Houma, LA – June 17 – A Regional Task Force of Gulf Coast advocates is calling on President Obama to establish a new civic works program to bring jobs to the Gulf Coast, through an executive order. Over 200 regional and national organizations, as well as 50 leading religious officials and faith-based organizations, support the creation of a Gulf Coast Civic Works program.
Over the past six weeks, BP has failed to deal adequately with the economic, environmental, and health crisis that they have caused. The Gulf Coast Civic Works program would help restore the economic and environmental health of the region by creating thousands of jobs to rebuild essential infrastructure and protect the environment. Under the proposed Executive Order, the federal government would also take control of training and hiring workers to respond to the Oil Disaster.
Civic Works jobs and training include:
- Restoring wetlands, coastal areas, fisheries, estuaries, and barrier islands;
- Creating a Civic Conservation Corps for youth to safely help with the clean up, repair and maintain state parks, plant trees, and conduct urban greenery projects;
- Completing the backlog of shovel-ready county projects (i.e., repair and maintenance of the roads, trees, etc.);
- Implementing green jobs (e.g., weatherization, solar panels).
The Task Force also calls for increased community input on all aspects of the clean up through Local Advisory Boards. It is vital for the federal government to partner and hear from the true experts on the needs of the Gulf Coast – the community-based organizations that have led recovery efforts since the 2005 and 2008 hurricanes.
The Gulf Coast Civic Works program follows in the proud American history of using public works to alleviate poverty and create economic growth during the toughest times. In the 1930s, when the nation faced an unemployment crisis, more than 800,000 public workers were hired in two weeks and 4 million were hired in two months. Just as civic works projects helped to alleviate the sweeping unemployment crisis during the Great Depression, so too can the Gulf Coast Civic Works program.
Click here to view a draft executive order establishing a Gulf Coast Civic Works program.
Click here for more information about the Gulf Coast Civic Works program.