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Press Release - It's Time For Action Tour: Day Four

April 24, 2008

ARLINGTON, VA -- Today, John McCain will continue his "It's Time for Action Tour" by traveling to New Orleans, Louisiana. On the fourth day of his tour, John McCain will visit a city still recovering from the devastation of Hurricane Katrina.

New Orleans, Louisiana:

In New Orleans, John McCain will take a walking tour of the 9th Ward with Governor Bobby Jindal, Major General Bennett C. Landreneau, the Adjutant General of the Louisiana National Guard, and National Guard Colonel Danny Bordelon. He will then go to Xavier University, the nation's only predominately black Roman Catholic university. There Senator McCain will visit with Xavier President Dr. Norman Francis, a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and University Dignitaries before holding a town hall meeting. Women of the Storm, a non-partisan alliance of Louisiana women who in the aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita educated elected officials about the urgent needs of those affected, will participate in the town hall. John McCain will conclude his visit to Louisiana at the Business Report and Junior Achievement 25th Annual Business Awards and Hall of Fame Banquet where he will speak about the federal government's responsibility in preparing, assisting, and recovering from calamities such as Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

New Orleans was founded in 1718 and is located between the Mississippi River and Lake Pontchartrain in southeastern Louisiana. Much of the land upon which New Orleans stands today was once swamp marsh. In 1899, engineer A. Baldwin Wood was hired by the Sewerage and Water Board of New Orleans to improve the city's drainage and spearhead the reclamation and development of the land now occupied by the city of New Orleans. While its geographic location and development has certainly contributed to New Orleans' uniqueness, it has also made it vulnerable to major storms. And Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath exposed the extent of this vulnerability when it hit the city on August 29, 2005.

Recovery from Katrina has been a slow struggle. On February 14, FEMA announced its plan to relocate the 35,000 hurricane victims living in FEMA trailers and had also previously announced a plan to find victims permanent housing by June 1. Schools have reopened. Charter Schools are flourishing. With the highest percentage of students in charter schools among U.S. cities, New Orleans has become a proving ground for charter schools in urban areas. Businesses are gradually reopening too. And a crime coalition, which includes members of the business and good-government communities, is working to rebuild a police force and criminal justice system that was broken long before Katrina.

But issues remain to be resolved: the rise in crime and mental health issues after Katrina, the allocation of offshore oil revenues, coastline erosion, whether insurance providers should be required to offer special coverage for natural disaster prone areas, the Housing Authority of New Orleans' housing project redevelopment, and funding for the Army Corps of Engineers' 100 year storm protection project.

Before Hurricane Katrina, it was estimated that 452,170 were living in the city (2005 census estimates). The racial make-up of the city at the time of the 2000 census was 67.3% African American, 28.1% White, 0.2% Native American, 2.3% Asian and 1.1% Other.

John McCain, Press Release - It's Time For Action Tour: Day Four Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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