As the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina approaches, some civil rights leaders say they will call on President Bush to organize a summit to review the government’s rebuilding efforts along the Gulf Coast.
“We ought to demand a meeting with the president,” the Rev. Al Sharpton said Friday during a panel discussion at the annual National Urban League Conference, being held in Atlanta. “A year later, nothing’s changed.”
The push to “shrink” New Orleans was rooted in a desire to use Katrina as an opportunity to push poor minorities out of the city in a 21st century version of “urban renewal,” Morial said.
“That notion was morally wrong,” he said.
The Rev. Jesse Jackson repeated his call for a program for the region like the Marshall Plan that aided post-World War II Europe, providing long-term, low-interest loans to help people recover. Jackson also suggested a “massive” program to teach skills that would allow unemployed youth in the area to get jobs helping to rebuild their communities.
——A New Orleans judge said that unless officials act swiftly to fix the city’s hurricane-ravaged indigent defense office, he will begin releasing defendants whose trials have been delayed. The ruling could affect up to 6,000 defendants.