The Latest: Bush praises New Orleans charter schools

28 Aug 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Bush Returns to New Orleans for 10th Anniversary of Katrina.

When Hurricane Katrina rocked the Gulf Coast in 2005, displacing hundreds of thousands of residents, many wondered what shape a rebuilt city would take—or whether restoring the city would be possible at all.

Bush’s trip to New Orleans and Gulfport, Mississippi, to commemorate the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina (all times local): Former President George W. In the aftermath of the storm, a slew of nonprofits committed millions of dollars to support the construction of green homes in the city, which in turn prompted a green building trend in the city. Bush has arrived in Gulfport, Mississippi, where hundreds of people gathered in a beachside park to salute emergency responders who worked during and after Hurricane Katrina. The two met with students at the school’s gymnasium, where he was also greeted by New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu and former Louisiana governor Kathleen Blanco, who was in office during Katrina. “It’s the same resilience this city has shown the world over the last 10 years.

The residences built by the foundation included solar panels that reduce energy use from external sources and countertops made from recycled materials. His administration was roundly criticized in the days following the storm for a slow emergency response to the thousands of people needing shelter, supplies and security amid the flooding.

The ceremony will also feature Mayor Landrieu and local cultural and religious leaders. “You are an example of what is possible when, in the face of tragedy and in the face of hardship, good people come together to lend a hand,” he told hundreds of residents gathered at a new community center in the Lower Ninth Ward, which was devastated by the storm. “And brick by brick, block by block, neighborhood by neighborhood, you build a better future.” “The project of rebuilding here wasn’t simply to restore the city as it had been, it was to build a city as it should be,” he told the crowd of 600. “A city where everyone, no matter who they are or what they look like or how much money they’ve got, has an opportunity to make it.” Obama said despite weeks of volatility in global stock markets, “the United States of America, for all the challenges we still have, we continue to have the best cards — we just have to play them right.” “The world watched in horror as we saw those rising waters drown the iconic streets of New Orleans, families stranded on rooftops, bodies on the streets, children crying, crowded in the Super Dome,”. Green building materials, which often replace materials that exacerbate respiratory disease, can also improve environmental health, especially in low-income communities where asthma is particularly prevalent. “It’s not just because someone in the environmental community believes in green building,” said Royle. “Green building means lower bills, fewer trips to the hospital for children with asthma.” The green building group Global Green has become a lasting presence in local New Orleans communities, offering workshops on green building and inspecting homes to help identify cost-effective improvements, says Michelle Pyne, a senior staffer in New Orleans for Global Green. New Orleans public schools—110 of which were severely damaged—now have sustainability programs and any new schools must be built to at least LEED Silver standards, Pyne said. The black population has dropped from nearly 67 percent in 2000 to 59 percent today; whites, once about one-quarter of residents, now account for nearly a third. “The people who have not returned have been disproportionately African-American, renters, low-income, single mothers and persons with disabilities,” says Lori Peek, an associate professor of sociology at Colorado State University and co-editor, with Weber, of the book, “Displaced: Life in the Katrina Diaspora.” Following Katrina, officials demolished four of the city’s notorious projects, vowing to replace them with modern, mixed-income developments. Obama, on his 10th visit to the coastal city, called New Orleans’ recovery a model for the nation in urban innovation and disaster response and resilience.

New Orleans has done much to prepare the city itself for the next hurricane, with a $14.5 billion, but homes that are themselves equipped to withstand storms and flooding is also a key element in preparation. Indeed, Louisiana’s master plan, which provides guidelines for how to protect the city from future natural disasters, includes provisions to help fund elevated homes for homeowners who may not be able to afford the expense. “Every dollar up front is more effective than five spent after the fact,” said Mike Foley, CEO of insurance company Zurich North America Commercial. “We need to shift the conversation from one of recovery to one of resilience.” A refrigerator and her grandson’s basinet swirled up toward her, “like trying to see who was going to get up the stairs first.” The Washingtons managed to find space in the hometown Saints’ end zone.

He later spoke to reporters about the community’s revitalization. “Part of our goal has always been to make sure not just that we recover from this storm, but also that we start dealing with some of the structural inequities that existed long before the storm happened.” Obama pointed out that just because the residents have nice housing does not mean the job is done. Chevelle talked of a friend who moved her family back — only to have three of her boys killed in a drive-by shooting, victims of apparent mistaken identity. But off the field, it seemed he was forever trying to dodge tensions — like the taunt “N-O!” that the Houston kids would shout whenever New Orleans refugees passed in the hallways.

Twitter-news
Our partners
Follow us
Contact us
Our contacts

About this site