East End to New Orleans

Several East Enders are headed to New Orleans to participate in reconstruction of homes destroyed in the flooding of the lower 9th ward, home to African-Americans whose neighborhood is threatened with abandonment by city, state and federal authorities.

Dan Steiger of Sag Harbor, founder of East End Direct Action is planning his second trip to NOLA. Dan tells why he is going again and how you can help with this effort:

Recently I went to New Orleans with my friend Conor Wolf to volunteer in some reconstruction efforts and to learn more about what happened during and after Katrina.

I learned a lot particularly about the levee system and why parts of it failed while other parts held. I got to spend two weeks contributing my labor to the reconstruction of a house damaged by the hurricane and flooding. I learned a little more about FEMA; how they waste government funds and why they did'nt deliver the trailers that should have been delivered to people who lost their homes.

In order to be more effective and participate with local people in New Orleans, we are partnering with People’s Hurricane Relief Fund and Oversight Committee. This coalition has been
“set up to address the immediate and long term need for justice,
accountability and comprehensive reconstruction of the communities neglected and devastated following Katrina.”

The idea of partnering is one in which we seek to establish a working relationship with persons in New Orleans. We can take direction from them, and share our abilities with them. Learning from them and working together we make all our lives better.

We have decided to return to New Orleans’s 9th Ward to help with more reconstruction. We will be leaving on March 22 from Sag Harbor for a 2-week stay and we invite you to join us.

We need carpenters, masons, painters, builders, laborers and handypersons. If you would like to come but can’t stay for the entire 2 weeks we would still welcome you.

If you can’t come with us but can contribute to this effort we would appreciate that as well. Tools the group needs most are a power washer and a small generator to power tools where there is no electricity.

For more information on the trip and ways you may be able to help please contact me at 631 - 276 - 6544 or email me at meriger@hotmail.com.

More information about Katrina relief efforts can be found at Katrina Action Network