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ACTION ALERT: Help House Hurricane Victims


September 3, 2005
MoveOn.org & The Poor People's Economic Human Rights Campaign

MoveOn.org has a web site that will show you how to help. AND: Over the summer, hundreds of thousands of people with life-threatening illnesses lost their health care coverage in Tennessee. It was the largest health care cuts in US history and the Bush administration wants to use this as the model for Medical cuts across the country.

http://www.hurricanehousing.org

Spread the Word: Help House Hurricane Victims
MoveOn.org

Do you have a spare room, bed or couch to offer a family fleeing hurricane Katrina?

Hurricane Katrina's toll on communities, homes and lives has devastated the nation. Now victims must face the daunting question of where to go next—and we can help.

Tens of thousands of newly homeless families are being bused to a stadium in Houston, where they may wait for weeks or months. At least 80,000 are competing for area shelters, and countless more are in motels, cars, or wherever they can stay out of the elements. The Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Red Cross are scrambling to find shelter for the displaced.

This morning, we've launched an emergency national housing drive to connect your empty beds with hurricane victims who desperately need a place to wait out the storm. You can post your offer of housing (a spare room, extra bed, even a decent couch) and search for available housing online at:

http://www.hurricanehousing.org

Housing is most urgently needed within reasonable driving distance (about 300 miles) of the affected areas in the Southeast, especially New Orleans.

Please forward this message to anyone you know in the region who might be able to help.

But no matter where you live, your housing could still make a world of difference to a person or family in need, so please offer what you can.

The process is simple:

* You can sign up to become a host by posting a description of whatever housing you have available, along with contact information. You can change or remove your offer at any time.

* Hurricane victims, local and national relief organizations, friends and relatives can search the site for housing. We'll do everything we can to get your offers where they are needed most. Many shelters actually already have Internet access, but folks without 'net access can still make use of the site through case workers and family members.

* Hurricane victims or relief agencies will contact hosts and together decide if it's a good match and make the necessary travel arrangements. The host's address is not released until a particular match is agreed on.

If hosting doesn't work for you, please consider donating to the Red Cross to help with the enormous tasks of rescue and recovery. You can give online at:
http://www.moveon.org/r?r=859

As progressives, we share a core belief that we are all in this together, and today is an important chance to put that idea to work. There are thousands of families who have just lost everything and need a place to stay dry. Let's do what we can to help.
http://www.hurricanehousing.org

Thanks for being there when it matters most.
— Noah Winer and the whole MoveOn.org Civic Action Team

Please forward this message to anyone in the Southeast who can help.



Katrina Response Needs Accountability and Shared Sacrifice

Tell Congess we need shared sacrifice in response to this disaster -- and full accountability for the failure to prepare and respond.

The devastation wrought by Hurricane Katrina has been simply shocking. Regrettably, much of the damage may have been preventable. Levees weren't upgraded, wetlands were filled, and disaster mitigation funding cut to a minimum.

President Bush was on extended vacation and plaintively noted that "I don't think anybody anticipated the breach of the levees" — even though this was blatantly false.

Click here to tell Congress we need full accountability and shared sacrifice in responding to this disaster.

Congress must hold this administration accountable for its mistakes and failures to adequately plan for this catastrophe, as well as delays in mounting an effective response. The vulnerabilities of New Orleans were known for decades, but necessary preventative steps were never taken. Why not?

Click here to tell Congress we need to find out what has gone so desperately wrong with the reponse to Katrina.

At the same time, if we as a nation are to effectively respond to this disaster, we need to hear a call for shared sacrifice from both Congress and the Administration. More tax cuts for the wealthy are not the solution to this problem — and the oil companies need to be called on the carpet to sacrifice some of their record profits and not gouge Americans with higher gas prices.

Click here to call on Congess for full accountability and shared sacrifice in responding to this disaster.

Contribute to Assist the Recovery Efforts
A wide range of charities will be playing a large role in the recovery efforts. Click on any of the links below to donate:

Second Harvest
Mercy Corps
Acorn Institute
American Red Cross

Please forward this newsletter to your friends and help spread the word about this important campaign!


Congress: Hold Bush Accountable on Failed Katrina Response

The aftermath of Hurricane Katrina has devastated New Orleans and nearby communities in one of the largest disasters in our history. The full extent of the tragedy will not be known for some time now, but it's safe to say that the long-term impacts will be staggering.

Regrettably, much of the damage may have been preventable. Critically important work on upgrading levees was shortchanged out of the federal budget. Wetlands that could have mitigated the storm surge were filled and developed. Disaster mitigation funding at the Federal Emergency Management Agency was cut sharply in recent years. President Bush was on extended vacation and plaintively noted that "I don't think anybody anticipated the breach of the levees" — even though this was blatantly false.

Congress must hold this administration accountable for its mistakes and failures to adequately plan for this catastrophe, as well as delays in mounting an effective response. The vulnerabilities of New Orleans — such as levees in desperate need of reinforcement — were known for decades, but necessary preventative steps were never taken. Why not?

At the same time, if we as a nation are to mount an effective response and assist those in dire need, we need to hear a call for shared sacrifice from both Congress and the Administration.
Donations to charities will be helpful, but only the Federal government will be able to adequately address a catastrophe of this magnitude. When our nation is running enormous deficits, spending approximately $5 billion per month to occupy Iraq, and now facing a disaster response of unprecedented magnitude, further tax cuts to the wealthy are simply unconscionable.

Congress should also step in and hold hearings on oil company price gouging. Gasoline prices are expected to rise sharply in coming weeks -- but the oil companies are already making record profits. Rising fuel costs represent an enormous tax on all Americans; oil companies should sacrifice some of their profits to keep the American economy from going into a tailspin.

Call to Action
Ask your representative and senators to hold this Administration accountable for mistakes in planning for this disaster, and call for shared sacrifice from all Americans to mount an effective response.

The Letter
The devastation wrought by Hurricane Katrina has been simply shocking — but not surprising. As your constituent, I want you to determine what has gone so desperately wrong in the Federal response to Katrina - both before the storm, and after.

Therefore, I am calling on you to:

• Hold hearings and get to the bottom of mistakes that were made in preparing for, and responding to, this disaster. Should the Administration continue cutting FEMA's mitigation programs, filling in wetlands, and de-funding levee upgrade projects when the catastrophic results are so very clear? Should a political insider be running FEMA? What role does global warming have in making these hurricanes more deadly? Why didn't the Louisiana National Guard have adequate personnel and equipment for disaster response?

• Call for shared sacrifice. Further tax cuts for the wealthy -- such as permanent repeal of the estate tax -- are morally repugnant and would likely devastate the charitable giving that will be a key part of recovery efforts.

• Prevent oil company price gouging. When oil companies are recording record profits, why are gasoline prices also headed through the roof? If gas prices continue to rise, you should call on the oil giants to voluntarily sacrifice profits to keep the American economy from sliding into recession.

I look forward to hearing from you about the specific steps you're going to take to hold this Administration accountable and call for shared sacrifice from all Americans — including the wealthiest among us and the oil companies.

Sincerely,


Stop a Preventable Human Disaster!

The Poor People's Economic Human Rights Campaign (PPEHRC) joins the rest of the country in our deep concern for those whose lives have been devastated by Hurricane Katrina in the South. We know that once again it is the poor who are suffering the most.

Meanwhile, as the nation and the world turn their attention to the devastation in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama, there is a hidden, preventable hurricane killing our brothers and sisters in Tennessee, a hurricane that will be hitting across the country if we do not act now.

Over the summer, hundreds of thousands of people with serious, life-threatening medical problems, were cut off of TennCare, their only source of health care, in Tennessee. It is these cuts and the struggle against them that Lori Smith testifed about at the PHA2 in Cuenca this summer.

These are the largest health care cuts in US history and they are considered the model for Medical cuts across the country. In just the last few weeks since these cuts took effect, there have been numerous cases of people actually dying as a result of these cuts. More are certain to die, if we do not act now to fight these cuts and to prevent them being implemented elsewhere.

Please join us in this emergency delegation to Tennessee from September 21-23. In the wake of the hurricane, this action is even more important, to ensure that these cuts and their deadly impact are not allowed to be invisible, and therefore more easily implemented elsewhere.

If you cannot go, please contribute so that Medicaid recipients and those without health coverage can go. Natural disasters cannot be prevented, but health care cuts that kill can be prevented, if we act.

Please see www.economichumanrights.org for more information on health care cuts across the country, as well as emergency human rights brigades which the PPEHRC is organizing to places facing cuts in health care.

HEALTH CARE IS A HUMAN RIGHT
National Days of Action

• Sept 21 — Reality tour and healthcare documentation
• Sept 22 — 3pm Rally at Capital Building in Nashville
• Sept 23 — 10am National Strategy Meeting

WE REFUSE TO DIE IN SILENCE!
Join Medicaid recipients and the uninsured from around the country as we travel to Ground Zero in the battle for the human right to healthcare.

Tennesseans Fighting for our Lives is a group of concerned citizens and those who will suffer — and even die — as a result of losing their Tenncare. For several months they have been holding a sit-in at the Governor’s office.

Current situation:
• 226,000 people will have their health care coverage cut completely
• 500,000 people no matter how sick they are will have their health care coverage and services drastically limited.
• Every single person who remains on the program will face a new definition of “medical necessity” that will limit their ability to obtain needed care.

THESE CUTS ARE THE LARGEST IN US HISTORY AND ALREADY SERVE AS THE TREND FOR EVERY OTHER STATE IN THE COUNTRY.

For more information please contact:
Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign
c/o KWRU, PO Box 50678, Philadelphia, PA 19132
www.economichumanrights.org

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