Reconstruction for the People

Community Labor United -- an excellent group of grassroots activists in Louisiana and Mississippi and their allies -- have released a new dispatch about their work to ensure Gulf reconstruction serves ordinary people, not the developers, contractors and other powerful interests seeking to impose their agenda on the region. CLU has launched a People's Hurricane Relief Fund and Reconstruction Project to "oversee all aspects of the relief, recovery and reconstruction of their homes, neighborhoods and lives." This broad-based coalition of groups in the region has a clear set of demands which 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. They've also set up an office in the heart of the catastrophe: "Mama Dee of 1733 N. Dorgenois 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." These are dedicated, thoughtful activists with deep roots in the community, many dating back to the Black Freedom Movement of the 1950s and 60s. And they could definitely use your support. Contributions can be sent to: Vanguard Public Foundation 383 Rhode Island St., Ste 301 San Francisco, CA 94103 (put Community Labor United on the memo field) For more information, email Becky Belcore at UPDATE: You can read more about CLU and the Relief Fund and Reconstruction Project here (click on "Vets and the Storm" in the left-hand navigation bar)