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Barbara Lee Blames War for Slow Response to Katrina
t r u t h o u t | Press Release
Friday 02 September 2005
Oakland, CA - In a statement issued Friday September 2nd, Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-Oakland) lambasted the Administration's slow response and lack of action to help the Gulf Coast communities destroyed by Hurricane Katrina.
"The slow response to the needs of the people in the areas hit hardest by Hurricane Katrina is inexcusable. We had several days advance notice that the Hurricane was coming, but where was the preparedness? Why weren't the hospitals, schools, and seniors evacuated immediately? Is this is an example of the Administration's idea of homeland security? If so, we are in trouble.
"If ever anyone doubted that there were two Americas, this disaster has made this division clear. The victims have largely been poor and black. The devastation from Hurricane Katrina only underscores the disastrous consequences of the Administration's failure to take even the most basic steps to alleviate poverty in the United States. The Administration can not ignore this reality.
"Furthermore, has the Administration shortchanged homeland preparedness, in favor of funding a misguided war in Iraq and tax cuts for the wealthy? What other critical services, such as funding for levees, have been cut from the budget to fund this war? Now is the time for Congress to aggressively pursue oversight hearings. We need answers.
"I have been in close contact with the congressional members from the states affected by Hurricane Katrina and have heard from the American Red Cross. We all agree that it is time for our country to work together and help those who have so little and have lost so much.
"I call on President Bush and FEMA Director Michael Brown to follow through on their promises and deploy immediate emergency aid. Furthermore, I challenge the President to address this national catastrophe with the same resolve as he did in leading America into the war in Iraq.
"I am working with private citizens, business leaders and places of worship within my district as well as fellow congressional members to deliver immediate assistance to the victims of Hurricane Katrina. For example, I am working with the California State University, the University of California, the Peralta Colleges, and local universities to find space for displaced students.
"On Wednesday, September 7, 2005 at the Ronald V. Dellums Federal Building at 1301 Clay Street in Downtown Oakland, from 8am-8pm, we will be collecting supplies and accepting donations for the relief."