Monday, January 08, 2007

Something to do

Colleen Mondor of Chasing Ray has posted an extremely helpful thing at the Voices of New Orleans blog (the relevant information can be found at either of those links, and I'll paste it in below also):

This is an American city that is dying - the same city we watched in shocked horror and swore to save not even two years ago. If you are anywhere close to New Orleans then join in the march [on Thursday] and for those of you, like me, who are too distant to march then a virtual march is in order. We will fill the fax machines of Mayor Nagin, Gov. Blanco and the leaders of the Congressional Committees dedicated to overseeing the New Orleans rebuild with our thoughts on this senseless and preventable violence. We will tell them all enough is enough. We will tell them it is not about New Orleans anymore, it is about America, it is about Americans.

We will tell them they shouldn't worry about tourism because we won't be going to New Orleans for fun. We will tell them it about making New Orleans a safe and viable and working urban space that welcomes residents and visitors with ease. We will tell them this is a test of what America stands for that is just as important as Iraq or North Korea or Iran.

What is happening in New Orleans everyday is killing Americans, if that is not as significant as terrorist threats, then we are seriously distracted by international affairs to the detriment of domestic concerns. It is not about competition with foreign threats, it is about acknowledgement of what is happening here, on American soil.

We all have a stake in New Orleans and it is way past time that we acknowledge that responsibility.

Emails will not work for any of these folks, not for those of us outside of their districts, anyway. (Tricky isn't it - they block you if you aren't from their voting area.) But if hundreds, dare I say thousands of faxes arrive in various offices then maybe we will still be heard. Just send a note (the same to all of them to save time) and let our leaders know that as an American you will not tolerate the continued violence in New Orleans and you demand action on every level of the government to fix this problem. That means more competent police, more assistance to the courts, and more help in the schools to provide programs to curb juvenile violence.

It's twenty minutes out of your day and you can do this - we can all do this. Just be sure to include your full name and address in the letter - that way our congressmen and senators know you are a real voting member of American society and they can't dismiss you - they can not ignore you. Here are the fax numbers:

Louisiana Gov Kathleen Blanco: 225-342-7099

Rep. James Oberstar, Chairman, House Committee on Transportation & Infrastructure: 218-727-8270
Rep. John Mica, ranking Republican, House Comm on Transpo and Infra: 202-226-0821

Sen Daniel Inouye, Chairman Sen Committee on Commerce, Science & Transportation: 202-224-6747
Sen Ted Stevens, ranking Republican, Sen Comm on Commerce, Sci & Transpo: 202-224-2354

These are the Congressmen & Senators who have been holding hearings for New Orleans - they are the right ones to let know how you feel. Tell them you support the Thursday march on City Hall, and tell them you are angry. Tell them we are all angry and we aren't going to go away.

I'll be back with contact info for the City of New Orleans - so far no luck finding a fax number for city hall. If someone can help with that, send me an email at colleenatchasingraydotcom.

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