I'm working on a presentation for the Points of Light Conference that I'm supposed to attend next week. A little partnership agreement with Absolut (yes, the spirits company) has altered my plans, but I'm still doing the research on the state of recovery along the Gulf Coast. You'd think that with my job as the director, I'd be the most informed about recovery.
I'd like to dispel that myth. I do know quite a bit, but I rarely have time to sit and read the reports that folks write. My job is to make sure there's food in the pantry, money to buy materials for projects, health insurance is taken care of, and more. I also am charged with helping to make the organization sustainable both fiscally and mentally (ha, ha, terrible play on words).
So, this presentation, which is about keeping volunteers engaged in long-term recovery is an opportunity to raise the awareness at a national level about the needs of the post-Katrina Gulf Coast, provides me an excuse to work late and spend a lot of time reading documents about the state of recovery.
One interesting report I found is the following from the Rockefellar Institute of Government. It provides a broad overview of recovery, now 18 months underway, across Louisiana, Alabama, and Mississippi. Some areas have experienced explosive growth, while others whither under poor management and staggering losses. You can read the full report here.
Another interesting blog site is now permanently linked to our web page. It's called Gulf Coast Reconstruction Watch. The Institute for Southern Studies, out of Durham, NC, pulled together a team to keep up with the pace and condition of Katrina and Rita recovery. I just looked through the board of advisors for the site and it includes Julian Bond, who is a Distinguished Professor at American University and a Professor of History at University of Virginia (go Hoos!!) and (not least) Chairman of the National Board of Directors for the NAACP. So, all that's to say, it seems to me to be a credible blog for covering recovery and the social justice side of things.
So, stay informed like I'm doing. Read the blogs, read the reports, and don't forget what's going on in Washington affects what happens down here.
:: Chris ::