The American Red Cross
The Salvation Army
Archinect has set up a disaster relief/adopt an architect web page here. Tulane University in New Orleans has cancelled its fall semester and is working to help its students to enroll as temporary students at other institutions.
Locally, IIT also has a web page up for support, and with information for students displaced by Katrina who are "interested in transferring to IIT" The University of Illinois at Champaign Urbana is also working to assist displaced students. Contact the Office of Admissions and Records at 217/333-0302.
And if you are as outraged by the complacency, misplaced economies and lack of preparation of our leaders as you are blown away by the bravery and selflessness of the rescue workers, medical personnel, and guardsmen, record exactly how you feel today in a note, and paste it into your calendar for the dates of November 6th, 2006, and November 3rd, 2008.
Why don't people get it about the Bush administration? His approval ratings were still in the 40% range last week before all of this happened. This guy should be at 0%, and he should have been at 0% from the time that it was 'confessed' no WMD were found. This is just another mess-up in a LONG line of mess-ups. Bagdad or New Orleans - America, do we all get it now?
Along with noting your calendar for future election dates, send your members of Congress and the Governor a postcard NOW that states your feelings about raising taxes to reinvest in America. (Use the back of an envelope if you don’t have a postcard.)
That is what this is about. The low/no tax movement has grown steadily since the 1970s. The president is just the current spokesman for huge portion of this country that believes “we can do more with less.” It is a well-documented part of Anglo-American history that we go through periods where people discount the value of governments and, thus, spend less and less on tax-supported activities. And then tragedy strikes and we swing the other way. (See the reference book “Generations” by Neil Howe and Wm Strauss.)
Although the White House has put new meaning in the term ‘lame duck,’ Congress can make a huge difference fairly quickly but they need to hear from constituents now.
Katrina is going to end up costing a trillion dollars. If the entire country does not shoulder the burden, individual localities or citizen groups will just have their own version of the “levees” weakened even more. Medical research will be slowed; mad cows won’t be tested; invasive species will consume the Great Lakes; whatever.
Do you think the people in New Orleans – especially the business owners – would have paid more in taxes if they’d understood the consequences of living on the cheap. (Of course, if they really had to pay for the levees with direct local money, perhaps they would have left in place the wetlands. That’s an upside of forcing full-funding discussions.)
(PS: If you are inclined to write a letter, send it to the newspaper or post it on a blog. [Voice of experience here:] The only person in a politician’s office who is likely to see your letter is the mail clerk and that person is only interested in quickly identifying your main point so it is recorded properly and you get the correct form reply. You really do not want your tax dollars being spent on thoughtful, personal responses to the tens of thousands of letters each office holder gets every week/month. However, you do want them to get a piece of mail. A simple postcard has much more impact than a phone call or email. Physical stacks of mail do get everyone’s attention.)
Did you read the two editorials in the Sunday Sept. 4 Tribune - a long one about design and planning titled "Newer Orleans" with a nice sentence about profits and prophets in the history of American urban disasters - and alongside it the paper's well-known "Cheer Up" editorial from Oct. 11, 1871. The consolations of history paired with some useful forward thinking.
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