ACORN update

colist at colist at
Thu Sep 15 21:20:12 CDT 2005

[ed: this update is focused on issues surrounding recovery from 
Hurricane Katrina.]

"ACORN News" <acornnews at>

Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now
ACORN News: September 13, 2005
Table of Contents
 > Katrina Survivors Find a Voice
 > ACORN & City of Houston Distribute Food Cards
 > Survivors Organize in Louisiana
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 > Donate to the ACORN
Hurricane Recovery and
Rebuilding Fund
More Resources

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 > Contact Us

Katrina Survivors Find a Voice

A Katrina survivor addresses the Houston Town Hall Meeting.

The Houston ACORN Town Hall Meeting on Hurricane Katrina on Friday, 
September 9th united hurricane survivors and low and moderate income 
community members. Three hundred people, mostly hurricane survivors, 
attended the meeting at the Mount Calvary Lutheran Church, and pledged 
to build a survivors’ organization.

Texas ACORN President Toni McElroy told the crowd, "We're here tonight 
to hear your experiences, to get information to survivors, to hold 
elected officials accountable and to help rebuild the New Orleans 

Texas ACORN President Toni McElroy at Houston town hall meeting.

Survivor and ACORN member Joe Stafford testified about the loss of his 
father and said, "I just want the officials and everyone here to hear my 
side of the story. And my side of the story is that I think there could 
have been a better way to get us out of New Orleans." Stafford also 
wants a voice in the recovery and rebuilding process. "I want to know 
what they're gong to be doing with all that money."

Houston Mayor Bill White and other elected officials committed to work 
with ACORN to respond to several immediate issues raised by many 
survivors. Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee opened her remarks by 
saying, "As a Federal official, I will first apologize to you -- we 
failed in our initial response to save lives." She committed to work on 
legislation for services for homeless children, Medicare and Medicaid 
recipients, and for one-year housing vouchers for Katrina survivors.

New Orleans ACORN member and Katrina survivor Dorothy Stukes urged 
participants to help build a survivor's organization, by joining, 
petitioning, door-knocking, and taking part in future actions: "If 
you're poor like we are, they're going to slam a door in your face. If 
we fight together, they can't turn a deaf ear to us." (Read more.)
ACORN & City of Houston Distribute Food Cards

At the Town Hall meeting on Hurricane Katrina, Houston Mayor Bill White 
committed to address the severe needs of the families who are sheltering 
hurricane survivors—often groups of ten, fifteen, or more. On Monday, 
September 10th, Mayor White announced a partnership with ACORN and other 
community groups to distribute grocery cards to the families providing 
shelter. (Read more.) ACORN has already begun distributing the cards.

Organizing at the Houston Town Hall Meeting on Katrina.

Survivors Organize in Louisiana

Although New Orleans ACORN's 9,000 members have been scattered around 
the country, they have already begun organizing, even as they struggle 
to meet basic needs. In Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and surrounding areas, 
survivors have held several community meetings to develop a short and 
long term agenda for recovery, and have joined with the Louisiana 
AFL-CIO have organize the Rebuild Our Region Coalition.

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