Statement From National Action Network President & Founder Rev. Al Sharpton Marking 10-years Since Hurricane Katrina—
For Immediate Release
August 29, 2015
Contact: Liz Kenigsberg/Dominic Hawkins
STATEMENT FROM NATIONAL ACTION NETWORK PRESIDENT & FOUNDER REV. AL SHARPTON MARKING 10-YEARS SINCE HURRICANE KATRINA
(New York, NY) – “Ten years after Hurricane Katrina, and as President Obama so eloquently said, it is important to remind people that the greatest damage from this storm was a man-made disaster. The levees broke not by an act of God, but rather it was the neglect of government that was responsible. Government refused to deal with the warnings about the infrastructure decay and disrepair that led to the flooding in the Ninth Ward – flooding that drove thousands of African Americans out of their community.
Over the last 10 years I have traveled back to New Orleans and surrounding communities over and over again. The situation in these communities is a lot better than it was, but the recovery and rebuilding – especially in minority communities – is not anywhere near where it should be. There is a disproportionate buildup of some parts of New Orleans, including areas that were not directly affected by the storm, while other areas continue to struggle to return to the way they were. Black businesses and Black banks are still lagging behind in their recovery. We must commit to completely restoring and rebuilding what was lost, not just cosmetically glossing over the damage. Those members of our community that still need new homes and the loans to help them rebuild should be the focus of our efforts.
And while we remember the devastation of Katrina, let us not forget that because of congressional ineptitude this same tragedy could happen all over again. The Republican-led Congress currently cannot pass an infrastructure bill to fix our aging bridges, tunnels and highways – once again disproportionately endangering communities of color. Let us come together, rise above the partisanship and learn the lessons of Katrina – so that this will never happen again.”