Last March I traveled to New Orelans with eleven other folks from the Concord area UCC churches to spend a week helping residents of New Orleans gut their homes so they could begin rebuilding. Despite the devastation it was a positive and hopeful experience. We saw many other volunteers from around the country while we were there and I know a number of other people who have made similar trips to New Orleans or the gulf coast of Mississippi in the last year. I shared my experiences in my church and in the community last year and our group sought a meeting with our Congressman, Marty Meehan shortly after we returned but that did not occur.
Over the last three months I have become increasingly heartsick at the lack of progress toward recovery. I know that local leadership in New Orlean bears a share of responsibility but the federal government does as well. There must be a way that we can use the energy and concern of the hundreds of people, perhaps thousands, in Massachusetts who have volunteered on the Gulf coast to focus the attention of our Congressional delegation on recovery from Katrina.
I am hoping to hear from interested people in Marty Meehan’s district, who might want to help put together a meeting focussing on getting people who have been to the Gulf coast to share their concern in a public way.