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The Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Partners With Rep. William J. Jefferson and The Louisana Disaster Recovery Foundation to Host Forum on Gulf Coast Recovery

March 22, 2007 by  
Filed under News

Symposium to Advance Policy Agenda to Restore the Gulf Coast

Baton Rouge, LA (Akiit.coom) – The Congressional Black Caucus Foundation (CBCF), Rep. William J. Jefferson (D-LA), and the Louisiana Disaster Recovery Foundation will present a District-Level Forum on Friday, March 30 and Saturday, March 31, 2007 from 9:00am – 5:00pm. The forum’s theme is Right to Return: A Legislative Forum on Gulf Coast Recovery. The two-day event will be held at the Louisiana State Museum, 660 N. 4th Street, Baton Rouge. All forums will take place on Friday and a policy training by the People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond will take place on Saturday.

Co-host, U.S. Rep. Jefferson has been a leader in the US House on Gulf Coast Recovery. Recently, Rep. Jefferson sponsored a bill to recover physical and property damage in a major disaster that results from the failure or negligence of the Army Corps of Engineers. Fourteen legislative co-sponsors supported this bold call for justice. To gain constituent support for these important legislative initiatives, Rep. Jefferson urges us to “Please join me in rebuilding our region and our lives.”

Dr. Elsie Scott, President and CEO of the CBCF, will also join the forum. She added, “Gulf Coast constituents should be informed on the federal level legislation that can affect their communities. As a Louisiana native, I understand the will and tenacity of the people of this region. Not only do they deserve this forum, they will use the information to advance their recovery.”

Dr. Ivory A. Toldson, CBCF Senior Research Analyst and Howard University Assistant Professor added, “This forum will elicit specific strategies to restore the Gulf Coast. It’s not an event that will come and go. It’s the beginning of a strategic partnership between Federal and State Legislators, experts, grassroots activists, and concerned community members. We have to ban together to support the legislation that will build a stronger Gulf Coast.” Dr. Toldson is also a Louisiana native, who graduated from Istrouma High School and Louisiana State University.

Felipe M. Floresca, Senior Consultant to the Louisiana Disaster Recovery Foundation, acknowledged, “The Gulf Coast is hungry for this kind of action. Our 52 grantees are eager to share their work with elected officials and understand how to use their advocacy to inform policy.” Louisiana State Senator Donald R. Cravins agreed. “I’ll be there,” he said, “I’m ready to build with the constituents and learn strategies to collaborate with federal officials.” All of the event forums will feature a member of the Louisiana Legislative Black Caucus.

Funded by the Ford Foundation, the District Level Forum is designed to inform and empower Gulf Coast residents to confront a myriad of social and economic issues, in the aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. National and local experts will lead workshops on affordable housing, healthcare, economic development, and Hip Hop activism. A highlight of the forum will be a People’s Institute strategy training on how to increase citizen involvement to positively impact policy and enhance resource allocation for Louisiana residents. Participants will receive information on local, state and national funding sources, accessing local, state and Congressional leaders, and effectively influencing the levers of political power to address their concerns. Government officials, nonprofit agency leaders, church members, union members, students, and civic activists are encouraged to attend. Registration is required, and will be open until March 29, or until capacity is reached. For additional information about the DLF event or to register email Dr. Toldson at itoldson@cbcfinc.org or visit the CBCF website at www.cbcfinc.org

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