tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN August 28, 2015 9:00am-11:01am EDT
>> i said, no, no, no -- i was play acting, of course, didn't have a script. i said, it's my state, and you're not bringing smallpox out of my state or into my state, where i'm going to have -- then we couldn't get any doctors to show up because they thought they'd get smallpox, and guess what? everybody admitted, the medical personnel, they didn't know what the exercise would be. doctors and medical professionals don't know what smallpox is because it was wiped off the face of the earth, allegedly, in the early '70s. so it's not something anybody
notices. so point three is everybody better exercise what can happen but also what might happen that's really dark and awful. and that requires leadership, that requires time and training. and a lot of people are not doing it. and that's worrisome. after that, actually a few years ago, rand had a sabrini panel. i was a member of that too. there were only two of us who were laymen. there were army generals, steve abbott, four-star navy admiral, was the chair, i was the vice chair. it was chemical, biological, nuclear and radiological event. that was what was exercised. and we concluded, to our horror, that nobody -- law enforcement, national guard, the local first responders -- had a clue what a nuclear event, dirty bomb, what did it look like in terms of
injured people or a chemical or a biological event. now, have things changed since then? certainly at the state level. but guess what? no congressional committee had a hearing. amazing. we went to see one senator who said, god, this is really worrisome. it's such a dark message that nobody is prepared. this is really bad. but there was not one hearing with all these generals. the commission was nothing but national guard leaders, two stars, three and four stars, some retired at the national level. that just astonished he. so you take oklahoma city and you have a good culture and competent leadership, but if you don't know what's coming and you don't have a clue what smallpox looks like or a radiological, nuclear, biological event, you have big problems. and that is where, i think, we really need to focus. and i'm sure that's what you're doing not only from a legal stand point, but a practical standpoint to say if something
goes boom in the night, we need to make sure not only do we have competency, we have informed competency. and that is something that at least with the sabrini panel that i was on at rand a few years ago and, certainly, dark winter, we didn't have that. and that's depressing and of concern. but at any rate, on that high note -- [laughter] i will, i will end. but i really want to thank you for what you do. the legal community has to take the lead in these arenas, and if you make decisions on the fly whether they're legal or regulatory decisions, that's not good. but i would hope that in your communities and in your state you are exercising these things and insisting that the highest, best, most competent people are in charge of the first responder community. because you look around the country at events, not just
katrina, that went badly, i guarantee you in there the infection is the lack of truly competent and skilled leadership in those, in those arenas. so, josh, let me respond to any questions or comments before we break? whatever your -- >> [inaudible] one or two questions. >> yes, ma'am. >> [inaudible] my name's alice, i'm former u.s. department of foreign service, former marketing. i say all this for a reason. i'd like to ask you a historical question to do with oklahoma that's relevant to what you were
saying about borders. i learned that during the dust bowl california marshals were at the border with guns preventing the oklahomans from coming into california. and i also learned with regard to -- this is a question i didn't get to ask during the immigration panel -- i learned when i lived in california for ten years, southern california, the mexican government mandated that women should go across the border, have their babies in san diego so that they become citizens so that they could take back the california that they felt was stolen from them. so did you have any knowledge of that era or -- >> no. no. we -- oklahoma and kansas and arkansas and missouri and texas all emptied out, colorado, during that period of time. i was not -- my mother was from illinois, my dad was from pennsylvania, so we didn't move
to oklahoma until long after the, you know, the migration. the iq of the state went up very dramatically when everybody went to california, and you saw what happened to california. i'm kidding. [laughter] at any rate, do you have another -- yes, joe. >> [inaudible] >> i had the pleasure of being at the murrah center observance, and you were there, of course. great remarks by everybody there. you've had a chance and maybe share with the folks here the memorial that's been created there in oklahoma city which is incredibly moving and also educational. so i would, looking past this oklahoma city is not something maybe everybody's thinking about doing, but i encourage -- maybe you could share with them what you have seen there and what the community's done with that memorial, frank. thank you. >> well, you know, we never
asked for any federal money. maybe we didn't know we could. but we didn't. and i'm not knocking new york, but they were facing lawsuits and the airlines and all that stuff. but the average victim got $7 million. the average victim this oklahoma city -- in oklahoma city was impoverished because, you know, you had husband or wife killed. i made a battlefield decision because we had only so much money that spontaneously came in. i remember at one point some tv reporter said this was a muslim terrorist event, and they -- i never saw a radio or listened to a radio or tv or newspaper for a week, and it hit me what do you think this could be a middle eastern terrorist event, and i said i don't care what it is, we just have to get -- take care of these people and take care of all these survivors. that'll be taken care of. well, the first check that came for this fund we put together
was from the muslim community of oklahoma city. which was really much appreciated and fabulous. and so it rose in value, but we didn't have that much money. so i made a decision if you lost your children -- and we had one mother lost two little babies, two youngsters in the daycare center -- we would bury them, and we'd provide you counseling. if your children lost you, we would put them through college anywhere they wanted to go. so at one point we had, and we had, we had 70 children who lost both parents, 130 children who lost one parent. so at one point i remember we had, like, 130 kids in college all over the united states, and we paid for that. our view was with limited money all privately given, we were going to put you through college. and when we built the memorial also with private money, the design was two german
architectural and art students from the university of oklahoma, and we let the victims and their families play a role in the decision of what it should be. and we have a hillside where the building was of chairs. they're glass and brass chairs with the name -- small chairs for children, large chairs are adults. and i remember charlie gibbs, you all remember him -- i guess abc news, i'm not sure. in any event, gibson one time said to meow won't believe -- i came in for the dedication of the chairs, the memorial, and he said i saw a very attractive young woman getting her bag. i just assumed that she was a journalist at the airport. and i said, hi, are you, you know, a journalist, and she said, no, no. i lost my father in the bombing. he was a secret service agent. i think it was mickey that
roney's daughter who was clinton's detail leader, as a matter of fact. many any event, he said, oh, i'm so sorry to hear that. she said, no, don't feel that way. my sister and i tomorrow will be able for the last time to sit in our father's lap. and he didn't know what she was referring to. what he's referring to was the chair out there that represented her dad. and it was just, gibson said, you know, i couldn't talk after i found out what she was referring to. but it's a very -- the national park service provides the oversight, but it's a very spiritual place and a very quiet, lovely spot. i don't think there are too many memorials to awful events like that that are handled -- that were, excuse me, constructed with such grace and with such solemnity. it's quite a thing. at any rate, on that score i will pass on, and i really am
grateful for you all letting me speak to you, and i really am grateful for your leadership role in the homeland security arena. thank you. [applause] >> we will be back for more coverage of the american bar association's homeland security conference later today with a panel on national security policy and the fight against terrorism. that'll be live at 3:30 eastern. coming up at 11 a.m. eastern time today, live coverage of the democratic national committee's summer meeting taking place in minneapolis this year. presidential candidates senator bernie sanders, lincoln chafee, martin o'malley and hillary clinton will be addressing that meeting. that'll all be on our companion network c-span this morning, again, starting at 11 ian. 11 eastern. this weekend on the c-span
networks, politics, books and american history. on c-span saturday at 6 p.m. eastern, hurricane katrina's tenth anniversary with our live coverage from new orleans of the public commemoration. speakers include president bill clinton and new orleans mayor mitch landrieu. and sunday evening at 6:30 on our road to the white house coverage, speeches from democratic candidates hillary clinton and bernie sanders at the democratic national committee's summer heating this minneapolis. on c-span2, booktv on saturday. at 10 eastern on "after words," author california knell principal that talks to liz robbins about his book, undocumented. it traces his journey in the u.s. from an undocumented immigrant to the top of his class at princeton university. and sunday at 1:15 p.m., several programs about hurricane katrina and its aftermath featuring haley barbour and investigative reporter ronnie green. on american history tv on
c-span3 saturday afternoon a few minutes past 2 p.m., former nasa astronaut don thomas discusses the history of space stations, comparing the development of russian and american programs since the early 1950s and looking at the future of international space station efforts. and sunday at 4 p.m. on "real america," appointment in tokyo is a 1945 army signal corps film documenting the course of world war ii in the pacific theater from the japanese invasion of the philippines and the battan death march through the surrender ceremony. get our complete schedule at c-span.org. >> tomorrow marks the ten-year anniversary of hurricane katrina. in november of 2005, less than three months after the hurricane, new orleans residents held a town hall meeting to share their experiences and respond to state and federal disaster relief efforts at the time. here's a look at that town hall meeting. >> and as y'all coming forward, just take your time and line up.
y'all know the routine. you don't have to hurt yourself because we're going to be here for at least two hours, and we're going to take all of your information. and like i said, i really appreciate the spunkiness that's coming out of the citizens of new orleans. the real new orleans is starting to come out as we move to rebuild. so let's keep going. >> before we start, just a reminder that each question, comment or concern is at a two minute time limit. i will alert you at your 30 and 15 second mark before possibly cutting the mic off. also outside we do have a copy of the situation report which the mayor just went over if you'd like to take copies as well as we do have contacts, phones and e-mails for all of the louisiana house and senate representatives and all of your u.s. congressmen. congress for house and senate as well. those are also on the back table as you go out.
you can grab copies of that. and with that, you can begin your first question. don't forget to fill out your questionnaires to bring with you to ask your question. >> let me just before i do that, i see a couple of elected officials here. we have council member renee gil pratt who i think is here. yes, renee gil pratt is here. council member cynthia willard lewis is in the back. we have district attorney eddie jordan who's here -- [inaudible] offices being represented and cynthia morrell's office is being represented, so we do have some other elected officials that are here, all right? let's go. >> mayor nagin can, moving forward is the hardest direction. if the world would just know what you and the rest of us have gone through, it seems like the images that i'm getting from my friends in los angeles are everything's fine now, we're all okay. we need to let them know we're not all okay.
[applause] number two that i would like to discuss is i represent the musicians of new orleans proudly. i've got about 800 of them that through musicianscharity.com have united. we're communicating for the first time in history, i think, the musicians of new orleans are communicating. the songs that are being written now will be sung forever. we need to unite, get behind you. you are our leader right now, our coach. between now and election, we've got a lot of work to do. we can't just wait for the elections and get behind anybody. we need to get behind -- everybody needs to get behind you now, because these next 12 weeks will be history for music as we know it in america. thank you. >> thank you. [applause] >> thank you. >> thank you. it's good to hear that our musicians are organized, and that's one of the areas that i've been worried about. i worry about a couple of -- besides all the other things, i worry about our musicians and our senior citizens. so it's good to hear that our
hue decisions are coming back. thank you. >> good afternoon. i want to say to the mayor, you talked about bring back new orleans and you had this committee that i saw on tv on yesterday, and i kept saying to myself where are the new new orleanians on that committee? these people are making decisions about our property? and they didn't consult me? that's one concern. the next one is you say you would like for us to flood the congress. i think we ought to do the old-fashioned thing that martin luther king used to do. let's go on bus. let's go on the bus and don't leave until we get an answer. >> all right. >> and i'm not talking about -- i'm talking about going there and we want an answer about this money. if they can build up -- destroy a country, if they can destroy a
country and build it up again, why can't they fix this state? >> amen. amen. [applause] amen. amen. and, ma'am, just to let you know, the commission members are made up of new orleanians, and in addition to that we have seven subcommittees that are available for any member of the public to participate in, and we can get you the information on when they meet, and you can join any committee that you want, participate in the process, okay? thank you. thank you. yes, ma'am. >> good afternoon. i am -- [inaudible] williams from the larue esplenade bed and breakfast. i'm one of the small businesses here in new orleans. i was blessed, i didn't get any water. but, unfortunately, i am lumped in a position where i'm unable to operate properly because of a lack of gas. i know that the gas people may
be doing some work, but they are not, in my estimation as a business person, a retired business teacher, doing the best that they can do. and i'm educated, so i have done everything i could. i've e-mailed don hutchinson, i've gone to your office, i've gone to energy. i am one who clearly understands how gas operates. so i didn't have water. they said they're pumping the water out. i said, okay. it's been eight weeks. i am in the cold, i can't cook, i can't do business, i can't take advantage of all the business people that are coming here as a small business, and i'm very concerned. and i think we need to form a commission or group or something of people to really let you know what energy is doing. i don't think that they're properly handling the areas the way that they should, and there are a lot of people who don't understand exactly what to do.
i was ready to go to six on my side, i saw this was going to happen, and i absolutely need your help. >> okay. >> i do not think energy is understanding that i didn't have water so that i really want my gas so that i can take advantage of the people -- >> 30 seconds -- >> -- and perhaps survive this traumatic situation. and i'd like to help anyone else who need help jumping over the hurdles, because a lot of people don't even know how to answer or stand up for what they need -- >> 15 seconds -- >> -- if what they have done. >> which area of the city? >> 1834 esplenade avenue. >> okay. we have mr. pat ricks here who's the regional manager of energy, and maybe he can address some of your concerns. >> thank you. can you hear me okay? >> yes, i can. the area of the city you're talking about we did have a lot
of water in the gas main. it's the low pressure gas lines that were affected. and although you may not have had water in your house and maybe not even in your neighborhood or on your block, because of the design of the gas system, it's a network system. it's basically built like a spider web. >> i understand that. >> and the water can enter the system from an area three, four blocks, a mile away. >> right. >> and once it gets in that system, it's a process we use where we have to tap into the main and basically suck the water out like you would suck -- >> i understand. >> -- water out of a cup with a straw. and in this case we're sucking water out of a bathtub with a straw. >> you know, i understand that, but there's a house behind my two houses that have gas. that's what i don't understand. the lady on the right of mine has gas because you didn't turn hers off. >> the good news is then, i'm sorry, if the houses near you are starting to show up with gas service, then you're not far behind. because what they do, they call it chase water trouble. they follow the water where the
water's seeping through the lowest points in the gas main. and apparently, the area that you're being served by is a low point that's preventing the gas to get to your area. >> yes. >> and what i would -- i don't know exactly, if you would come see me maybe and give me your specific address, i'll go ahead and get some information specifically for your area to let you know what the eta is on -- >> okay. if you could come on the side and, you know, give me specific information -- >> thank you. >> -- we'll try and accommodate you. thank you. >> ma'am, you can begin your question. >> good afternoon, mayor. i'm one of your seniors you say you're worried about. so i have been here once concerning the house that is leaning on mine -- >> yes. >> to have it removed. i have no hope unless you do this where are i can start -- >> so the house is still leaning? >> it's still on my house. >> really? all right. let, let me get that address again. don't give it over the
loudspeaker. let me get -- >> fill out your questionnaire and hand it to the young lady right here. >> yeah. and give me me that address before we leave. i want to personally follow up on that since this is our second time. >> thank you. >> good afternoon, everyone. one of my seat mates asked me who am i. i'm a new orleans citizen, okay, who have a vested interest this the recovery of new orleans. it is a hard thing to believe that the united states of america is spending nearly $1 billion per week in iraq, and here in new orleans the united states, we are being neglected. now, why do we have debate -- and, please, with our president, our congressmen, our elected leaders to them them that we need help when it's on the media every day? [applause] okay?
this is the united states of america. your young lady mentioned earlier that we did rebuild japan after destroying japan. [applause] this is new orleans, a very specific cultural design. i love new orleans. [applause] secondly, we as new orleans citizens, our first steps we have to show the country that we are rebuilding. when you go over the high-rise, when you come down the high-rise, there is no signs of rebuilding. we need to clean up the roads. the department of transportation, the state is not going to do it, we need to do it. >> 30 seconds. >> get some prisoners out there, pick up this trash.
we need to show them that we are actively participating in our recovery. [applause] >> 15 seconds. >> get the person who handles the wards for the prisons to get out there, pick up this trash, this litter, and show them that we are trying to start somewhere. but right as it stands now, new orleans, united states of america, we are citizens. so we demand that our president steps up. step up and be there for us, because we have paid our tax dollars. thank you. >> thank you very much. [applause] >> thank you, man. thank you. [applause] thank you. yes, ma'am. >> good evening. >> good evening. >> my name is eloise william, and i'm from the lower algiers community. as a community activist, mr. mayor, i know you don't see me too often, but i'm there to
say look at my community. right now what i see i don't like. we have been, katrina that has passed and and gone, but we still living in debris, and we say we organize to move all of this out the way that work can be done. still it's months now. i've been home. i came home on the 5th of november. til this day i'm still trying to get part of my utilities back. cox cable. i've been -- i haven't been there, but i got a bill -- [laughter] energy, i haven't been there, but i got a bill, you know what i'm saying? we need to stop playing games with people and stop playing thinking everybody naive, dumb, stupid and crazy. [laughter] [applause] so that won't be there, either one of them. i wants my rights. i don't want to pay energy anything and say i'm going to
wait later for them to pay me back, because they're not going to pay me back. [applause] i'm not looking to pay no $2, $300 up front. i was this that party that caused y'all not to have the money when it come time to bill accountables for the money. i was not there, so i'm not going to be responsible for anything that's not my doing. you know what i'm saying? >> 30 seconds, please. >> and mr. mayor, i want to say to you before i go to talking about -- i want to say thank you to you for rta. you know what? i got on the bus today the man say -- [inaudible] i said, what? no fare. i couldn't believe it. >> 15 seconds, please. >> thank you, mr. mayor, for that. but there's a whole lot of things that keeping us from functioning properly, as proper human beings. >> yes. >> we all -- i have a home. my home was not damaged but a little bit.
>> please bring your question to a close. >> because of the debris and all of this around about me, i can't get nothing done. >> can you give -- you said you live in algiers? >> yes. i live in the lower algiers in the cutoff. >> in the cut -- >> in the cut. >> i tell you what, why don't you -- see that lady right behind you? >> fill out your questionnaire -- >> give her your address, and we'll get the debris taken care of. >> all right, thank you. >> thank you so much. >> yes, sir. >> mr. mayor, i am -- and other members of the committee, i'm reverend howard -- >> you get closer to the mic, please? that mic up front. >> thank you. now don't cut me off like they did before. >> two minutes. [laughter] >> i'm here because i've been aggrieved, and i'm appalled. first of all, at fema.
mr. mayor, you gave them your plan for the trailer parks. >> yes. >> i've seen one, and that's at barney frank. my question is, what does fema need to have to put those trailers where the requests were made? where are they? what's wrong with you? is that -- does it mean that you're that incompetent to handle that business? all of our citizens want to come back home, and we can't -- speak for yourself. i -- [laughter] i cannot find a place. i even requested that a trailer be placed on my home, and that was in october. and i have not heard from them. and then for energy to come up
with some foolishness that you have to put in something for what? to get some power? why you haven't called for help to put those, put the power back in the lines on the main thoroughfares like parish avenue and st. charles avenue. what's wrong with you? our citizens want to come back, but what are you doing? sitting down on your behind and taking the money. i am, i have been patient, but i'm tired. and i have been aggrieved. i'm hur.t. i'm hurt at this representative who submitted legislation to the state that the state take over the school system when our citizens are suffering down here in new orleans. [applause] where, where your common sense at? where the sense of urgency? we are suffering. and -- >> 30 seconds.
>> -- and don't take that lightly. i want the assistance that i am supposed to get. >> yes, sir. >> i haven't gotten it yet can. [applause] and i got to get out of the hotel room by the 3rd. i've been waiting on the trailer since october, and it hasn't come yet. the measurements haven't even been taken. and it's unfair. mr. mayor, grand the public -- demand the public services, call for help. >> yes, sir. >> demand that energy -- when i left oklahoma -- >> bring your question to a close, please. >> i met rita. and those people in those communities didn't mind helping one another just like we did here. energy, call for the help. you need help! you can't do it by yourselves. and you're not the only ones to be trusted. >> reverend, if you could, let's get fema to kind of help you
with your trailer, hand. i think that's -- if you could come on the side. i know you're a little fired up right now, but he's a reverend. he's a reverend. it's going to be all right. [laughter] it's going to be all right. he's a rev. [laughter] >> next question, please. >> yes, sir. >> good evening. my name is -- [inaudible] >> you get closer to the map? >> i'm not a rev recommend, but i'm tired up because you said that all the work you would try to keep it for the locals. all the debris hauling. it's going out to the people from new york, chicago, california. and anytime a man bring a truck that tar, you know -- that far, you know there's money involved. we as local people, me myself, didn't get none of the pie. not a thing. you know? and it's a doggone shame that a man lives in the city of new orleans, house is paid for, wife live here, works, family members, and we don't get
nothing? you know, that is a damn shame. >> i agree with you, and if we could, you know, i'm going to get you with don hutchinson, and we'll see if we can help you. >> you know, and another thing i want to say, all of the contracts in november 20 paper, they went out to rice, blares, all the politicians' friends, cousins, state representatives, city council people. kathleen blanco people. you know, that's not right. that's not acceptable. [applause] i talked to one of these representatives in baton rouge at a labor rally, and she actually had a trunk that loads from the rear. if i'd have gotten the contract, i could have had a truck that loads from the bottom. it didn't matter. we need the contracts. >> got it. >> 30 seconds, please. >> you know, it's not right. and you're talking about new orleans is coming back? be my house is paid for. >> got it. >> you know, they can have new
orleans. we're going to live like this, it's not right. >> let us see if we can get you some help. if you could, sir, could i get you with don hutchinson? >> right this way, sir. >> because we have been able to help some businesses to bust through this, okay? >> thank you for your question. ma'am? >> yes, ma'am. >> good afternoon. my name is cheryl and, fortunately, i have a home in algiers and biwater. our electricity is cut off every afternoon. i have lost food after food. fema put us in apartments, we have no refrigerator. another thing, bring people back to new orleans. where are their kids going to go to school? 90% of new orleans have kids. on algiers point there's schools open in good condition. they tired 30 teachers at eisenhower, one of the top-rated schools in new orleans. they asked me to reregister a 10-year-old foster child i have.
i refused. she's going to stay in justin parish. rta drivers are driving at will. i got picked up two hours on a biwater bus she was off time driving 2 miles an hour picking up no passengers. and lastly, the people coming in from baton rouge on the bus at elks place is terrible. they need to leave 'em in baton rouge. there's trash. this morning i got off the gold bus, i had to step over bags of clothing that they just throw from canal street all the way to tulane, and it is a disgrace. our future is our children. if they don't open new orleans parish, the system is going to be a disaster. no to one is going to get social security past 2006. thank you. >> okay. thank you. >> thank you. >> it's my understanding that the school system is starting to open up some schools next
month -- >> i say something? [inaudible] >> five days from 10-2? >> and then a christmas vacation. >> okay. all right. >> how you doing, mr. nagin? my name is lorraine, i was here before at your last meeting, okay? i was instructed to talk to a gentleman. he called me up, phone trouble, i never heard back from him since. in the meantime, i bought me a pickup truck, i put on a trailer for the back of my truck, and i don't know about the gentleman that was up here before, explain to me about the zones. the reason i'm saying is because i was in front of my house. i'm picking up debris, hydrowaves, dishwashers -- microwaves, dishwashers, i'm in my house because i thought it was my property. gentleman pull up alongside me and say you're in the wrong district, you're in the wrong zone because this is my zone. i say, yeah? this is my house.
[laughter] you know what i'm saying? so i won't say on the mic about -- [inaudible] what he can do with his zone. [laughter] that was my washer, i feel like whatever i'm going to do with it, i'm going to make the money off of it, not him. but explain to me how my city -- when i left here, it was a city now all in a whole. now if i go across the street, i'm working in somebody else's zone, somebody from mississippi, somebody else from maryland, somebody else from washington, d.c. because i'm in their zone. that's federal government property. just touch it, and you're going to jail. call the police right now. you understand? that's how i feel about it, and enough is enough. where did the zone come in? who sold new orleans into sections to be zones? [applause] when did this happen? where the zones came from? how come there's big companies that come in, i've got a little truck, but these big trucks have the microwaves, dishwashers piled up to the ceiling.
i need to rebuild my house. i lost everything. give me a piece of the pie. and what i'm saying is though since when i can't pick up a piece of washing machine on the street? i'm taking it to the dump. okay, if i pick it up, i'm going the jail. he want to call the police and going to take my license that i pay $500 to the city for to pick up this trash. where the right come in? who gave them the permission to zone off new orleans? i want to know that. where'd it come there? nobody can explain to me who cut my city up like this? >> thank you for your question. [applause] >> you ready? >> yeah, i'm ready for the answer. >> i'm going to try and answer it. you know, the debris pick-up is basically being managed through federal contracts that come through the corps of engineers, all right? and what they have done is, this is my understanding of what has happened. there was -- i believe, and don't quote he or hold me to these numbers, but there was
four or five major contracts that were let. and as they were let, they divided the city up in zones. i think four zones. all right? each contractor was given the responsibility for the pick-up of the debris in that particular zone. so i think that's what you're running into. but there's no scenario that i can to think of where if you are picking up debris, that you would go to jail for violating some zones that were set up -- >> it was a joke on his part, because i laughed at him. i call the police for him, you know what i'm saying? >> oh, yeah. you -- >> but it's just the idea. what i'm saying is how in the world can you tell meow have a zone? -- me you have a zone? >> let me just make sure you understand the situation that we're in. the city of new orleans is basically, you know, has no revenue streams coming in. >> right. >> so we're reduced to begging
for loans from the federal government and from chase bank which is giving us -- so all the money that is being used to clean up this city is being controlled at a whole other level. so all we can do is, basically, go to the powers that be and say we want this young lady to participate, and we're having some success, and we're not having other success. >> right. >> but that's what's happened. that is exactly -- so that's how the zone thing came into being. >> [inaudible] >> thank you. >> [inaudible] we would have the work, we -- >> brother, i wish i could pay you to do the work. you're not hearing what i'm saying. >> we taking the money. we taking the sufficient to -- [inaudible] they got -- [inaudible] they're getting half of what i'm making. they tell me $25 an hour. i get half of that. >> yeah. it's a little deeper than that -- >> right.
>> what can we do to help you? >> i have a license and i believe i should be able to go anywhere. if it's out there, pick it up. you say you want it cleaned up, pick it up. >> don, can you get with this lady and help her get through some of the bureaucracy of the debris clean-up? >> thank you for the question, ma'am. >> she knows what she's talking about. >> thank you. >> mr. mayor, my name is kay fallon, i'd like to thank you and the members of the council that are here today for all your efforts. i know at times it seems like a thankless job, but these are difficult times, and i am very proud of everyone that's worked for the city and for us. i hope that you can help me with my problems. they're minor compared to others since my house didn't flood, but our neighborhood where i have been living for a number of years, the crime there is bad. and i'm not getting a lot of help from the police. there are people that have moved
into dilapidated houses in my neighborhood. these are people who are not working, they're drunk in the morning, they're drunk at night. they're selling drugs in front of my house. and i have called the police, and i've been referred to different sergeants this the police department to call -- in the police department to call, had a different task force. i've called them, i've left my name, i've left my phone numbers, i've gotten no response. one night last week a group of these guys that are living in this one house half a block from my house are having a major, big party with a little bonfire outside on the sidewalk shooting off firecrackers, bottle rockets in the air. this is before the rain, okay? it's really dry. and i called the police up. they say we'll let somebody know to go drive by. i waited, nothing happened. the other issue is trash. there's a ton of trash in our
neighborhood that is just not getting picked up. it's really, really bad. >> [inaudible] >> so i -- no, the marinee triangle. and i've called the police, and i've left messages, and i'm not getting call backs, i'm not getting any response. >> get -- >> the only response i got was, oh, how do you know they're selling drugs? when you walk out your front door and you see somebody selling crack to somebody else, that's pretty obvious. >> that's pretty obvious. >> it's pretty obvious. >> give this, the young lady your address so that we can get that to the police chief, and we'll get some action going. >> thank you for your question. >> [inaudible] >> thank you. >> [inaudible] >> okay. [inaudible conversations] >> go ahead with your question, ma'am. >> good afternoon, mr. mayor. i'm from the gentili area, my house is near plymouth.
we have sort of a unique problem because as you said earlier, if your home is in the flood zone and you have 50% or more damage, then you have to raise your home. as you may know, most of the homes in my area are on slabs, so the $30,000 that fema is allotting to raise those homes is not enough. it's really just simply a drop in the bucket. our only hope seems to be to have our damages estimated at below 50% which is really becoming a logistical nightmare even with proof. i myself have been to the permits office four times with everything they have asked me to bring. i've gone with pictures, i've gone with estimates, i've gone with everything to prove that my damage is not above 50%. at one time i checked the thing, ask they had put it below -- and they had put it below. when i checked again, they put it back above. it's at 54. most people are on average between 51-55% estimated damage. >> okay.
>> which means that we will have to elevate our structures. however -- and we're also being told that if we don't do this, we won't be a able to get insurance. >> right. >> now, i haven't found any law on the books that says this. the only thing that i've found says that if you've had four or more claims that exceed $5,000, then and only then can you -- >> 30 seconds. >> -- be denied insurance coverage. so if we could get some clarity about that and maybe some help about these 50%, because, i mean, a lot of it is really petty. 51, 52, 53. people can very easily get below that. we have a lot of elderly people in our neighborhood, and raising their houses is just not an option. >> 15 seconds, please. >> okay. >> thank you for your question. [applause] >> your question deals with the process of appealing the 51% damage? >> that and where we can find the law that states that if we don't, if we haven't had some of the situations that i spoke
about earlier, that we will be denied coverage. >> okay. >> every house in our section was built in the early 1900s to mid 1950s. >> i'll let greg medford answer that. he's responsible for that. >> all right. yeah, those are actually two really good, good questions. first on the law part and the fema thing, that's not a city thing at all, and it's not a state ordnance or anything. what that is is the federal flood insurance act of 1975, meaning anything built after '75 to get flood insurance, the feds mandated that, you know, we had all the cities this the country had to buy into this program and say that you had to build it at the flood elevation. so the law itself is really the 1975 flood insurance federal act that mandates that part. so that said, when it comes to the 50%, it's really more of, again as the mayor stated, it's more of, actually, an option to help you do what you need to do
for the house. what i mean by that is that if you are over 50% and thereby have -- and below the flood elevation which means you have to raise it, it's actually a good time with fema here that can match that up to $30,000 to raise that or $28,000 -- i've heard 28-32. >> i think, sir, the problem with that is for a slab house $30,000 is really just a drop in the bucket. it will not -- that $30,000, what we would -- i have a slab house. i would spend more than my house is worth to raise it. and that's just not feasible. i'm not a wealthy person. most people in -- gentili are working class people. perhaps we can look whether or not your foundation is good, your roof is solid. because we have people in those situations but for the fact that they had to gut their houses. we're not talking about people
who voluntarily wanted to remodel. this is not what this is. so maybe we should look at it from another angle to help people get below that so -- because even with the raising of fort meade or whatever, people got 10, 11 feet of water -- >> i think we can help you on that part because if you are right in the gray zone, again, we're not the ones arbitrarily are deciding 50%. that's a formulaic thing that comes, again, down to the foundation and all those kind of formulas that fema gives us. but if you are in that gray zone and you're right there and in your case if the city can make kind of in that gray zone support the citizen, we will. so what i think what we have in place and what we're going to do this week is if you are right on that cusp, again, it has to be for real, but if you do think there was a mistake on that and that you're over the 50%, we're going to allow you to send that in the feedback page, you know,
through the web site. we'll have something in the safety and permits section where you can internally appeal that, and we can take a second look and see if we can make something happen. but, again, it's really about the reality of what happened, and it's certainly not an arbitrary decision at all. >> okay. and can i just say one more thing? we have a lot of elderly people that are not well versed in using the internet. some of them don't even have the internet. they can't get this information. >> you can also call or fax the safety and permits -- >> a lot of people don't even have phone service. >> you can come to -- >> is there something we can put out just in the neighborhood that they can go up and read? >> okay. >> i mean, something just very practical. >> i get it. [inaudible conversations] >> all right. we'll work on that. we've tried to put the information in city hall, but we'll come out to the community and see if we can get it to more people. >> okay, thank you. >> so that we can accommodate that request. thank you. >> next question, sir? you can step to the mic. >> hey, how you doing,
mr. mayor? first thing, i want to make a couple comments because what i would like to say for you is you're doing a good job, brother. you're singing it clean. the word on the street, that man stayed with us when he didn't have to. you dig? he was here for the aftermath. that count for something, don't it? we're not talking, mr. uncle sam, about just people. we're talking about souls, you know? and you've given the nation a whole different kind of meaning. a shun means we don't want to help you, so come on. what's wrong with you, uncle sam? you drunk? what you doing with our tax money? come on, you need to go to rehab, brother. your souls need ya. all right. so come on with the nation. and -- [laughter] now that i got that out the way -- [laughter] hey, i'm a poet, what can i say? >> one minute. >> hear ya, man. >> my question is for my brother. now besides the storm, i lost two brothers a year ago, one by his own hand back to back.
i got another brother, he carry my grandfather's name. we go back, back, back, generations. my mama was born charity hospital, you dig? i'm trying to get my family together. my brother's a painter-contractor, and i can't get him up off the family if he ain't got nothing to go on that's tangible. we tried the flatheads, and it didn't work, you know, because he didn't speak the spanish and go for a little bit of money. but if i can give you a card and y'all can maybe help me out, not only will i have work for my family, but through my ancestors, i can bring my family back together. and i waited on you at the creole house a couple years ago. >> thank you for your question. >> so you're looking for some work? >> i'm working for my brother for some work, and he's cajun. >> all right. let me get you with don over here who's helping us to find work for people. >> thank you. >> how you doing, mayor nagin?
i've met you before, i'm a local attorney and a young businessman here. i appreciate you going around to different cities and making the rest of the country aware of our situation. we need you to do that all the time because the rest of the country has forgotten us, and you need to keep on letting people know our situation. [applause] another thing is i want to say is that the people that are back here like me and other young businessmen and attorneys, how long can we stay here? no people, no business. we need to bring the people back, you know? we have mortgages that are coming up after these three months that are gone. everyone's going to be dealing with mortgage companies, etc. and we need some help. how do we bring the people back? we need trailers. we need electricity. we need to tell the people from out of state, you can come back be. how do we -- do we have to wait for fema to bring us trailers? do we have to rely on fema? no. can we get the state to provide money to private trailer companies to put the trailers up right now and then have fema
reimburse the state when they're ready? we need to do that now. we cannot wait. as far as energy, i know you guys are in trouble. you've declared bankruptcy, energy of new orleans. we need power. no good are trailers without power. if i can't do my job, i get replaced. if energy can't do the job, we need other power companies in this country to come down here and get this job done. [cheers and applause] if we can arrange for having mardi gras so quickly, eight days of revenue, bring tourists while the people of new orleans that can't come back right now, they're stuck out in houston and dallas and new york city where i was, how can we have mardi gras when the people of new orleans can't even come home? [applause] >> 30 seconds, please. >> the people, the people of new orleans, they should be able to come home. eight days of tourism is great. we don't even have housing for the people of new orleans, but we have housing for tourists to come here? come on. let's speak up for the people of new orleans.
they are our people. the people of new orleans, when they come back, they bring revenue every day for the rest of their life, not eight days of mardi gras. >> 15 seconds. >> i love mardi gras, we're going to get to those times again but not right now. [applause] >> thank you for your question. >> all right. [applause] thank you. thank you for your comments, and we'll see if the state can help us with some trailer placements. mardi gras is a whole other discussion. yes, ma'am. >> hello, mayor. my name is loretta brown, i reside -- >> you can pull that mic down. there you go. >> this one? >> yes. >> i resided at 7500 wave drive. i no longer have a house because my house took, i think initially, 10 feet of water and 7 feet of standing water. so the house is, like, totally gone. but i'm here today because they called my husband back to work. he's in law enforcement, he works for the government can. he's a deputy sheriff. when we got down here, they told him that he was going to have
housing. well, when we got down here, they had nowhere for him. they had somewhere for him to live but nowhere for his wife and his mother to live, okay? so we took it upon ourself to find a hotel. we found a hotel, we paid for it out of our pockets. so what i had to do initially was call fema and ask them for more money, you know, they initially give you the $2300. after that they said you had to write a meter stating you need more -- a letter stating you need more money. i did that, i did what i was supposed to do. also i i applied for a sba loan. it looks like it's turned into a nightmare, i thought it was a blessing. they said hurricane katrina was one of the worst things that could happen to us, but i think it's hurricane ka fema that's got me. [laughter] when i called, they told me i could no longer get any assistance from them because i was approved for an sba loan. i'm like, okay, i got approved
for an sba loan. that's a good thing. i get the money at a low rate, okay? so now that i'm approved for an sba loan, fema will no longer assist me with anything. so now we're stuck. we've got bills coming up, three months up -- >> 30 seconds, please. >> -- they wanted their money, everybody want their money, the creditors want their money. so my question is to you or to fema, why won't you approve for an sba loan -- once you're approved for an sba loan, fema no longer hate you? you get into more debt than you already in, and we don't have anything else to do for you. >> that's the first time i've heard that one. i'm going to have -- >> that's what was told to me. >> so you got an sba loan, and that basically triggered that -- >> exactly. they approved us for $98,000. i told them that my flood insurance was supposed to pay us $70,000. so once the flood insurance pays
us $70,000, that reduced the loan to $28,000. so the more money i get, the less the loan is. and it's not benefiting me. the sba loan is supposed to be to rebuild. so what do i do -- >> totally understand. >> -- to survive off? i have no money to survive with. >> let me see if we can get an answer with feefema. >> we are going to get candy to talk to you one-on-one, but there must be some misunderstanding here because just because you have your own approved doesn't mean fema automatically calls you off from our temporary housing program. >> i called, my husband called. they told us both the same thing. >> okay. we're going to look -- we're going to have candy talk to you, but we do want to make the statement that we realize that, yes, your loan's been approved, but you still need to do the work to repair the house, and you still need a place to stay. so if you've been collecting, if the you've been receiving the rental assistance from fema -- >> got the one rental assistance, when i called back
to get it again, they told me they can no longer hear me. >> okay. we will clear that up, and ask candy will talk to you. as long as you've taken that 2358 and used it to rent a place, we know you need to continue to rent a place so, yes, you can still receive housing assistance from fema until you get that sba loan in your hands and make the repairs. >> okay. and then can i also say one more thing? i was one of the unfortunate or people that got stuck in the convention center, and i've already been through enough, so i don't need kafema to put me through more. please. >> if candy could raise your hand and you could step over there and speak with her. thank you for your question. >> yes, ma'am. >> hi. my name is dana connolly wilson. i was in houston, texas, during the time rita hit, and i met two twin ladies from lake charles. do you know those ladies? i know you do. >> i think i do. >> yes. they praised you and i didn't.
and i don't want to blame you. i don't feel that you're totally at fault for katrina. but you're responsible for us. >> there you go. >> and we don't have nowhere to live here. i had a place in algiers. i was at the council meeting, and i have been formally evicted. paid october rent, did what i was supposed to do, and rent was refused for november so this that it could be price gouged. i'm relying on you. i know all this is state level, federal level and all other levels. i don't have them. i voted for you to represent me on the local level. i don't know where else to go. i don't know what else to do. 24 hours after today my family
will be in a hotel to be displaced after you said, i'm holding you responsible, to come back. to what was not right at all. i want to know, my question is to you. that's one of my situations. secondly, i'm a homeowner. i was renting because of loss of use due to cindy, okay? and my home is in the defact area which seems like a totally forgotten area, okay? ..
say - thank you. my thing is i know that you could some things in place for the people that are not here but there's nothing in place for the people that are here. there is nothing in place. that's for people that have to give a certain amount of time. i don't know what to do. and i'm on the street in 24 hours. everything, i don't know if she
owns property to judge this but she was trying to find ways to make it more correct. i don't care how much proof you brought. i don't know what to do. >> with me see if i can try to answer some of the things that you brought up. as far as that we are starting to get more complaints on that and part of the power of the mayor is they force the current law on the books, so we are trying to use everything in our power to see what we can and cannot do. but we may need some new laws. >> exactly. berkeley, california california had the landlord tenant associations i suggested that at the last meeting. [inaudible] please, refer to somebody where you can put protection on us so that we can come home. we wouldn't know where to go.
>> i agree with you. we don't want you to be homeless. >> i am. effectively today, 24 hours to move. and this place, my child to have a learning disability, to once again move her to another school where she is failing now i have to displace my three kids one more time and i am here doing my best to be here so that this city can have revenue, so that we can be what we want. and guess what, it's no strength. everybody is segregated. this one once that - i don't want to take up no more of your time. i want an answer. >> let's see if we can get you at least - let's see if we can get fema to help you find a comfortable place to live - >> [inaudible]
>> hopefully we can do it in the same area. let us see what we can work out. we will see what we can do to help. yes ma'am. >> good morning. thanks begin to the microphone please. >> my name is jamel alan and i i'm a homeowner of a double house on the corner. my concern is you do not forget about us. [inaudible] right across from the baseball field i am concerned that all the things that have been taken away, they forgot about us and that's my biggest concern is that we are not forgotten and that we continue to go want to be on to be strong. the media stated that we are a poor poverty area. yes, i do work two jobs. my house wasn't given to me by inheritance or divorce. a woman of poverty is jamel and
i am working hard to keep my poverty. [inaudible] cause of everything going on. i want to know when are we going to get down there to do what we have to do and how long is it going to take to do what we have to do? yes, i am fully insured and have insurance. it's not enough. it's not your fault i didn't have enough insurance, it's my fault. but what is actually going to happen to us; could you answer that for me please? >> yes. as you know december 31 which is thursday we have it open up to full access. you live in the area - >> right across from the baseball field. >> this area is probably going to be on a much faster track than any other area because the water got out of there the quickest. so you should be able to get utility services much quicker than anybody else and start the rehab process faster than
anyone. >> and not only that, but before the storm hit, my jaw because a mandatory stay over and i haven't left [inaudible] that's fine and dandy but asking to leave in my neighborhood and find out who is staying and not staying might come back every chance i can to get my house cleaned and go to my neighbors and find out who is rebuilding and a block of three areas we only have four or rental properties and one of them is mine that i print out and the other three are all returning. people are willing to return back there and everyone is willing to do what we have to do. so please come don't forget about us and we have to raise our house is or what because we are in the b. zone and i was trying to figure that out.
>> if you are at or above the plan you don't have to raise. >> that was one of my main concerns. i appreciate you taking the time. thank you but please don't forget about us. >> we aren't going to forget about anybody. >> thank you so much. >> good evening, mr. mayor. my name is barbara johnson, and i'm here to represent my 87-year-old mother-in-law who is a resident of the lower ninth ward. she is located on that floor of outside on the street called delery. we have had someone going to look at her property, and we have a house which used to be across the street which made itself into a raft and has now landed onto her car and carport. as i said, i'm representing her because she can't come here. she has been displaced to alexandria, louisiana. i heard you in your opening
remarks make the statement that we should make intelligent decisions. and we are just about there. i have coasted along with her for these three months and we are at the decision we are either going to say buying me out. she is too old to get a loan. we went through the process and procedures of everything the interim commissioner stated to do. so we are at that point. and i heard you make the statement about if you have 50% or more damage, and according to the website, she does have 86.63% damage. it's gone. so, my question to you today is will the corps of engineers make contact with the rest of it or should the residents make contact with the corps of engineers and if so, with whom, but number, what is the process, what is the procedure, what is the timeframe? >> individuals can contact the corps of engineers but you can
also - it depends upon your decision. if the decision is to rebuild - >> the - >> isn't going to rebuild. >> you are most likely leaning towards you want your home demolished. the demolishing part we can help you with and we want to put in the request to the corps of engineers to demolish the home and at the last time i talked to them, this is the last bit of information i got to be with a would do it at no charge to the citizens if the request came from the city of new orleans. >> [inaudible] >> wait a minute, let me deal with this lady's question, then we can get to yours. so if you are making the request to us that says life is like my home demolished, then we will take it from there. so you can write us a letter. you can go on the website if you have access.
and then we will give it to the corps of engineers and get that taken care of. as a relation to getting, you know, fair market value for your home, that's a little different issue. there's a bill that congressman baker is almost at the point of passing in congress that would allow for that particular process. so i would pay attention to that bill and as soon as its past, there would be an authority that would be in power and hopefully the pre- katrina assessed values. >> can you tell me when? >> it is working through congress right now and they should be back in session in the next week or two. >> so then should we keep tabs on the website? >> we will keep tabs on what is happening in congress. >> i'm certain that she would like to have money. she's been there all of her life. >> i think a lot of people will take that option.
>> we are trying to put a link but there's also congressional websites to keep you up to date as that bill is moving forward. yes ma'am. >> i was on industry street in the eighth ward and i was raised over in the seventh. >> take your time. if you can speak into the microphone. i know it's difficult to take your time. >> [inaudible] by a mother who is almost 89, it
[inaudible] i've gotten calls from trailer people, i've talked to fema, i've gone to st. charles avenue. we need to fema in our area town, not st. charles. we need people directly to deal with. i even had three firemen coming to the house looking for my mother saying we hear that you are getting a trailer, do you have a power generator, power source? we still have it, no trailer. i have no electricity. i would love to go back home. just give us light. god said let there be light. >> putsch area of the city lacks
>> [inaudible] >> the best way that i speak is through my poetry and i wrote this on ten -- three -- co- 05 in oakland california. the big easy always sleazy forever eluded politicians looming for self gain. wait and see who remains. so unprotected, neglected, the city defaced similar to atlanta's a city vanished. a city divided by color is slated. older poor forgotten, no flood walls blocking now a nation waddling in danger of toppling by the hit so hard forever scarred, denial, still shifting blame on the many names be aware of the outside storms, nations
waiting to do harm for a little city forgotten. [applause] >> thank you. >> my name is david novak and i'm a homeowner. about 4 feet of water and it's been rough but not as rough as some of the people that have come before me. i have a lot of questions so i'm going to be brief. number one, i question is about the presence of the national guard. what is the plan for the scaled-down of that? if possible, could we extend the test to the avenue problem and i do believe that it is sales tax on restaurant and bar sales in the area. second, what is the election schedule going to be? i know previous to katrina there was a plan of having qualified beta december with elections sometime in february. is that still the plan or is that going to be changed?
third, i know i met you a bright bright eyed 19-year-old at the afl-cio labor meeting, and i'm just wondering where is the service employees union? are we going to bring them in here because i just read today that dnc is going to have their spring 2006 meeting, but they had to make some - of trying to think of the word - they have to make some concessions because the sheraton is the only hotel in the city that can host them but they aren't unions. they are talking about jobs paying ten to $15 an hour but if they are going to be paying that in two or three years we need to have the unions in here to make sure that the workers and the service industries and french quarter of town are offered up a city that they get the pay they deserve because being a minimum-wage city is not going to work anymore for me or any of the other people around here. [applause]
>> also, reading about all of the investigations in the breaches at how they are supposed to be 17 feet pilings and there's only 10 feet hirelings, i think it's time to get the fbi task force down. make sure because right now i don't have hot water, i don't have heat, i have two pairs of clothes to wear. it could be a lot worthwhile of two years down the road i could go to the state prison and to see some of the people out there responsible for this levee breech failure. [applause] >> 15 seconds. >> that's all the questions i have. i just want to thank you for doing this. >> thank you. five questions within two minutes. let me go down the list. your first question dealt with the national guard and their presence and how long will they be here. we have supplemented about 1500 offices, about 202,500 national guard members that primarily are
patrolling in the areas that have the least amount of population and they are committed to staying here for the duration until we can get the city repopulated but you will see the need to see them start to downsize as we outsourcing to stabilize the police department. at 2 a.m. curfew is in effect right now. it's been in effect for the past month or so. we started the hp and curfew and we went to midnight and went from 2 p.m.. the reason it still is in effect is twofold. there is still way too many areas in the city that are dark of night. that don't have light. the second issue is i'm still not totally convinced our police force is on the level the stabilization to handle 24/7 partying. and as soon as we get them stabilized, as it relates to
where they are going to live and when the cruise ships pass then we will move into the normal mode of operations for the city. and we may relax that over certain special holidays as we go forward. the election cycle, your guess is as good as mine as that. the secretary is date is scheduled to make a proper announcement this friday. if he and the governor are both in sync, they can delay and put it forward. the two dates that i've heard are considering delaying its sometime in april and may be as late maybe as late as september to coincide with the elections so that's what i know on the election cycle. as far as the unions are concerned, but the unions are around and they have been doing some meetings - we will be able to get with the council and
hopefully sit down and call for the meeting of all of the union leaders and give the sense for where they are and how we can work together to make sure that when all of the jobs are created they are long-term jobs and have the good stuff paid and it's sustainable and they have benefits that it's not always associated in the union. as far as levees are concerned, they are going to be at the top of everybody's mind going forward. you know, the fbi is one standard also looking about. the district attorney has written a letter to the district attorney to request the formal investigation and what happened and hopefully we will come up with a better system for building levees and that's something the state is struggling with. that is the five topics. >> as far as the unions go the state hasn't had a piece at all
for the workers, so if the city council has to take the lead on that by all means go through it because would have chicago. you want to get construction guys down the road payroll union. you have people in the tables are bagging groceries come in new orleans and chicago you set up the railroad line command for me some days in the state legislature to decide the unions are not needed in this city anymore. and now you see all of these fema contractors and you you have the sheraton running the dnc convention and they are going to be nonunion. >> we got the point. so that is more of the state level. this is the right to work state. if you were going to attack that you need to attack it at the state level. >> district attorneys office actually - conducting our own investigation into determining whether the grand jury is in order based upon an examination of the initial reports done by
the various engineers. so, we are determined whether the grand jury investigation is in water, whether the state law has been violated that would be independent and separate from anything done by the u.s. attorney's office. >> my name is mickey daniels from new orleans. fourth generation. my grandfather started a business here in 1927. my father in 1954. a few tweaks before the storm my brother and i started taking steps to become statewide contractors. we don't plan on having employees. we are very small. but they will give us a license without the workers comp insurance. as the owner of the company you cannot be covered by your own workers comp insurance. according to the labor board we
are not required to have it but according to the state would've board of contractors they want licenses without it. mississippi isn't required to have the workers comp insurance for the license is reciprocal so there are people working in my city from mississippi from arkansas from texas that are not required to follow the same guidelines that we are. it's the state-owned workers comp insurance company who before the storm wanted to thousand dollars for the new business and would take it in payments. after katrina, they want $10,000 up front. no payments, no financing to even talk about giving us workers comp. it doesn't cover anybody. i need some help. >> is this at the state level? >> i'm not sure how we can help you but come on the side and let's talk about this because if you are experiencing this i'm sure that there are other
businesses that are starting to go through this. i'm not sure why the state is doing this not we are going to see if we can go find out. >> my husband is a city employee we were looking all that time in a van. me, my husband, my three kids. we had to come back. where were we going to go? there was housing nowhere. we come back here and slammed the door in our face. we got to the hotel's, they are acting nasty with me. they don't want you there. they only take me so they can get fema funds.
my husband has been employed in the city for the six years. even brought in paperwork. and i'm talking to the men appear. you come back to work for the city. 4:00 this evening and then recommended to a hotel that had no toilets. no clean water. no heating. you understand? give me a voucher and tell me to go to the land that is causing $4,000 into that care about each other, $2,000, $6.40 an hour. you want to talk about the disaster for how long that is
going to last? okay. and we are back at $6.40. when you put the people in new orleans it's your fault because we are poor you refuse to raise the minimum wage is how you don't want to pass anything. what about us here in new orleans? look at my husband standing back there he is a man, not a boy. okay we don't have anywhere else for you to try to beat. you have to use the bathroom, call and let us know you're going to the bathroom. call the supervisor and wait for them to come out so you can go to the restroom. it's not right. i thought that you would [inaudible] i applaud you mr. willis -
wherever he is i want to hear because if it wasn't for us, poor underpaid people we wouldn't have a new orleans. so the children are out there in the parade in the rain shuddering. my kids haven't been at school at all since katrina. so what also you going to do, how far down the want us to go? soup he wants to wipe his face with a white and go to work. i had a city worker told me that she works ... i-india apartment
and i go back you imagine what that made my husband feel like? imagine what that that they can be like for his coworkers. [inaudible] [applause] before you leave why don't you at least allow us the opportunity to see if we can make the situation. okay. so why don't you if you could come on the side.
before you move on but they say that there are there on the record supporting into some of us went forward and have a referendum of the vote supporting. i'm on the record. they are supporting the minimum wage. and also a father that retired whose mother had to take care of my handicapped sister. you know, and let me say this because this isn't about politics to me. maybe some people play politics but about life for me. because all of my family we had the end my wife moved but this
is as real for us as anybody else. i don't like being tripled up in the house either. i don't like not seeing my brother and sisters and family members. i tried to put a happy face at thanksgiving. some people could fake it like it was a good one. it wasn't a good one for me. and i understand but let me say this, i will never back off of what i stand for. and anybody that doesn't understand it, but you are not putting me in with anybody else. [applause] don't vote for me if you don't like me. >> good afternoon.
it are for the birds because they are 1965. we still don't have lights back in new orleans and i know that because i went by this saturday in the gulf with my two children so i want to know when will you put some life back there and why do i have to raise my house 4 feet off the ground when people of uptown. we have some of the best drainage in the city of new orleans. we don't flood. when you get a flood three or 4 feet of water and people are getting flooded out down here, we don't flood down there. now i'm telling mr. fema and engineers, yes i am a federal employee and i am one of the
i watch this every week it comes on tv, the whole 2.5 hours. listen to it on the radio before i go anywhere. got it on my car radio listening, but ain't nobody doing anything. i'm not raising my house 10 feet up in the air. i don't live on the beach. i don't live in florida. i don't live in the period i live in new orleans, louisiana. if i want to live in biloxi, i would've to look there in the beginning. i am not raising my home, mr. fema, mr. engineer. i know one thing, you can get somebody else's house, but you won't get nine. [applause] >> okay, thank you. next up. >> my name is maxine i am here to ask a question because i had
a business that was drawing in very good revenue and working for the city. i have client don park island. i have people all over the city of new orleans. when katrina kind of moved everybody out, that was my business star. so i consulted with the person out of state, got another business going and it's all in the process of rebuilding new orleans because i'm a very concerned citizen here. but i would like to know what are the options for the entrepreneurs here. i set my business up and now i have the sba tear me down for the love that i wanted. they are not seeing any outside london now.
i want to be a thorn in mr. inside because i've been trying to get in touch with him only for maybe about two months now. i was one of the people that didn't want to leave. i stayed out from the very beginning when they first started letting people back in here. i am not going anywhere, but i want to know what kind of opportunities we have. my plan includes training people number one and employing people to work for the company and in the rebuilding process of new orleans. but i need to get someone who can direct me to what is going on. i can't get a foothold on who to talk to about rebuilding. i have my plans that i have everything and all my place.
i have subcontract or is ready to go and when i went to the ecb, they referred me to mr. hutchinson. i can't get him. >> well, you have him today. we are going to hook the two of you together. thank you. yes, sir. come on out. >> hello, mr. nagin. i come before you today is not the latter man, but the construction worker or ex-construction worker. sunday night i was out talking to my neighbors. they seem to inspect or set my place is not livable. i got half of the 2300-dollar relocation fee. i am out there talking to a camper down there down below me
and they said somebody just ran in your apartment. i turned around and i saw this guy go in my apartment. elaborate 335 dogs is treat. i ran up the steps and he said they yelled up at me, he ran down the hallway. i run down the hallway yelling he was in my apartment. that's a nice way to put it. the landlord calls me. now i am a big day because i'm the only tenant that was there before the storm. he's got all new tenants there. he wants to chat to rent out. i know that's the reason. i've got until sunday to get out here but why do? i'm the latter man. some of you all have seen me.
i have been homeless in the city before it ended a fun. and now it's in the open. at about $2000 to rent another apartment here. what do i do? >> you know, a couple people have brought up the whole issue of the rent going up. only thing i can tell you is we are trying to enforce the current laws on the books and we need to strengthen laws so we can have more enforcement powers to help this type of situation and we don't have it today. so the only thing i can tell you to do is to try and make sure as we go through the eviction process but they follow all the
rules and there is a certain procedure they need to go through. if they miss anything than you have rights to stay in the property. if not, we can get your information and try and talk testator see if there's anything we can do to help you. right now the current laws allow the landlord's pretty much to do what they are doing. it is not right, but it is the current law. >> well, i appealed my fema registration yesterday, fax that in like i was in struck me to do. do you have a fema man here i can speak with? >> he's on the side. maybe fema can help you with some temporary housing. other than that, there's not a lot we can do with the landlord.
>> if the fema representative can raise his hand. >> thank you, mr. mayor. >> next to. thank you. >> good afternoon, mayor. my name is bernie williams chose to and this is my awful, though harvey fields. before hurricane katrina, both of us were business owners. we have been having a hard time out here picking up the good spirit that i'll go went to the dump this morning to dump his good and they told him he couldn't. he could come but he won't get paid for it because the contractor he was subbing under have left them there was no more person. myself, i invested in two trailers, 18 wheelers to bypass. i still can't go out when they give me a zone, and when i get
on this they've got tall guys coming over and telling me to get off. i might be short but i don't leave. you have to go or we are going to stay in work zone together. we want to know what you can do to help us? we have the trailer loaded up but we can't dump it. >> you have hardly been assigned a zone. >> yes. but he's doing quite good and i'm picking up trash. it is nothing really. so when i get out there, but can't make a load. if they into another sound they can't take me out. i came to find out why we have to be three people under when we are here instead of right under. why do we have to go under and
the people make all the money from out of town and they leave. therefore we are not making anything at all that either. >> so your question is -- >> the trucks, trailers, all the equipment and we are still not off the street. >> so you are looking to move to a different song? >> we are looking for a work. >> we are not doing anything. >> and trying to make sure i understand what your challenges. you can authorize to do work in a certain and not zone does not have enough work, enough load for you to go and get paid properly. so you are looking to change that. >> yes. and we are looking to get paid for the loads already on the track. >> because once you go to the dump site, they say you are not authorized to pick up white good
in that zone? >> at evening, mr. mayor. i've been in the city center over 24 and i've been living here for over 40 years. i've been in business for 21 years. i came back and invested in a truck and a trailer and i've been getting the runaround ever sense. the first time they told me my trailer didn't fit the qualification in the next time they told me i had to have an f. 250 chart 4350 chart. the only thing they would allow. i got certified mmi track got certified by ecc. so i started working and i worked about four days. they went into a meeting and somehow they got separated and
somebody broke the contract. the refrigerator, the thing i started from, i came all off the latest from frank linda claiborne and that evening they told me to come back the next morning because they were having some kind of discussion between them. i had a vote on their headache i had wrote me up for for that thursday. but i didn't go back to work. i went there today to get it off my trailer and made told me you can get it off. what you have to do is take it in the back and take it off yourself and then take the trailer park over and get certified again. i said why is this?
he said this is why you're on a different contract now. it has to be recertified again. my trailer is named, loading the refrigerator that me and my son picked to because they claim the equipment they had was too big to go in the french quarter to operate. so i went in there i didn't do no damage or anything. now my trailer is sitting there that it's kind of a certified. the point was they wanted me to just throw my stuff and get the trailer certified by the same people who dirty certified my trailer. >> part of the runaround a lot of local companies have been getting. we are going to put you guys on
the side. the more i hear these complaints, the board is becoming clear to me that we have to start to create some files and start to document the types of problems we are having civic and start to take this to the next level so they can push this. if you can pull him aside and we will have donna take your information and we will see if we can push this forward. we have to start documenting that in common with some evidence that we can push this harder. >> i actually saw the debris all packed up, stacked up, piled up, pick up and sitting on the trailer ready to be dumped. he did what he was supposed to do and he was penalized for doing a great job. one of the things we could do
and what the other communities have done is they have professionals or engineers that monitor the contract areas where the contractors have to submit reports to them and that is what they're doing in state are not in other areas. the local community has someone assigned to the contractor that the business person and governor that person so maybe that's an opportunity you can have somebody access as a monitor to make sure because it seems like a more we push for local participation, the more local people are starting to be pushed on. >> thank you, sir. yes, ma'am. >> good evening, mr. mayor and everyone. i am from time to allege a new ligaments, louisiana. i have nine feet of water and i
am trying to find out if my house, a brick homes, i am trying to find out how many feet , with the processes of keeping that. i alerted started getting out. everything is still soaking wet. the floor is still soaking wet. my son wants to know. >> you need to find out where you are as it relates to the 100 year flood plane. have you gone over to city hall? >> no, i just got back from shreveport. >> does your son have internet access? >> my son is in the netherlands. he is a major in the air force. >> you can be anywhere in the
world. go on our website, the city of new orleans website and punching your address. you will see it. i will tell you exactly where you are and exactly whether you are above or below and you can take it from there. >> as well as why you are here if you would like to visit the seven foreign city hall, you can also get the information. >> thank you so much. >> my name is showingfleming. i have a problem coming back to the city not because i don't want to come back because every time i get ready to come down here is the problem. my husband is here working that every time we need to descend thing, you have to beg, cry, scream, do everything.
if you manage to get one, they're talking to you. so i come down here every weekend in order to get business done to get my house up and running. i'm not very appreciative of that right now. i don't have any help from fema. they told me i had insurance which makes it feel like the underdog because you do have insurance and you can't get nothing else from them. you cannot get anything done. it is impossible. as to rent cars in order to be here and beg for a place to stay. we finally got a room on cannot straight and every time you look around, you need to renew.
every other day i saw you guys renewed this or that. i want to come home. my job easier. i have no place to stay. can't find a house. if you find one, it's outrageous. $500 to rent, all of a sudden 700 send it in and they did not offer to fix any thing. mold and everything in the house, just like they have it. that is wrong. i don't know what else to say. then there's the problem that they let her shin. don't ever get enough information to figure out what you need to do. you need a license to her shin. what difference does it make where he comes from as long as he's license. so what is the problem with that? i am not understanding.
and then they want to charge you to come and give you an inspection. what is wrong? something is wrong. >> let me see if i can answer a couple questions because we talked about a lot of different things. >> i know. and i could talk about 50 more and i still wouldn't get the end of the list. >> we talked about the price gouge. as far as a new orleans electrician, and i think there is a law on the books they pretty much required a new orleans electrician to do the work, which we run into a problem because there's not enough to do all the work. we may need an exemption of that law which we are going to work on. what was your last point? >> i put in for a trailer.
i have the property to put it on. my question was can raise the generator. that side. where is the trailer? it's not getting to me no time soon. they have never contacted me for measurements or whatever else they need to do. i want to come home. i want to go back to work. i can't. >> we will let you talk to the fema gentleman and get an assessment of where you are. >> mr. mayer, one of the things we hear over and over again as people talk about the extended stay or hotels and we have a couple people now and more and more they come to the meetings and they are at a hotel and are
being told they have to leave. >> sten at the time for the reimbursement and if they have common why are people being put out? we have a family today being put out so what time do they have and what rights does a person have if they think they are set up for a temporary extended stay and they are asked to leave? [inaudible] >> a fema representative will respond. >> fema has granted a time extension until september 15th where fema will continue to pay for the hotel bills. after that time, fema is not evict anyone.
can stay in the hotel you just need to pay the bill yourself. cannot tell what works. what i hear people saying that the folks in hotels right now, when the hotel accepted the family to stay with us for a limited period of time and it sounds like a leather folks folks come in with reservations. that is the challenge for all of us. if you need to check out because someone else has a reservation, that is a situation between the family, the individual in the hotel. the hotel would love to keep them in longer that if they have other folks coming in, what can you do? >> you're ready to go? >> yes, sir. and there were many in here. most are coming back to me first say to you that i want to
compliment you on the job you are doing. a lot of folks don't think you're doing a good job, but i for one think you are. 10,000 deaths over the numbers add up you will find with a lot of orleanians. artistic santos and that rich and one in mississippi. i would also like to say continue to think out of the box. he signed a letter to combine the city. we need for you to sign the council took up about safety in permit. i got a trailer and there's a step if somebody comes measure and drops off the trailer. somebody sweeping out. somebody commented drop it in the hole.
after all this instead, we don't have the electrician and send in the town area we have the trailer for a whole month. people are tired of running back and forth. it's not like the city of new orleans. if they've gotten a lot trish and his connect gained the electric, let's expect to be using it. i also picked up a meeting going on and he said we don't need it. so what is the hold up getting our people back home. we simply need you to sign the letter that we can get to do this. >> should be done. we will follow up to make sure
that is in place. we are at it but the process on the policy statement that basically said once you've got your electrician to sign off going in, it's over. >> are you talking about the one fema came up with? >> it don't matter. as long as there is a licensed electrician, we don't care where they come from. we sent in the report and its done. >> my trailer has been sitting there for one solid month. >> one second, please. >> the problem is the electricians know that, safety and permit does that but the contractor bringing out the trailer, apparently they don't know it because they tell the
citizens you have to still go to safety in permit so they can come out and inspect. contractors tell persons you have to get your electrician. that is not true either. the contractor installing the trailer is supposed to take care of the entire process. the citizen is not supposed to do anything nor pay 1 penny. but that is not happening because the contract or is there telling something different. that's why we need the monitoring committee oversight so that whoever is doing it, everybody is following the same procedure and they are not following the same procedure. >> thank you, councilwoman friday. i know you're doing regional cooperation, but all these trailers particularly, let's put
them in place so folks could move into their trailers. david sitting up there for a solid month. we don't know if don't know what the hangup is a new orleans. why are they putting us through too much changes. we've been through enough changes. >> thank you. [applause] hold on. >> thank you. it wasn't too long ago the city didn't waive the requirement to have the electrical inspection done after the trailer was connected. will make sure each and every one of the contract are his notes. sounds like there may be cases where the word hasn't gotten down yet. will make sure that is not an obstacle. if i could go back to the case before that to add