Community Labor United
People's Hurricane Relief Fund & Reconstruction Project
September 19, 2005

Hi Everyone,

First, we would like to thank everyone for your amazing work and energy around this project. Since we put out the first call for action a few weeks ago, we have been inundated with calls, emails, donations and offers of support. We have been overwhelmed by your commitment and generosity.

In light of proposals made at the meeting in Baton Rouge, Community Labor United (CLU) has been working to establish a structure with work committees. Based on the concept of a national campaign with local leadership, this committee structure will allow the work to be efficient and transparent. CLU members will finish reviewing the final draft of the committee structure by tomorrow morning and a call for volunteers for committees will be issued tomorrow afternoon.

Below is some information about the work we have been doing. Thank you again for all of your help and support! We look forward to working together!

Community Labor United

Monday, September 19, 2 PM
People's Hurricane Relief Fund Collection Point
1733 N. Dorgenois, New Orleans

New Orleans Resident Opens Community Center In Her Home People's Hurricane Relief Fund and Reconstruction Project Expands

September 19, New Orleans — 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 (PHRF), representing more than 45 community based, grassroots organizations in the region determined to oversee all aspects of the relief, recovery and reconstruction of their homes, neighborhoods and lives.

She will be joined at the announcement by committee representatives Curtis Muhammad of Community Labor United and Malcolm Suber, Executive Director of Urban Heart, an after school program based in four inner city schools focusing on building community schools.

According to Mr. Muhammad of the PHRF: "The government abandoned the people, the black and poor people. Now we are seeing the most remarkable determination, generosity, creativity and collectivity on the part of those whose lives have been ravaged, and from people far and wide. It is deeply moving, necessary, and hopeful in the face of the horror and neglect that can only be construed as the most blatant racism. Mama Dee is acting in the tradition of the powerful women in our community who have always stepped forward to make life possible."

PHRF stated days after Katrina that "the people of New Orleans will not go quietly into the night, scattering across this country to become homeless in countless other cities while federal relief funds are funneled into rebuilding casinos, hotels, chemical plants and the wealthy white districts of New Orleans like the French Quarter and the Garden District."

PHRF is calling on the government to:

The PHRF, initiated by Community Labor United, is committed to supporting the leadership and oversight by evacuees in all aspects of this process including documentation of all displaced persons, family reunification, legal and health support, education and delivery of urgently needed supplies. The coalition is also appealing to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights to investigate the conditions before, during and after Hurricane Katrina.

Copyright © 2005
Last Modified: September 20, 2005.
(Labor donated)