Defend democracy in the South.


Isaiah Funds launch in New Orleans

May 17, 2008 - As I reported yesterday, a national inter-faith group is expanding on the critical role that religious institutions have played in the Katrina rebuilding effort by launching the Isaiah Funds, an innovative loan and grant program to jump-start rebuilding in New Orleans.

Scandal-plagued HUD chief quits, but affordable housing crisis continues in the Gulf

April 4, 2008 - This week brought the news that Housing and Urban Development Secretary Alphonso Jackson would resign effective April 18 to "attend more diligently to personal and family matters." Those personal matters probably include staying out of jail, since Jackson is currently under investigation for political favoritism and corruption in the awarding of contracts as well as for lying to Congress.

You want offensive comments? Remember Katrina?

March 20, 2008 - It's been over a week now that the sermons of Rev. Jeremiah Wright -- Sen. Barack Obama's pastor in Chicago -- have been the top media headline of Election '08. The question of whether it makes sense to judge politicians by the company they keep is valid, but the media's sudden interest in such guilt-by-association is a bit surprising.

Katrina could be critical to Texas primaries

February 25, 2008 - With the March 4 Democratic primaries looming in Texas, much has been made of the Latino vote -- a significant 25% of the Democratic primary electorate there. But in a close race, the key block may turn out to be a relatively new demographic in the Texas political landscape: Katrina evacuees.

Human rights advocates blast U.S. record on race, Katrina

February 7, 2008 - Later this month, representatives of the Bush administration will travel to Geneva, Switzerland to defend the the United States' human rights record before a United Nations committee. Meanwhile, human rights advocates charge that the administration is not only failing to comply with a treaty to eliminate racial discrimination but is trying to whitewash the reality of racial inequality in America -- particularly in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

Mardi Gras 2008: Will justice come marching in?

January 26, 2008 - Mardi Gras is starting early in New Orleans this year -- the earliest anyone I talked to in New Orleans over the last two weeks could remember. The official start date was January 8, but the revelry will really get going tonight and keep going until Fat Tuesday on Feb. 5. Krewe de Vieux, one of the most irreverent Mardi Gras crewes, kicked things off last Saturday. But starting at 6 pm tonight, six crewes will start their 2008 parades.

South's political clout keeps rising, part I

January 25, 2008 - I just came back from a trip to New Orleans, this time to meet with leaders of the Interfaith Disaster Redevelopment Finance Fund -- a terrific initiative based at Mennonite Mutual Aid that is injecting badly-needed funds from faith groups in the the Katrina recovery to fill the gaps where Washington has fallen short.