This Protest is Sponsored by: Hip Hop Caucus, UP for Democracy the People’s Hurricane Relief Fund and Oversight Coalition, African-American Clergy, and progressive partners such as the Backbone Campaign, and so many others…

Author: Rob Goodspeed