Project Proposal
Louisiana Winter, 2007
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James Crowell, President
NAACP, Biloxi Branch

LeeAnn Gunn-Rasmussen
Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College

Rev. Michael-Ray Mathews
Grace Baptist Church - San Jose, CA

David Monsoon, Hip Hop Congress,
San Jose, CA Chapter

Dr. Scott Myers-Lipton
San José State University

Bill Quigley, Professor, Loyola University, New Orleans School of Law

Dr. Marty Rowland, P.E., professional civil/environmental engineer, urban planner - New Orleans

Kai H Stinchcombe, Executive Director The Roosevelt Institution, Stanford University

Tracie L. Washington, Esq.
Director - NAACP Gulf Coast Advocacy Center

Morgan Williams
Student Hurricane Network, Co-founder
Tulane Law, class of 2007


"The social compact between citizen and government has been badly torn.  As citizens, we have various responsibilities (e.g., vote, pay taxes, sit on juries, and serve our country); at the same time, the government has responsibilities, and one of them is to respond effectively when its citizens are in crisis.  Passing federal legislation to implement the Gulf Coast Civic Works Project will be a major step in repairing the social compact."

Scott Myers-Lipton, Ph.D., San José State University

Gulf Coast Civic Works (.pdf download)
1/28/07: Position Paper

We call upon Congress to immediately pass legislation to implement the Gulf Coast Civic Works Project.  The project has the dual goal of rebuilding New Orleans and the Gulf Coast using the citizens from the region, as well as restoring faith in the government’s social compact with its citizens.

The Proposal:
The Gulf Coast Civic Works Project will hire 100,000 Gulf Coast residents to rebuild New Orleans and the surrounding region. The residents, who will be given subsidized tickets back to their neighborhoods, and repair houses, schools, levees, parks, and other civic buildings.  

A new regional agency will be created to oversee the implementation of the Gulf Coast Civic Works Project.  This regional agency will include
community-based organizations from the Gulf Coast, as well as other
regional partners (e.g., politicians, school officials, and engineers).

The Gulf Coast Civic Works Project will accomplish 4 things:

1. provide our citizens with living wage jobs,

2. make housing available for themselves and their communities,

3. restore a sense of personal empowerment and hope,

4. restore faith among our citizenry of the government’s ability to respond to the needs of its people through a public-private partnership.

Projected Cost:
Based on a ratio of labor to materials of 80-20, which was used under the Civil Works Administration of 1933-1934, and a wage rate of $12 per hour, the total cost of the project is $3.125 billion.  The projected cost of wages is $2.5 billion, while the cost of materials is $625 million.

The Gulf Coast Civic Works Project will be funded plan by a public-private partnership, where money comes from federal and state governments (e.g., Louisiana Recovery Authority), as well as from insurance companies.

Mississippi Summer 1964 / Louisiana Winter 2007:

In 1964, 800 college students from around the country came to Mississippi to register African American voters who were being denied this constitutional right.  In that spirit of democracy, we call upon students to come to the Gulf Coast to participate in “Louisiana Winter” from January 14-20.  The goals of Louisiana Winter are: to (re)turn the nation’s attention to the Gulf Coast; to have students witness first-hand the social suffering that is occurring; and to promote the immediate passage of federal legislation to implement the Gulf Coast Civic Works Project.   


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