Funds for Grassroots groups in the gulf coast--funds

colist at colist at
Sat Sep 24 12:42:09 CDT 2005

"Simmons, Louise" <louise.simmons at>

Please see below for message about a People's Hurricane Relief Fund 
established in the south after Katrina.  This is from the Portside 
listserv.  Louise Simmons


Louise Simmons

Director, Urban Semester Program

Associate Professor of Social Work

University of Connecticut School of Social Work

1798 Asylum Avenue

West Hartford, CT 06117

860-570-9181   fax: 860-570-9139

Louise.Simmons at


Message: 4

Date: Wed, 21 Sep 2005 00:03:15 -0400 (EDT)

From: moderator at

Subject: People's Hurricane Relief Fund - New Orleans based coalition

      seeks your help

To: portside at

Message-ID: <200509210403.j8L43FV9070229 at>


People's Hurricane Relief Fund - New Orleans based

coalition seeks your help



Dear friends of the People's Hurricane Relief Fund -


Since Hurricane Katrina, Community Labor United - a New

Orleans based coalition dedicated to creating spaces

for grassroots organizations to dialogue, strategize,

and build collective work-- has been facilitating the

development of a Peoples' Hurricane Relief Fund &

Oversight Coalition.  Due to the enormity of the task

ahead of us and the many different areas of work that

need to be addressed, it has become clear that a

national coalition must form to take on this project.


Many of you have read the initial demands of the

Peoples Hurricane Relief Fund & Oversight Coalition.

The document here below attempts to further specify the

goals and objectives of this coalition effort, and to

communicate a basic framework for organizing the

massive body of work before us.   We also outline here

a few of the many tasks we need folks to take

responsibility for.


Some of the work groups already have contact people so

if you are interested in these work groups, please

email the provided contact.   They will be convening

conference call meetings in the near future to include

new volunteers.  There will be a retreat at the end of

the month (September 30) and each work group should

send a representative to present a report of your work

and future work plans.   The meeting space will be

announced shortly.


Some of the work groups do not yet have contact people.

If you are willing to be the contact, please email

Becky at bbelcore at  Also, if you are

interested in doing certain tasks not related to any

committee, please email Becky Belcore

<bbelcore at>




For a strong, reunited, Peoples' New Orleans,


Peoples' Hurricane Relief Fund & Oversight Coalition


ACTION PLAN for a National Coalition with Local

Leadership --




To build and maintain a coordinated network of

community leaders, organizers and community based

organizations with the capacity and organizational

infrastructure that can help to meet the needs of

people most impacted by Hurricane Katrina and

facilitate an organizing process that will demand

local, grassroots leadership in the relief, return and

reconstruction process in New Orleans.





    * Manage the People's Hurricane Relief Fund and

    demand transparency from FEMA and other major

    organizations raising funds and resources in the

    people's name


    * Help to coordinate and support grassroots relief

    and organizing efforts and act as a clearinghouse

    for information and volunteers


    * Create and maintain an ongoing space for

    networking and strategizing between organizers and



    * Facilitate return/rebuild process and ensure

    local, grassroots leadership and participation in

    every phase





    * Local oversight work group to coordinate all working groups and 
facilitate communication


    * Establish 6 offices with a point person for each office in: New 
Orleans, Baton Rouge, Jackson, Lake Charles, Houston and support Common 
Ground's office in Algiers


    * Establish "Survivors Councils" in cities across the country where 
evacuees have been taken/ have settled to ensure their participation, 
input and information distribution


    * Establish work groups (see below)





Encourage everyone to join a work group.  Designate a point person from 
each work group who can convene conference calls and email discussions 
for the work group and who can be in touch with the communications 
centers. Designate a point person for each communication center, even 
where no physical offices exist.   Host regular larger conference calls 
to get report backs from work groups and communications centers.






*Tasks that have been starred could be done by national volunteers




** ensure local grassroots participation in all

aspects of the work


** find out about and make sure someone attends all

public meetings regarding reconstruction


** coordinate technicians who are assisting with

reconstruction efforts including construction brigades

and provide trade skills training


** organize political responses at a local and

national level based on the demands and analysis coming

out of the People's Committee*


** draw individuals and groups that are part of the

Black Liberation Movement and coordinate resources and



** work with displaced evacuees to keep them informed

and ensure their input and participation*


** organize brigades of technicians for the

reconstruction work*


** help to monitor government plans for



Contact: and Malcolm Suber (msuber4366 at,

Angela Winfrey angelawinf at, Ray Eurquhart

(R.Eur at )





** Help establish offices and recruit organizers for

Baton Rouge, Lake Charles, Houston, Jackson, Algiers

and New Orleans*


** Locate all CLU members and allies


** Skilled facilitators for meetings and conference



** Establish website, find volunteer to maintain and



** Send out weekly updates of coalition work


Temporary Contact:

Becky Belcore (bbelcore at

Website contact: Andy Allen (andylovesbikes at



FUNDRAISING/FINANCE immediate tasks:


** establish decision-making protocol on how funds

will be used


** establish budgets for both the Vanguard Fund and



** put out public call for funds for organizing

specifically, and clarify how people can donate to

organizing and/or direct relief*


** set up accounting system, find volunteer



Contact: John O'Neal (joneal2927 at



SUPPLIES immediate tasks:


** create list of the best places to distribute

donations of supplies*


** create list of people/organizations who can help

distribute supplies and sites where supplies can be



** coordinate supply distribution*


** designate point person to field requests for help

with distribution*



    Ishmael Muhammad (ishmaelmuhammad at

    Elaine Peacock (elainepeacock at )   



HEALTH immediate tasks:


** assess/document medical conditions and needs*


** gather donations of medical supplies*


** build medical teams, establish free clinics*


Contact: Catherine Jones (cathjones_99 at




** independent testing of air, water and soil


** issue report about environmental conditions for the



** help publicize health information to help reduce

exposure to toxins


Temporary Contact: Melissa Burch

(melburch at



MEDIA immediate tasks:


** determine whether or not to invite professional,

progressive media consultants to work with us


** appoint Media Coordinator who takes interview

requests, helps write articles, etc.


** designate someone to handle requests for speakers

and explore the possibility of speaking engagements as



** finalize official public statement for the press


** develop mechanism for updating press statement as

situation develops


** identify and train spokespersons


** agree upon talking points


** identify people to monitor media and collect clips

and issue daily short reports to the media, legal and

oversight committee


Contact: Cassandra Burrows (casbur at





** appoint volunteer coordinator(s) with cell phone

willing to field calls from individuals and

organizations looking for ways to support/volunteer-

publicize this number and set up email account

specifically for this


** provide information to volunteers/organizations and

facilitate their participation in the project


** update inventory/database of the work organizations

and individuals are doing with contact info, and survey

folks about how others like them can join in their

efforts-send out to whole group


Contact for individuals: Jean Vegas (

jeanvegas_nola at


Contact for organizations: Beth Simpson

(elizacorps at



LEGAL & CRIMINAL JUSTICE immediate tasks:


** conduct interviews with people who were at OPP*


** explore possibilities for lawsuits*


** conduct ongoing research, create weekly reports to

inform the local work*


** legal advisory role for relief fund*


** publicize DOC and OYD hotlines*


Temporary Contact:  Jennifer Lai (yeujeng at





** set up Freedom Schools and after school programs for



** set up adult literacy classes*


** evaluate other educational resources needed for

community members*


Temporary Contact: Lisa Delpit (delpitl at





** collect stories from displaced New Orleanians on

their experiences during and since the storm, as well

as their ideas about what they would like to see in a

reconstructed New Orleans*


** publish and otherwise make available the findings of

this research for use in activism and influencing

reconstruction policy*


Contact: Rachel Breunlin, Neighborhood Storybook

Project (rbreunlin at








** gather reports of abuse that occurred as a result of

the hurricane, particularly crimes against women and



** develop a process by which abuse can be addressed

and justice is served


research and provide resources for victims





** visit or otherwise reach all shelters with hotlines

and names of missing folks


** Reunification for people displaced with limited

resources- work to demand FEMA assistance in relocating

families together





** coordinate volunteers to provide FEMA assistance

across the country (also as means to collect names and

addresses of displaced folks)


** set up 1-800 number for evacuees to call for

assistance (also helps track people)


** assess needs of local evacuees in terms of basic

needs (ie housing, health care, education, etc)- direct

organizing work for building of the People's Committee





-     develop means to emphasize that the people of New

Orleans are the culture of New Orleans


** work to support and include artists in

reconstruction conversations




[Moderator's Note: If you want to donate you can send a

check to The Vangard Foundation at the address below


Tax-deductible donations should be earmarked for the

People's Hurricane Relief Fund and checks made out to:


Vanguard Public Foundation

383 Rhode Island St., Ste 301

San Francisco, CA  94103


You can donate electronically at


Soon you will be able to donate electronically through

The Headwaters Foundation.]





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