Thursday, May 31, 2007

A Local Perspective

I cross-post many of my blog entries to the lefty blogs Daily Kos, MyDD, and Democratic Underground. DailyKos user and New Orleans resident doctor2ju offered the following comments to my entry about Congress' new Katrina recovery money.

Compare this with the Senate hearing this week
“Senator Landrieu held a hearing this week on the lack of progress in the "recovery". A lady who was the leader from the neighborhood Lakeview told a story that will stay with me the rest of my life. We have seen many wonderful volunteers that have come on their own to help us dig out of the mountain of devastation. She told the story of two of these volunteers from Boston, a mother and a nine year old daughter. After helping in the clean up for a week, the daughter looked up at her mother and asked "Mommy, when are we going home to America?" At this point the lady representative had to stop for a moment to choke back the tears of hurt. Once she composed herself, in cracking voice, she asked the senators "My question is the same. When can we return home to America?" Are we Americans or not? When the citizens of Iraq get more support from our government, MSN and even many of our fellow citizens, I think that is a more than fair question.”

Get the word out
“I have since found out her name is Connie Uddo, Director of St Paul's (Episcopal Church) Beacon of Hope neighborhood association. It is an organization meant to aid the rebirth of Lakeview.
http://www.lakewoodbeacon.org/?page=beacon_svcs
Quotes:
Times Picayune blog article here
Connie Uddo, administrator of St. Paul's Beacon of Hope Organization in Lakeview, described herself as the neighborhood "encourager, the cheerleader," constantly telling people that "Your life will come back." But now, she says, "I can't look them in the eye and tell them that anymore." Based on current pace of awarding checks, she figures it will take seven years for the last applicants to get their checks.
This is the only link I could find mentioning the statement that meant so much to me."

Forgot to Add
“She talked about how the churches have been carrying the weight of the services the government should be doing and that they are buckling under the pressure. This was in response to Alaska Senator Ted Stevens' (insensitive) question as to why government re-imbursement of services done is not working. (When he had a fire in his neighborhood, it worked out just fine. UGH!) She said that people, after waiting for months, don't have the money to buy sheetrock. The churches are doing it and are going broke doing it. This senator (of the bridge to nowhere fame) has actually SEEN the scope of the devastation. He visited Lakeview maybe 3 months after the storm and went up to a family digging through the debris of their former lives and asked them why the US should help them. He only decided to give us aid after he realized these citizens lost their homes due to substandard federal levees. Nathan, what world do these politicians inhabit?”

Doctor2ju's mother lives in Pass Christian, MS, where she attends Trinity Episcopal Church.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Nathan,
Thank you for all of your help. I received a reply from Senator Landrieu's office telling me that the video of the hearing is on the internet. Here is the link.
rtsp://video.c-span.org/project/hur/hur_e052427_GulfHousing.rm
Ms. Uddo's testimony occurs between 1:13 and 1:18. If you have the technically ability (I don't), maybe that segment could be posted. You need the Real Media player to download this. It is free at http://www.real.com/. Thank you again for caring. America, we need your help.
doctorj2u

Anonymous said...

Nathan,
Mark at Wetbankguide ( http://wetbankguide.blogspot.com/ ) was able to post the audio to You Tube. Here is the link.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wx6vNRak7U0&eurl=http%3A%2F%2Fwetbankguide%2Eblogspot%2Ecom%2F
Also NPR had a radio segment about the lack of recovery in Pass Christian. Here is the link. Just click "Listen" under "Katrina Still Bad For Business in Pass Christian"
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=10486252
doctorj2u