News Release

Beyond the Political Spin: New Orleans Realities

ROBIN ROCQUE
Rocque said today: “I’m one of the fortunate. My family evacuated New Orleans early Sunday morning, before the horror. We sat in my uncle’s living room, in Arcadia, La., and stared at the television. I am a native New Orleanian and I had a difficult time identifying my city’s landmarks through water and fire. Now as I sit in San Diego, I try not to hate those who allowed this to happen. I’ve been listening to the federal politicians state that what happened in New Orleans could not have been anticipated. That is a blatant lie. As a New Orleans tour guide, I would joke that one day New Orleans would become Atlantis.”

BILL QUIGLEY
Quigley is a lawyer specializing in civil rights, human rights and poverty law at Loyola Law School in New Orleans. His wife, Debbie Dupre Quigley, is an oncology nurse assigned to Memorial Hospital. He volunteered at the hospital from before Katrina hit until Thursday. He said today: “The latest troubling thing is the disproportionate attention to looters and the effect that is having on the people in the shelters. We saw incredible acts of heroism and generosity by so many people. The actual amount of looting that happened was a fraction of one percent. But because of all the dwelling on that, many are fearful of the people in the shelters.”

AKUA HOLT
Holt is a producer for the program “Pan African Journal” on the community radio station KPFT in Houston. She said today: “Even here in Houston, people are still suffering and even here it’s evident there was no serious plan in place.”
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MAUDE HURD, ALLISON CONYERS
ACORN (Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now) National President Maude Hurd said today: “ACORN has lost our national headquarters in this catastrophe. We have lost hundreds if not thousands of people in ACORN communities and been shocked into action by the slow pace of rescue and relief.”

Conyers is communications coordinator for ACORN. She said today: “The government response has been horrible. There was no plan for the 100,000 people who didn’t have cars. … ACORN organizers are using text messages, flyers, their website and other means to find people in the 9,000 member families from New Orleans. ACORN members in Texas and around the country have offered to share their homes with the victims of Hurricane Katrina, as they struggle to reunite their families and rebuild their lives.”
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For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167