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Reaffirming Support for Rebuilding the Gulf Coast


WHEREAS, the public workers in projects such as the Works Project Administration (WPA), the Public Works Administration (PWA), and the Civilian Conservation Corps during the Great Depression built or repaired 103 golf courses, 800 state parks, 1,000 airports, 2,500 hospitals, 2,500 sports stadiums, 8,192 parks, 11,338 schools, 12,800 playgrounds, 124,031 bridges, 125,110 public buildings and 651,087 miles of highways and roads, as well as hired 238 bands and orchestras; arrested 20 million acres from soil erosion, stocked one billion fish in lakes and rivers, and planted three billion trees; and 

WHEREAS, the efforts of the WPA and PWA during the Great Depression can still be seen in New Orleans through such city fixtures as Charity Hospital, the New Orleans Public Library in Bywater; the botanical garden and golf course at City Park; the Cabildo; Napoleon House; the Seventh Street Wharf; and the Audubon Zoo; and 

WHEREAS, Hurricane Katrina damaged and destroyed over 200,000 Gulf Coast homes, and damaged or destroyed schools, hospitals, police and fire stations, roads, community centers, bridges, parks, and forest land, and left over 100,000 individuals in Louisiana and across the Gulf Coast unemployed; and 

WHEREAS, the effects of Hurricane Katrina and Gustav underscores the need for environmental reform, including greener building practices, more efficient energy consumption, and a commitment to coastal conservation and restoration; and 

WHEREAS, New Orleans continues to restore its core infrastructure so that residents can return and businesses can function effectively; and 

WHEREAS, despite the federal government's response to this unprecedented disaster, individuals continue to struggle to regain and rebuild their lives; and 

WHEREAS, the Gulf Coast Civic Works Act, HR 2269, will ensure that real progress is made toward rebuilding and sustaining the Gulf Coast region through the establishment of a federal authority to fund resident-led recovery projects; the creation of 100,000 good jobs and training opportunities for local and displaced workers to rebuild infrastructure and restore the environment; empowering residents to realize their right to return with dignity and safety, revitalizing the local workforce, and helping create more sustainable communities; and 

WHEREAS, the Gulf Coast Civic Works Act, HR 2269, rebuilds vital public infrastructure and restores the environment, specifically: 

  • Rebuilds and repairs public infrastructure including schools, police and fire stations, hospitals, parks, roads, water and sewer systems, and cultural centers 

  • Builds equitable flood protection and restores marshes and wetlands 

  • Serves as a national model for disaster recovery and infrastructure development 

WHEREAS, the Gulf Coast Civic Works Act, HR 2269, creates jobs and provides job training, specifically: 

  • Creates a minimum of 100,000 jobs and training for Gulf Coast residents 

  • Creates a Civilian Conservation Corp for youth 17-24 to focus on wetland restoration, forestation, and urban greenery  

  • Provides 15 grants for artistic projects to highlight Gulf Coast culture and history 

WHEREAS, the Gulf Coast Civic Works Act, HR 2269, takes action to jumpstart the economy, specifically: 

  • Establishes the Gulf Coast Recovery Authority to implement and coordinate the necessary federal response to the devastation of the Gulf Coast 
  • Coordinates existing federal programs to ensure effective and efficient recovery 

  • Creates opportunities for local business through competitive contract bidding 

WHEREAS, the Gulf Coast Civic Works Act, HR 2269, spurs sustainable community development, specifically: 

  • Allows community groups and officials to determine what projects are needed in local advisory councils 

  • Focuses benefits on the regional economy through first source hiring provisions 

  • Strengthens workforce by providing jobs and needed skills training 

WHEREAS, the Gulf Coast Civic Works Act, HR 2269, requires accountability; and specifically: 

  • Requires oversight and community participation in all recovery projects 

WHEREAS, the impact of Hurricanes Katrina, Gustav and Ike is a national tragedy that requires the attention of every American, regardless of party affiliation or state residence. 

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the NAACP will continue to support the passage of HR 2269: the Gulf Coast Civic Works Act, to coordinate recovery projects, rebuild key infrastructure and ensure sustainable community development and is committed to working closely with local community groups, our Louisiana state and federal delegation, and the U.S. Congress to further strengthen this legislation as it moves through the Congress.