In our new report, "One Year after Katrina," the Institute concludes that the Gulf Coast recovery has "failed," and that lack of leadership and misplaced priorities at the federal level are to blame.

Those findings are based on over 250 statistical indicators and over 50 status reports, in-depth investigations, and profiles of community leaders.

Are we being too negative? Isn't media coverage filled with stories about "signs of progress and hope" in the Gulf? Well, let's ask the people who have been affected.

According to an ABC News poll of Gulf Coast residents, our findings are in line with how they view the situation. Some of the more disturbing poll results:


* Across the 91 counties in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama designated as Katrina disaster areas, 57 percent of residents say most of the approximately $44 billion the federal government has spent on hurricane recovery in the last year has been wasted - and that rises to 66 percent in New Orleans.

* 84 percent in New Orleans, and nearly six in 10 in the Gulf Coast more broadly, give negative ratings to the way the government has dealt with Katrina recovery.

* Seventy percent in New Orleans lack confidence in the government's ability to handle another major disaster.

* Most blacks in the region and across the country think race has affected recovery efforts.

* Nearly three-quarters of New Orleans residents say they have not yet personally recovered from Katrina, six in 10 report long-term damage to their emotional well-being and about as many say the possibility of another hurricane is creating stress and anxiety in their lives.

This was one of the gravest tragedies in our country's history. The people affected definitely feel they have been left behind. Congress and the White House haven't even moved to officially acknowledge August 29, 2006, in any official way -- not even a painless resolution.