tv Politics and Public Policy Today CSPAN August 28, 2015 11:00am-1:01pm EDT
against the first amendment and we the freedom of press, and that's censorship, and somebody else said we need to have a psychiatrist when you buy a gun, and who makes that determination? and somebody said we need to violate hippa and allow personal health records to be public, and somebody has a baby and they are diagnosed with postpartum depression, are they allowed to have guns? who makes that determination? ing a loophole is a buzzword for low information voters. what we are talking about is private sale, and it has nothing to do with the gun show. it's private sale. nobody can own fully automatic firearms until you can go through a class 3. the caller with an ak-47, what he is talking about is a civilian version which is semiautomatic, which is legally defined by the atf as one shot
per pull of the trigger and anything more you have to go through years of taxing paperwork and training through the federal government, so i many a sure you are off to wondering how many guns i have, and i can tell you i have more than all your colors combined because i live in virginia but i can't disclose that to you, because it's private information. any questions? >> you say you lobby down in richmond on the issues? >> caller: absolutely. >> are you with an organization? >> caller: i am, and i go there by myself as well, and i am well known by organizations and prefer not to mention them. >> there's a couple in virginia including rifle organization of american and gun owners of america. would one of them be yours? >> caller: like i said, i would prefer not to name them, and i
thought i was sitting here -- >> you discounted a lot of the other callers and we are talking to gun owners only this morning to bring a different perspective. what is a solution in your view, neck, to reduce gun violence? do you think there needs to be a solution? >> caller: there does need to be a solution. we don't have gun violence, we have a violence problem in america, and eventually, and you heard it from me first, and i may be dead before it happens but eventually we are going to have to have a lot of people security and police with guns in america, in every school and shopping mall, and it may not happen in all our time, but israel has it figured out. when you are under constant threat of being shot at they hand out concealed weapon permits like crazy, and it's going to come to that unfortunately, it will, and maybe after our time, like i
said, but it's going to come to that. other solutions? you know, i have a few degrees in criminal justice and i can tell you that there are factors that contribute to violence, truancy, resittism, and poverty, it sucks, and casinos, you know, drugs, they foster crime. is there a solution, a quick one? i will tell you what is not. background checks. let me make it really clear. the federal law requires that everybody go through a background check when you purchase a gun, everybody has to go through a background check, and somebody said we should not let the mentally ill have guns and you are not allowed to have a gun if you are mentally ill, and this is misinformation. in skwrerpblg, we do have
private sale. it's a dirty word, and everybody is like, what does that mean? you know what i mean? what that means is, i have private sale guns, a few friends back and forth, and what typically happens is, if you know somebody and you say i know you, let me see your id and concealed carry permit and i will take your information down and if you want to buy this gun, it's yours. that's how we do it in virginia. some people call it over the fence. but you don't do it to somebody shady or somebody out of another state, you just don't do it that way. a solution? there is no real magical solution, and there is a point where, you know, maybe our society is just so bad there is no coming back from the brink. i don't have a solution, but i can tell you the solutions that won't work, that's a lot easier, unfortunately, right? mandatory gun locks. a real gun owner locks up their guns. what is that going to do?
any other questions from somebody that knows what they are talking about? >> our next caller, mark in carlsbad. >> caller: good morning, and thank you for c-span. he took my thunder. he mentioned israel. it's a per time for when kids graduate high school they go into a mandatory two years in the military and get educated on weapons and stuff. this would drastically cut down on violence in the u.s. after they got out, and if nothing else, they would be educated on weapons and a means to -- well, it wouldn't stop the violence because people are going to do it anyway, but with more people knowledgeable about it, it would help control it. >> that's mark and carlsbad, new mexico. for the next two hours on the
"washington journal," we will turn our a tension to the tenth anniversary to the katrina hurricane and the landfall anniversary is tomorrow. we have three guests coming up in just a minute, we will be joined by karen durham-aguilera of the u.s. arm y corp. of engineers. and then we will talk to the editor of the times newspaper in new orleans. that's what is coming up. first, let's show you a little of the president yesterday in his talk in new orleans. >> a deeper tragedy that had been brewing for decades because we came to understand that new orleans, like so many cities and communities across the country
had for too long been plagued by structural inequalities that left too many people, especially poor people, especially people of color, without good jobs or affordable health care and decent housing, and too many kids cycled through substandard schools where a few had a shot to break out of poverty, like a body weakened already, under inn under nourished already, and when the storm hit there was no resources to fall back on. shortly after i visited -- shortly after the storm i visited with folks not here because we couldn't -- the distract local recovery efforts, instead i visited folks in a
shelter in houston, many of who had been displaced. one woman told me we had nothing before the hurricane, and now we have less than nothing. we had nothing before the hurricane, and now we have less than nothing. we acknowledged this loss and this pain, not to dwell on the pa past, not to wallow in grief, but we do it to fortify our commitment and to bolster our hope, to understand what it is that we have learned and how far we have come, because this is a city that slowly unmistakebly together is moving forward, because the project of rebuilding here was not just to
restore the city has it had been, it was to build a city where it should be, a city where no matter what they looked like how much money they have or where they come from and where they are born has a chance to make it. [ applause ] >> i'm here to say on the larger project of a better and stronger and more just new orleans, the progress that you have made is remarkable. >> announcer: "washington journal" continues. >> a few weeks after katrina, president bush spoke about rebuilding. >> in the long run the new orleans area has a particular challenge because much of the city lies below sea level, and the people that call it home need to have reassurance their lives will be safer in the years to come, protecting a city that sits lower than the water around
it is not easy, but it can and has been done. the city and parish officials in new orleans and state officials in louisiana will have a large part in the engineering decisions to come and the army corp. of engineers will work at their side to make the flood e protection system stronger than it has been. when that job is done, all americans will have something to be very proud of. >> karen durham-aguilera is with the u.s. army corp. of engineers. has the levy system been rebuilt as president bush called for in 2005? >> it's such a great week to be here in new orleans after katrina brought such havoc and
devastation to people that live here and also a big wake up call to the nation. yes, the levee system around, it's an incredible system for the people of new orleans, and it shows what we can do, and all week long i have been hearing people talk about it being a world class system. >> how much has been spent in the past ten years on the levee system? >> we have fortunate to have the commitment of two administrations and the u.s. congress to provide for a nearly $14.5 billion program. $11 billion has been for the hurricane system around new orleans alone. there were other parts of that program to further make improvements such as interior
drainage here in this area, and to replace the temporary pumps and closers we installed in 2006, and the permanent replacement of those are going on right now. and then there are other things that were done, storm proofing, and the numerous pumping stations owned by the local perishes, to strengthening environmental mitigation. >> we want to put the phone numbers up and want to hear from new orleans residents that want to comment on this segment about the levee system and the work that the u.s. army corp. of engineers has done. the resident, 202-748-8000. all others all around the country, anybody else including those on the gulf coast because we certainly want to hear from you as well, 202-748-8001 is the number for you to call.
karen durham-aguilera, has the levee system rebuild been finished? >> the 100-year system which has 1% of it happening each and every year, and that system is complete. in fact it was complete in september of 2011, and you may remember hurricane isaac hit in august of 2012, seven years almost to the day katrina hit, so we were very pleased to see that the system performed as designed so people in metro new orleans, within that parameter, everybody stayed dry. people outside the system and for different levee systems that are partly in place did experience flooding as well as considerable flooding on the north shore, so yes, the hurricane system we built for the 100-year storm is in place and finished and doing what it's supposed to do. >> when katrina hit, wasn't it -- did the levees break or
were they overrun? >> several things happened when katrina hit. the existing system which is totally different from what we were able to design and construct after katrina, and it was 50% finished. the other thing that happened was the amount of surge brought in by katrina and in this area around new orleans, it was as much as 15 feet, and first it over topped the system that was there, and then the other thing that happened that was responsible for much of the flooding is there were four flood walls in place along the canals that failed, and they failed by the waves over topping the flood walls and causing up lift pressure on the flood walls that caused them to fail. >> from nola.com which is the
website, new orleans upgraded levees not enough for next katrina, engineers say. here is a quote from retired lieutena lieutenant, it would most certainly be over topped and there's still going to be a lot of people that will be inundated. >> we call him general van, and he was the chief of engineers and at that time, part of katrina, we designed what was called the standard probable flood, what type of large flood or hurricane in this case had happened in the past. katrina taught us that was not good enough. katrina was the size of the
storm and the surgeon that was brought in that nobody had imagined, and so we took instead 152 both past storms and potential storms. we literally generated 6300 hydrographs for storms anywhere from a 25-year to a 25,000 rate of return. we designed for those storms and we added a risk of uncertainty on top of that and projected out 50 years for sea level rise in climate change and that's what we designed and built to, and what does that mean? it means the system is resilient. the amount of surge for the 100-year storm, the 1% event, it's 25 to 30 feet tall right now. when that system -- when katrina
hit in, some of those areas are over 30 feet. what it means if you have the storm the size of katrina or bigger, part of the system along the big surge barriers could be over topped so you could get some interior flooding, and there's room to hold the water that may come in, and basically what we have done is put in a parameter, and then there is an incredible drainage system where we remove the water and the system will stay there. >> "new york times," final questions before we go to calls. from the "new york times" yesterday in their article they describe the levee system in place in 2005 as a fatally defective system to begin with. is that accurate? >> you know, i am an engineer so
i could describe it lots of ways. the system in place was not a system, it was a series of projects so everything is as weak as its weak components, and the survey data where we based the previous system on was designed several years earlier and the data turned out to be inaccurate, and the other thing that was really responsible for what happened in katrina is that the foundations of those flood walls were shallow and so they were not able to hold up under the waves that came over the top of them and it ended up lifting it. based on what we knew at the time, the system did not perform, and so it's fortunate that they were able to spend the time after that to do high tkra hydraulic monitoring.
>> we want to specific we have a number set aside for new orleans residents only, 202-748-8000. we're going to begin with a call from peter in warren, pennsylvania. peter, you are on with karen durha durham-aguilera with the u.s. army corp. of engineers. >> caller: i am calling in favor of the army corp. i think it's a regional problem as opposed to a national problem. i can remember when agnes hit in western pennsylvania, and everything the corp. did to control flooding there, that was relevant and i think that's a systemic problem where maybe the corp. is focusing more on certain areas and eliminating others as a priority.
>> thank you for your interesting and for calling in. every country that we deal with in the u.s. is no exception, and unfortunately waits until a catastrophe happens before they take action, and katrina was a wake-up call and it was a lot bigger than new orleans and louisiana, and it truly made us think about the vulnerability -- numerous areas of the country, whether it's coastal areas, and this area, it made us re-examine everything we were doing. if you look at what happened past that in different events around the country, and i will focus on one of them, hurricane sandy in october of 2012, it also brought in in that area a surge that was not expected and people did not prepare for, but because of the lessons learned from katrina, the response to
that was inordinate, and it was truly incredible the way the federal and state and local entities was working together to first respond to sandy, but especially in the way that the recovery happened. so everything that we are doing along the north atlantic seaboard, from adding further protection along the shoreline and then also the recovery strategy that we were able to public earlier this year, and it's called the north atlantic comprehensive, and people can use it all over the country to think about risks and make decisions on flood plain management. katrina taught us a lot of lessons and we have been applying those lessons, really not just around the country, but we do a lot of technical exchanges with other countries, and we are sharing lessons
learned, and the focus has expanded about the way we need to think about risk reduction and resilientcy. >> caller: i am 68 years old. i was here for betsy, and i stayed for katrina. as far as the london avenue canal which broke, i used to catch turtles there when i was a kid. i am going to be honest with you. i blame the oil and gas industry, and i blame -- i really blame the corp. of engineers for not having -- it seems like every project that they get into they try to cheap it out, they try to cut corners. well, the corners they cut caused me to lose a corvette, a chevy tahoe. the water was -- i am going to
tell you, katrina was not a bad storm, you know, and until the core of engineers admits it was a man-made disaster, and with all the canals that were dugout of the wetlands and destroyed the wetlands. they used to be islands, islands that would slow down or take some of the brunt out of the storm. the islands are not there anymore. they are gone. the wetlands need to be restored. more important than the levees, we need to restore the wetlands, please. >> angelo, thank you. karen durham-aguilera of the
ararm y corp. of engineers. >> thank you for calling in and living here and doing everything you are doing for the community. angelo asked really a lot of different questions, and a lot of very essential topics that we worry about. first, after katrina, our chief of engineers was with lieutenant jalstock took responsibility for the army corp. of engineers, and he commissions a study, we call it the iped that was a peer review to really put together and examine what happened with the existing work, but even more
importantly, what we needed to do to come up with a system that was stronger and better and able to truly reduce the risk of flooding for the people around new orleans. that's what we did and that's a system that we built. there are so many other factors here that have been going on in decades around louisiana. over 1,900 square miles of marshlands have been lost. that's a factor that we worry about and it's far more the other thing going on across louisiana that angelo was talking about is the loss of wetlands and some of the environmental features that can go down the energy a hurricane can bring in, and it's so vital to the life blood here of louisiana. there's numerous efforts
ongoing, the state of louisiana, the governor's office has a master plan, and we have been working with them on louisiana coastal activities and there's a lot of activities planned that can be part of the restore act that came under the pb oil spill, so there's lots of different efforts that are planned, and some of them had been ongoing, and there's so much more to do to make a difference and make things better. >> how do you rebuild a barrier island and what is the affect? >> there's different opinions on that. some people say you can do it by moving sediments around or bringing material in, and i have to go back to hurricane sandy. i was on the ground along the shoreline of new jersey and new york a couple days after sandy and i felt like i was back in louisiana, and i say that because in every area where people had an elevated home and they had an anchored foundation
and there was room between their property and the coastline suffered the least amount of damage. what that told us is in those areas where we had what we called engineer dunes, we had a shoreline protection in place that could help block the affects of waves, we know that type of thing does make a difference and it really does mitigate the damage the storm surge can do, so barrier islands or other sraoeurpb pheenvironme, and combined with other things like elevated homes and different zoneings and people having flood insurance and listening to evacuation orders if that happens, and all that together helps to mitigate and reduce risk and reduce the risk of flooding, and it really takes a line of defense where you put all these things together when
you can reduce the damage that surge flooding can cause. >> ralph is in washington, d.c. you are on with the army corp. of engineers. >> caller: your engineering projects, on the subject i really called in for, it's not the ipcc which assumes we have a miraculous way of taking carbon out of the atmosphere. these are all heroic efforts and we are bringing louisiana back, but i am wondering if your projects will work with five more feet of sea level rise, and what are going to do about boston and all of southern florida. we ought to be thinking about, well, instead of building dikes,
why don't we move them inland because in 50 years we're not going to have coastal cities anymore, and this is a no joke information. it's a ridiculous number, and it assumes we have removing tons of carbon out of the atmosphere. you need to step back and look at the big picture and that's we are going to lose the coastal cities, and we throw $1 billion here and there, and we need to look the appear. >> thank you, ralph, you touched on a lot of topic in a lot of
different areas so i will try to answer as best as i can. first, there's lots of different models that show different rates of -- i'm talking about louisiana, and also different rates of sea level rise, and there's lots of different terms, local sea level rise and relative sea level rise, and they all give you different numbers, but kind of the central point here is people make a choice in where they want to live, and people like to live around water, so when you live around water, that comes with a risk. there's lots of different things can you do to mitigate that risk when you choose to live in these places. i just don't think it's a practical matter, and i will leave that up to the politicians to try and tell people where they live. people need to decide where they want to live and be smart on the risk of doing so. so one of the things we have done in the last few years -- when i say "we" i don't just mean the u.s. army corp. of engineers, the thing we are
doing with universities and other countries and noaa, and we have done a sea level rise calculator that would apply to manhattan and all those other areas, and noaa has looked at scenarios of both 50 years and 100 years on what type of changing conditions could you have, and then fema has put maps together and we put that together to work with city managers that help make decisions that affect people in communities and try to plan the community around what could happen, because that's the biggest thing is to anticipate what could happen and then make smart decisions on what people can do to absorb that and to be able to bounce back from it. so the story is still being told, and there's no black and white answer on the best way to deal with changing climate with climate resilience and sea level rise. we are doing engineering analysis and working with the
colleagues and other scientists to project what the future conditions can be, and there's lots of other ways to dealing with it. people need to be able to decide where they want to live and accept the risk that goes along with it. >> mike is calling in from baltimore but originally from new orleans. when did you leave new orleans, mike? >> caller: hello. >> yes. >> my name is john conner. i wanted to comment. america, the president said, is a melting pot, and i agree with that, but america has to understand that it's a melting pot of richness, all different flavors, and that shouldn't be watered down or replaced with the starbucks, because we are all americans and in that melting pot of richness we make the flavor for each other. >> that was mike in baltimore.
this is clinton in new orleans. clinton, you are on the air. >> caller: yes, ms. aguilera, thank you for your candor. the levees on the 17th street canal, the west levee is higher than the east levee. the water pours over the top of the east side of the levee. is this situation going to be remedied? >> clinton, do you live in the lake view area of new orleans? >> caller: yes, i do. >> were you flooded in 2005? >> caller: yes. >> thank you, sir. all right, karen durham-aguilera. >> clinton, good morning. several things here, earlier i heard peter talking about -- and president bush and some of his comments talking about the area of new orleans being below sea level. what we know is that the
topography around new orleans varies widely between lake mississippi and petro train. when breaches occurred some were flooded and other neighbors weren't. what happened is the ground level is at different heights and elevations and that makes the engineering solution about how we design levees and flood walls hard and it makes it harder to help people understand what the risk can be when they see the different heights of levees and flood walls, so when we put that altogether based on the topography, we would do that design and then you do end up in some places with different heights of levees and flood walls, and we are still working on other parts of the system,
and the 100-year system is completed but there are other components doing as well, and one thing nobody has mentioned that does cause us to think, if you have a high level, and what would happen to have surge coming up the river and over well the mississippi river levees, and that's another example where we made improvements to strengthen and raise those levees, especially where they tie into the new hurricane system. you may see different heights, and it's also based on the incredible modeling we did with the uncertainty and reseilient see. >> did the mississippi river overrun its banks during katrina? >> it did not. it did not. but when we look back in the
past over the last 50 years where we designed the new hurricane system, we did realize it could be possible that you had high enough river levels at the same time you had al hurricane, you could get surge and that's why we improved the mississippi river levees as well, and the mississippi river level was high a couple weeks ago, and it's still higher than it normally would be this time of year and dropped five feet in the last few weeks. there could be an occasion where you could have high river levels, and so that's why we put that into the design mix as well. >> 202-748-8000 if you live in new orleans, and you have a specific question for the u.s. army corp. of engineers, we will be joined by former mayor mark maury elle later.
pat from wisconsin, please go ahead. >> caller: good morning. >> turn down the volume on your tv. >> caller: pardon me? >> turn down the -- >> caller: i just turned it off. i am calling about the city of new orleans and people of new orleans. i started going there 32 years ago when i would go to a golf course in james, louisiana, and we went for the weekend and i married a lady from weuz in '83, and in the last 32 years we have been to new orleans at least 15 times and we have been there six times since katrina when the most recent was last september. each year we go back to find that the town is much better and it's much cleaner, and i feel much safer there. i think the police force are more friendly, and mainly to people of new orleans, the people that own the businesses are much friendlier, and i think
even the prices actually have been lowered and i feel much safer there now with the way they built the levee in case we are caught in a hurricane, make a wrong turn and hit what i didn't think i would, and just overall i think the town has improved so much as far as being cleaned up, and some new restaurants have been added, and like i say, i still go to the same ones, and people seem like it's much friendlier before katrina, and over all the town has improved 100% as far as safety and people being friendly and everything else. i can't believe that president bush wanted to close the town down, you know. if he would go back and if he was there before and went back now i think he would see the difference. i do feel much safer. >> pat, i think we got your
point. ms. durham-aguilera, anything you want to add? >> thank you for your love of new orleans. i spent many years of my life here, and i spent most of my life in washington, d.c. but that love for this town still continues. this town has a spirit and after katrina a lot of other people came in to help, and intrapreneurs and tulane university made it mandatory for the students to have a year of community service, and many people came to help it recover and also to make it better, and the mayor has this resiliency plan he brought out a couple years ago. the new people and intrapreneurs have shown up as well as the incredible people that have
lived here for many years, and all of that has made new orleans a resilient place and continued improvements in education and businesses, just lots of different examples, so it's just wonderful to see how the spirit continues and things are continuing to improve and continuing to get better. i really do appreciate pat's passion and thank him for coming back here time and time again. >> gabby is in homa, louisiana, please go ahead -- which is close to new orleans. >> caller: i had a question. i was wondering, i know over once or twice overt years as far as flooding they had on the corp. of engineers breached levees and got it to relieve the pressure, and every time it has been done it seems like it -- it seems like the blue collar neighborhoods are flooded and destroyed, and i was just always
kind of baffled by how why it was always the more, you know, higher income -- how would you say it -- rich people's neighborhoods are always protected and looked out for to try and divert water from going in and flooding those places? how do you come up with how you are going to breach the levees? >> thank you, sir. >> several things, and thank you for calling in. i will talk about the area of new orleans first. new orleans east, st. bernard, that area was one of the most economically disadvantaged in the areas prior to katrina, and it was also one of the most vulnerable areas of risk for surge flooding for a storm that would come through the gulf and go around to lake pontchartrain.
inside that area is where the canals where prior to katrina, we had flood walls not didn't have any kind of closers or anything that could help block the surge. one of the lynchpins is over a $1 billion surge barrier with closure structures surrounded by flood walls. these were some of the highest flood walls in the areas which is over 3,200 feet. and on the west bank, there's a surge barrier, and a pumping station, and one of the largest in the world, and so those things together with all the interior features helped to produce the ridge from new orleans. i will talk about what happened during hurricane isaac. during hurricane isaac, the hundred-year system around new orleans performed and that area stayed dry, but the other areas,
they were flooded by the amount of surge isaac brought in, and there's not a comprehensive or improved levee system there, and there were things we are working with the parishes and the state to try and make better, so in some of those areas where the water was building up and there were a danger of people losing their lives, the parish and the state decided to use what is a common engineering technique to try and relief pressure when you have water against the levees, and you called it a breach, but it's making a cut in the levee to relieve the pressure to mitigate flooding and that's something that people do in extreme flood situations, but mother nature doesn't care how much money people have or where they live, she will bring in storm waters anywhere she chooses to go. >> this final tweeted for you from this viewer, and i don't know if this is your area of
expertise. bs wants to know what evacuation plans does louisiana/new orleans have in place for citizens now? are there designated safe places? >> first, one of my main jobs is i am the disaster emergency manager for the army corp. of engineers and i represent the agency's lead with fema as part of the federal response, and so speaking of evacuation plans, after katrina and this was in place in gustav, which hit in 2008 and it's continuing to get better, and i will talk about the state of los angeles, and the governor's office of emergency preparedness has a considerable emergency evacuation plan, to include shelters and arrangements with other states and to include the things they can do setting up with industry so you can get things open quickly, whether it's pharmacies or walgreen's or gas stations but there's a considerable evacuation plan and
notices are in place. i was just talk with the governor's director a couple days ago, and i was very impressed by how comprehensive this plan is, and one of the things we also do, we the army corp. of engineers along with tpae fema, we call an evacuation plan where we will do studies for other cities and counties along coastal areas to look at evacuation plans and help it to get better and you can get this information on line with the governor's office, and it describes different scenarios what people can do. everybody that lives in an area like this, needs to know what the plan is and have the personal family preparedness kit. when i lived here i had two fly-by kits, one personal kit for my family, the evacuation plan in case we had to leave, and i had a responders kit because i was part of the response team so i knew i needed to be ready for that, too.
yes. >> as always, we appreciate you coming on the "washington journal" and talking to our viewers. our look at the tenth anniversary of katrina here on "washington journal." up next, marc morial, and he will joins us from new orleans in just a minute. ♪ this weekend on the c-span networks, politics, books and american history on c-span saturday at 6:00 p.m. eastern, hurricane katrina's 10th anniversary. speakers include bill clinton, and then speeches from democratic candidates hillary
clinton and bernie sanders at the democratic national summer meeting in indianapolis. and c-span2, book tv, talking about the book "undocumented" and traces his journey to the undocumented immigrant to the top of his class at princeton university. several programs about the storm and its aftermath featuring former mississippi governor, haley barbour, and investigative reporter, ronny green. former nasa astronaut discusses the history of space stations and comparing the development of russian and american programs since the early 1950s and looking at the future of the international space station efforts. tokyo, a 1945ntment in army signal corps film documenting the course of world war ii in the pacific theater up
to be surrendered ceremony on september 2, 1945. get our complete schedule at c-span.org. once said sheng only had one hobby. that was warren harding. significant force in his presidency and adept at handling the media. infidelities,ips, his death in office, and her own poor health, she would help the the first ladies position. -- sundays at 8:00 p.m. eastern on american on c-span 3. this sunday night on "q&a," brookings institution se this sunday night on "q &
a," there is talk about the united states's counter insurgency. >> the u.s. did achieve improvements in security but nonetheless has it been worth it depends on how it ends and here is where i hesitate and increasingly interrogate and question myself, we don't know how it will end, and now that moment may collapse, and it's also possible that still two or three or five years down the road we will be back and a new civil war in afghanistan, and isis is now slowly emerging in the country, and it's a project that it's much better than the taliban, and the taliban is deeply entrenched and hardly defeated, and if we end up with a new civil war in afghanistan and new safe havens for the taliban and isis, then i would say it was not worth the price.
>> that's sunday night at 8:00 eastern and pacific on c-span's "q & at the tenth anniversary of katrina continues. we'll put the phone numbers up first. we want to hear from you 202-748-8000 for new orleans residents. we want to hear from you. hear your experience in katrina, what you think about the city today. so we've set aside that line for new orleans residents. all others around the country, 202-748-8001 is the number for you to call. now here is the front page of this morning's "times picayune." it only publishes on wednesdays, and fridays.
here's the president. new orleans just irrepressible, he says. he's walking the streets of the tramay neighborhood. that's the front page of the "times picayune." below that is a story we'll ask our next guest about, marc morial. hispanic people put down permanent roots. when you look at the growth of the hispanic population, you see where it's grown in the surrounding parishes. ordeans parish. big increase in jefferson parish out by the airport and other parishes around new orleans it's gone up quite a bit, the hispanic population since katrina. donna brazile praises bush's katrina response on flight with obama.
prominent democratic pra iic op praised george bush's response to katrina. she praised bush for pouring more than $120 billion into rebuilding new orleans and other gulf communities over the opposition of some republicans on capitol hill. the president made a commitment, and i think he kept his word. walter isaacson, the aspen institute ceo echoed her comments. george w. bush gets a bum rap. it took a while to get tg started. it was a little slow but he cared about the city deeply and so did laura bush. both president george w. and laura bush are in new orleans today visiting one of the schools. and they'll be going to the gulf coast a little later.
where hailey barbour will be meeting them on the gulf cst. now joining susformer mayor of new orleans and national urban league president marc morial. mayor morial -- >> good morning. >> good morning. you are quoted this morning in "the washington post" as saying with regard to new orleans and the rebuilding, we're at halftime. what do you mean by that? >> what i mean by that is the city has not been fully populated. all neighborhoods have not yet fully come back. they're still pending reimbursement claims the city has with fema. the rebuilding, the renaissance and resurgence of the city has still quite a distance to go. and we at the urban league applaud progress that's been made but we've also pointed out by way of a report by the greater urban league of new orleans about the continuing
challenges of poverty, jobs, income and education that still plague this city, that still confront this region. and so in understanding where we are, ten years later, it's r.i. important that people not spike the ball, not pop the cork on the champagne bottle but really applaud the work that's been done but commit to this continuation. it took san francisco 25 years to come back after the devastating earthquake in the early part of the 1900s. and this rebuilding of new orleans, i believe, still is going to take another 10 to 15 years to be full and to be complete. >> where are some of the successes in your view? where are some of the not so successful areas? >> i think the successes have been lots of public infrastructure has been rebuilt. there's a new levee system. that levee system is
considerably better than the levee system of ten years ago with new engineering. those being, if you will, floodgates and storm gates. 38 brand new public schools that have been built because the old schools were destroyed. thirdly, many people through a combination of government compensation, private insurance, their own savings, their own sweat equity have built their homes. they've rebuilt their businesses. and it's visible in many parts of the city. and i really think the real underscore should be that the perseverance, the commitment of people because of the culture and history of new orleans has been the driver of all that we've seen up until this point. >> 202-748-8000 if you live in
new orleans and want to talk to the former mayor marc morial about the current condition of the city. mr. mayor, did you face any large hurricanes when you were mayor, and what was your reaction? >> i faced several hurricanes, perhaps the most serious of them was hurricane george's in 1998, which required us to call for a voluntary evacuation of the city and required us to use the dome in the convention center as shelters of last resort. hurricane georges, which was bearing down on the city, could have been katrina. diverted as many hurricanes do at the end and hit the gulf coast of mississippi. that hurricane, i think, was the most serious threat on the city in quite a bit of time. and new orleans has also had flooding incidents, occasioned
by heavy rainfall, and we had one or two memorable flooding incidents as a result of rainfall. nothing of the scale of katrina because it's important to emphasize and re-emphasize the failed flood walls on what are called the outfall of drainage canals, and the failed flood wall along the industrial canal were large contributing factors to the flooding that took place really after hurricane katrina had passed by the city. so we faced that. it was indeed a challenge. i made it my business during the years i was mayor from '94 to 2002 to be briefed extensively on hurricane preparedness each and every may because i wanted to be sure the city was indeed fully prepared. there was nothing of the scale of katrina.
i'd emphasize that in a major disaster, federal, state and local cooperation is essential. and it isn't that, quote, one branch of government or the other branch of government is fully responsible because the assets you need, the response required, requires a tremendous effort if there's going to be an evacuation. certainly if there's going to be the kind of humanitarian response needed from people who may be stuck. and now the lesson learned is that there's got to be a transportation plan to help those who may not have automobiles, those who may not have private transportation to evacuate when there's a threat for a big hurricane. >> the black population in new orleans decreased 118,000 since katrina. what's the significance of that? >> the significance is it's important to realize the city still remains this cultural
gumbo, this mix of people, and that still approximately 60% of the population remains african-american with the remainder being white, asian american, primarily vietnamese and latino. i think for those that were renters, those that did not own their own homes, coming back was very difficult because many mentmen rental units were not quickly or even to this day restored. much of the black middle class was displaced. the layoff of some 7500 teachers. and areas of the city like pontchartrain park and antilly have been, to some extent, they got a slow start because there was, i think, an effort by some, a suggestion by some and a plan by some that those neighborhoods should not be rebuilt.
so they are playing, if you will, catch-up in the rebuilding process. it's been difficult. now you have a large new orleans diaspora community in baton rouge, houston, atlanta, some of the river parishes between new orleans and baton rouge. many who evacuated remained in the region to such an extent that now baton rouge is the largest city in terms of population in the state of louisiana. >> let's take some calls. we want to show you these facts from "the new york times" before we do that. property taxes have doubled in new orleans since katrina. flood insurance rates have tripled. water bills will more than double by 2020 and home prices in some historically black neighborhoods have doubled as well. marc morial is our guest. larry is in bowling green, kentucky. hi, larry. >> caller: good morning, c-span.
why did he take a crow bar to his checkbook and do some work in new orleans. >> mr. mayor, do you have any comment? >> it's interesting. donald trump actually proposed a high rise apartment building in new orleans right after the hurricane, but it didn't get built. >> he has a hotel down there, doesn't he? i think he has one in the cbd. >> does he? i'm not sure of that. but interesting, but i'm going to stay away since he's a presidential candidate, stay away from commenting on presidential politics this morning. >> if you are in new orleans and want to talk to the former mayor, 202-748-8000. steven is in st. louis. steven, you're on with marc morial.
>> caller: good morning. i'm a retired federal employee up in st. louis here. i have watched all the town hall meetings all through the week at 3:00 in the morning, 2:00 in the morning, whenever they've been on. i remember it very vividly. i tried to go down there and do volunteer work and didn't get selected. i've got two very quick comments. i've been seeing, and i remember this back in 2005, there was a lot of comments about the poor people couldn't get trailers to live in. fema was slow. there were bodies all over the place that we lost all of these people. i need some understanding. what was -- this was a catastrophic. just looking at some of the pictures this morning, i can't even imagine what those poor people went through. i don't want to use the blame game thing, but what were some
of the problems back then? people were utterly frustrated. and i understand. that's the first thing. the second thing is the job issue. we need to get these young people to work. i mean, i'll be quite honest. if i didn't have a job, no way to get a job, i might be selling drugs myself or doing something illegal. i'm going to be quite honest about that. these young people, this sour livelihood. this is our future. and i put that on the politicians. when you get elected to office, one of your main goals to me is to be a salesman to get people, to get companies to come into your area. i know that's a difficult thing. i've never been in sales. maybe i shouldn't be saying that, but i look at our politicians. they have to get these companies in there somehow so that we can get these young kids to give them some hope.
and that's my comment. >> steven in st. louis, thank you. mr. mayor? >> i'll take steven's question. i agree fully with the idea that there is no more important issue in america today than trying to provide employment opportunities which lead to positive quality of life for young people. and what the country has to do is step away from the traditional political conversation which says, well, is it a government responsibility? is it a private sector responsibility? is it all about education? it's about all of the above. it is a private sector responsibility. and in my work at the urban league, we encourage the private sector to invest and understand the great hope and possibilities of america's urban communities which have seen tremendous disinvestment over the years. it's also, i think, a government responsibility. if we can spend trillions in
iraq and in afghanistan, if we can spend significant money, public dollars on foreign aid to assist other countries, if we can provide tax incentives, some of which encourage investment abroad, then we can, if you will, spend and invest in providing job opportunities for the young people of america. you have to do better with schools. yeah, we have to do that. some of this is also by young adults, and young adults who do want to work, do have the capability of working, and there isn't enough opportunity for them. i give everyone a number between 16 and 24. 1 out of every 5 young people is neither working nor in school. 1 of 5. that's approximately 7 million
people. so we at the urban league have been initiative. jobs rebuild america where we've increased the work we do to help provide job training for young people. we've got programs in new orleans and in several communities. many, many communities around the nation and we do this work. however, we have long lines of people who want to be part of our programs and so we're fighting every day for more, if you will, investment to fund more job training slots in communities across the country. >> next call from marc morial comes from stephanie in wilton, pa. stephanie, we're listening to you. just listen through your telephone. turn down the volume on your tv and just go ahead and start talking. >> caller: i'm just -- >> i'm going to go ahead and move on. once you get on, turn down the volume on your tv.
you'll be tubl heable to hear y through your telephone. genie? >> caller: my husband and i returned to new orleans in '06. i write a little neighborhood column which i was asked to do because i started a kind of a blog after the aftermath. but one of the things that really bothers me here is that the amount of insurance that people are paying for their properties is just horrendous. and nothing has been done to help get that under control. this has caused so many people to lose their homes and, yes, there are new people who have come in here and are building and we're grateful to have them. but a lot of the people who were here before katrina and came
back and tried to rebuild have been not only unsuccessful but have lost their homes. people who were in their 60s and retired and their house was mortgage because of the failure of both the government and the banks for not helping people to be able to get back on their feet without causing them such distress. so we're talking about middle class people here. host: jeannie, can you give us an idea of what the insurance cost changes have been and what neighborhood do you live in new orleans? caller: i live in lakeview. and i can tell you that our insurance just for basic, and i mean, not great insurance, but basic insurance costs over $6,000 a year now. insurance costs over $6,000 a an year now. and with property taxes, the way
they have gone up, it's about $10,000 a year just on those two items.people which are ridiculous. back ea i mean, it's really hurt the people who came back early on in this game. and we saw many of our friends e wht'o have lost their homes may because ofor this. they couldn't afford to live here anymore.sue >> let's hear from marc morial. >> i'm glad genie has raised this issue. all of the numbers show the cost of living, whether you are paying a mortgage or rent, plus insurance, housing costs have dramatically increased in this community. what i would say to genie is ci insurance companies in the state of louisiana are regulated by the state's commissioner of insurance. and i would encourage him to bes
invited to come on this show and talk specifically about ifficult increases in homeowners sta insurance that really is making it difficult for people who have returned to stay in the city and for many others to come back. this is why i've called this a continuation because the city, the region, neighborhoods, of continue --th continue to face challenges. lakeview is one of those great communities of homeowners. tightly knit, many of whom came back, some who tore down old homes and rebuilt new homes.and these issues of increasing costs of insurance certainly need to g be addressed. i've said to people, southeastern louisiana is always going to be at risk of a severe weather event.florid soa, is coastal mississippi, li, coastal alabama, coastal florida.oast all the way around south
carolina, north carolina. over to texas. the beauty of the coast is that it gives us beauty, abundance. m offshore oil and gas. but also the gulf of mexico in r the summertime because of the warmth of the waters is really e feeder that strengthens hurricanes. this insurance issue needs to be the s addressed,ta certainly by those first line who are responsible and i think that's the state th commission of insurance and members of the legislature have to raise this as a high priority issue. >> clifton is calling in from rr rochelle, georgia. >> caller: good morning. the best i remember, there was o some $2 billion in credit card fraud that went on during the a hurricane. i would like to knowee how muchf much that money has been
recovered and how many people a have been prosecuted for that r fraud, and i'll take the answerb off the air. you guys have a good day.at >> mr. mayor? >> i don't know what the number is.nt i'm not the best person to answer that. that should probably be directee to the law enforcement authorities, the district attorney and perhaps the uniteda states attorney heret. to determine what, in fact, may , have occurred with that. is the but i couldn't address that. >> i want to read two tweets and get your view on this. this is the first one. 52% of black males in new orleans are unemployed, yet obama fights to give 5 million illegal aliens work permits. followed by this one. the v what impact has the new influx s of illegal aliens had on the availability of low-cost housing for those who would like to return? >> i think it's important. the tweets sort of suggest obama is fighting to give, quote,
undocumented immigrants work permits. undocumented immigrants receiving work permits is something that has been r decades.fo and the people who request work permits for undocumented workers are businesses.you restaurants, sometimes, hotels, meat processing plants.and the if you will, large farming e rih concerns. and the law gives these rmits. businesses under the current law the right to ask for work permits. second early, and i have to say this, many of the immigration n reform bills would involve a tightening of the eligibility. and at the national urban league we fought for a system where i
less work permits are available for businesses when unemployment is high in the united states. and i think it's important, if b you will, to recognize the main proponents of work permits are many business concerns in the r country. not president obama. >> paul, chesapeake, virginia. you're on with marc morial.ty >> caller: yes, sir. i understand as a merchant marine that new orleans is a major port city for a lot of no imports through the gulf.oklaho however,ma i grew up just northwest in the state of 999 oklahoma, and moore, oklahoma, since 1999, has had three f-5, f-4 hurricanes, and they have had very, very little federal
support. but they have rebuilt on their own. so what is the issue with new orleans besides that it's a major port city and one of their major sources of income, of course, is not only the port but tourism. so yout want to see how a cityu rebuilds, they've rebuilt three times since 1999 up there in oklahoma. and that's my comment. i understand new orleans has ha its issue and also i can go on about this after ten years, but also the crime rate in new orleans dropped almost 75% after katrina. and in houston, it went up over 50%. so i would like for you to t: address those issues.ties >> let me say this. many american communities have
faced natural disasters. flood new orleans faced a natural that disaster and a manmade disaster. the flooding, the devastation that took place in new orleans took place because of failed c levees. levees which were improperly engineered, constructed and maintained.wo but foulr the levee breaks, we e would notan be having this conversation about new orleans. now we would about southern mississippi because southern mississippi also received the ua brunt. much oftr alabama received the brunt. southern coast of alabama, the brunt of hurricane katrina also. so it's important to recognize that fact. it's also important under normal circumstances, when you have such a manmade, man-caused negligence, people would have
gone to federal court and sought compensation through the civil justice system. in this instance, the army corps of engineers is immune from most lawsuits c involving how they designed, how they engineer, how they construct and how they maintain the levee systems and flood control systems around the united states. that fact has i to be clear. i think secondly, if -- i said ten years - ago and i say now.eu i think that if people suffer, a and ili would suggest that most people who suffer from natural disasters don't realize that the federal government has probably played a role. if they've been victimized by flooding, that they may not ght realize. the flood insurance system is a federal system. there's an automatic right under the stafford act in a natural disaster for public
infrastructure to receive compensation for people to be w rebuilt. a lotal of times there may be federal support that people may not, if you will, realize. people in the gulf region, new orleans, mississippi, i think aa have rolled up their sleeves and really worked hard to rebuild. and mayor landrieu here in new t orleans, has also been very up front about thanking the commu philanthropists, the volunteers, fath-based organizations, community based organizations and foundations from all over the world who have helped the an gulf coast in a time of great need. in aca time of extraordinary --. katrina was an extraordinary catastrophe for this nation and for this region and this city. >> according to feem a738,000 households in louisiana were approvedppi, for assistance.in a
274,000 in mississippi.website. 55, 56,000 in alabama. this is on the fema website.a if you want to see these facts and figures for yourself. here is a map of the city of new orleans and the red dots are where bodies were found. 1,073 is the official death toll from katrina.ess this is the garden district, the french quarter, central business district in this area here and over here is the lower ninth ward and lakeview is up here in new orleans. christopher is in palm bay, j florida. hi. you're on with marc morial. >> caller: hello, sir. live how are you doing? i wanted to thank you for your words. i'm an african-american male and live here in florida. what's occurred, two great things were happening.was one i had just moved to florida and my baby girl was born that samep year. i was the one of the community
emergency response team members that had to help with some of a the transition of team members that came here. i live in florida. we're facing some hurricane sur warnings and so forth for next i week. and i just wanted to make sure y that we as a country is doing what we need to do. i do a lot of community work, go through the struggles as and experiences of just looking at how we are put across, how wa are looked at as young men and women of color. and the disadvantages we may face. d not by any fact do i play on that, but i do see there's a disconnect when it comes to servicing some of the low-income areas. i, myself, i've done a lot of r community work, worked with the youth immensely and currently am a candidate for u.s. congress here in florida.ing i see this as an opportunity ton fortify ourg efforts in
supporting communities, making sure neighborhoods are safe but making sure our response times for storms .d i ju we havest a lot of seniors in florida that are worried about this upcoming storm erika.guest: i want to know if you have ide anything on that. communi >> thank you very much.partic >> i think you are elevating the idea that every community, particularly gulf coast communities, have to have a strong disaster response plan. and that disaster response plane has to understand that there are people in nursing homes, senior citizen centers, vulnerable people in every single communite who may need help and assistancn in evacuating or in responding. maybe someone like me can get i a car, travel to another city st very m quickly, put don a credi card and stay for a week or two weeks in a hotel. that's what many people did when they had to evacuate, if they had the wherewithal. if they didn't, maybe they
couldn't do that.and and every community needs to be super serious about its disaster response plan and specifically, specifically think about what its most vulnerable communities need. vulnerable communities are all communities of color. o senior citizens.ns in a communities that are not communities of color. the older if you will, senior citizens in a community, ? disabled citizens in a community. what are you goingth to do withe people who are in hospitals? how are you going to provide fo- that? every community absolute lie -- and with katrina, i think was a. wake-up call about how we respond to indeed disasters. i live because the national urban league in headquartered in new york in that region of the country now. and hurricane sandy was an d
interesting example as i watched community leaders, politicians and elected officials aggressively work to respond to sandy, even in that instance. tr there's still a lot of rebuilding that needs to be done in parts of new york and new jersey three years after there hurricane sandy. >> marc morial, final question. when i was down there earlier this week, two things i heard from a lot of residents was there seemed to be kind of a resistance to being called resilient and a little bit of taking offense at the narratives that are coming out about katrina and new orleans ten years later from people outside the community. >> i think that the important -- i've used the term commemoration and continuation.ud and when you say commemoration,
it allows you to applaud the t progress that's been made. remember those who lost their lives. give due respect to those that o face greatmm difficulty. but also there needs to be this commitment and this continuation. this community still has, if you will, deep emotional and psychological, if you will, scars.demons but this community, i think, is also demonstrated this example of human perseverance.to one really may not know what it's like to get knocked down, y to not know if your home, if your life, if the people you love, the place you worship, thn relationships you have, the job that you've invested in, the lle community that you know is goin to be there because in an
instant, it seems to all be gone. yet ten years later, the perseverance and strength of people. there's something to r celebrate, that's whateb needs be celebrated. the ability to overcome and rebuild, even after one of the great human tradition. and i'd say that for any american, anywhere in the nation, if your community faces this kind of challenge, we all need to be there assisting, nala helping, lifting you up also.yoo >> marc morial is president of the national urban league and former mayor of new orleans. one more segment looking at the tenth anniversary of the katrina hurricane.ou the jim amoss is the editor of the e "new orleans times picayune." that's after we show you the l m
current mayor of new orleans, mitch landrieu talking about . recovery efforts in the ninth o ward area of new orleans.ellent >> why is that so slow to come back? >> well, that's an excellent go question. we havey -- we, the federal ave3 government, the state government, the local governments have money coming in. wet have 73 nauseighborhoods in city. african-americans that don't live in the ninth ward that wanteast a their neighborhood rebuilt are wealthy people that live up towy or that live in new orleans easb are saying, oh, yeah, go give the ninth ward everything and give to us later.it everybody is saying, give to us now and make sure it's fair. it's not really a racial rhood o argument.ay it's i want stuff in my neighborhood tomorrow, mayor. from neighborhood to like t neighborhood, the one universal
is get down blight fast. i don't like an old nasty thing sitting next to my house.takingi here's tip o'neil, all politics is local. doesn't matter if we've taken it down faster. if the one next door to the art house that's complaining isn't h down, you haven't done anything we've tried to manage the allocations by neighborhood. general honore said this the ges best. when it gets hot, the poor get hotter and the cold get colder.lower lower ninth got hurt more. we've spent $500 million in the lower ninth ward when you add ib all up. the lower nunth ward will say you didn't give us as much as a else.body that's not true per capita, and the damage is so significant, it's going to take a lot more money to do it. i feel like i'm on the side of
begging and demanding more. we had about $150 billion of damages in the city of new orleans. i'm not talking about the gulf coast. just us. and we got about $71 billion in reimbursement. when you have that kind of gap, not everybody gets everything ot all the time and you can't do everything all at once.the i'm completely committed to the lower ninth ward but to every neighborhood in the city, too.ng >> "washington journal" continues. >> joining us from new orleans is jim amoss, editor of the "times picayune" newspaper. what's the significance of thisd tenth anniversary commemoration? >> it's a milestone we've always looked forward a to. you we've always been told when our reporters went to other disaster areas right after katrina that you will measure your progress a at that ten-year mark. that will be your yard stick an.
you'll be able to see whether you've made significant progrest as a aicommunity. indeed, we have, by most and measures. certainly by the measures of education of our children and by economic development. man the growing entrepreneurial a vy class. of course, many areas that new orleans asin a very poor city still has lots of progress to make. i don't think anybody in the morning hour of august 29th anda the days after that would have reasonably expected that we would come as far as we have asi comen in these ten years. >> where were you on august 29th, 2005? >> i was in a sleeping bag in my newsroom. not sleeping, however, because the storm was just beginning to hit.they w
i had just persuaded my wife an son to evacuate, which took hours to do. they were very resistant. and then i went to our newsroom where many of our reporters and photographers and editors were d beddingdl down to await the e pe arrival of the storm and then the coverage of the storm. in the middle of the night, the power left our building, and yoe could hear the full force of the wind. a really terrifying sound as tht storm began to bear down on new orleans. we didn't know at that point what the extent of the disaster was going to be. we didn't know at that point rmo that the levees, the floodwalls that had been shoddily built by the u.s. army corps of engineera would collapse and the waters oi lack pontchartrain would inundate the city.times
this bearsth repeating.nder w an area seven times the size of manhattan. urban area seven times the sizew of manhattan under water and staying under water for three weeks. a really hounimaginable and show unequaled disaster in the united states. >> and the video that we were showing while mr. amoss was 6, talking includes some video c-span shot one year after katrina in august of 2006, just to give you a sense of what thee city looked like and some of th destruction around there. for those three weeks, did you remainre in new orleans?se the what was your life like? >> no, we weren't able to remain in new orleans because the watee was rising around our newspaperh building, and we knew we'd be so cut off w and not able to communicate with our and journalists. so we got into newspaper led to
delivery trucks and fled to -- and fled to baton rouge where we established a headquarters and managed our staff from there. and at the same time reporters and editors from the "times picayune" stayed in the city and covered it and went into some of the really badly stricken areas. even helped save people's lives, some of the people stranded on rooftops. it was impossible to remain at the newspaper building and still function as a newspaper organization. same thing was true for television stations and their buildings that were being flooded. >> you've seen the phone numbers. we want to continue the is a conversation we've been having all morning.sident, jim amoss is the editor of the "times picayune." kevin is a former new orleans gg resident, now in houston.
>> caller: good morning. >> morning. >> caller: my personal interestr about what's goingic on in new e orleans and what has happened ii new orleans is strictly about the treatment and life disenfranchisement of persons of color in new orleans all my for life -- it's not only gotten us to move away from new orleans, but they're making it almost impossible for persons to move back. insurance hasretu doubled. mortgage rates have doubled. almost everything is making it impossible for blacks to return. why is that, for one? number two, being disenfranchised has a lot of psychological scars that's attached to that. now t you want people to do what's right, and the government has
never been fair. we do know now this was a federal disaster, not caused just by katrina, but by the improper structure and design of the levees. so why is it so hard for people of color to be compensated? it's time for reparations, my i. man. there's really no other answer. >> that's kevin in houston. mr. amoss, response for him.d >> you raise an immense knquestn that has lots of facets to it na and isti really a question thats you indicate, not just for local leaders in new orleans but is a national question.oday if you look at new orleans, thet dark sideo of all the things tl we're celebrating today, a lot of them have to do with the m african-americanal population o new orleans.the fa the fact thatct 50% of
african-american maelss in thiso city are unemployed. the fact in our prison system, d 90% of the people incarcerated are african-american and the fact that a majority of the estimated 5,000 people who are l still displaced are poor and are african-american. are all factors that should weigh heavily on our national f conscience.people o i know from my acquaintances, the difference between people of means who -- many people of means had their houses flooded or lost them altogether. i have colleagues who lost th everythingey they owned, but th had the resources, they had just the know-how to deal with even bureaucracies. theytu had recourse in other pas of their family to be able to rp eventually get back and to
rebuild.en many poor people haven't been ta able to do that, and as you say, weren't given enough money.w talk, for example, the so-callet elevation grant which was given to peoplae a few years after utr katrina in order to elevate their houses and put them more s out of harms way in a future e i hurricane. many peopler who got those gras used them for other kinds of renovations just to make their house habitable. and then they were told you rec didn't use it to elevate your house and, therefore, you must pay it backe. it's only recently the tide hasa changed on that and they are pep going to bele given forgiveness for that. that's just one example of the many obstacles that poor people have faced in trying to come back to new orleans, and it's n telling that the black population of new orleans has not come back nearly as strongly as other ethnic groups.
and disproportionately, the recovery, the difficult part of the recovery has been borne by people of color. >> ted is calling from pittston pennsylvania. you're on with jim amoss, editoe of the "times picayune" newspaper. >> caller: onel the susquehanna river from the chesapeake bay to new york, we have all been lied to. a lot of ushe are born and rais here in this land.corps along the river, one way or the other. after the '73 flood, the corps of engineers told us if the dams were in operations, they would have lowered the river three to four feet. we had a flood in september of o '09. they didn'td lower the river o inch. everything that was the worst flood we ever saw on this rivere
and we got no help from fema, from nobody. all of the people on this rivere got nothing. another incident. come they had several people after ec the '72 flood that wanted to e e come in and dredge the river section by section for materials in the river and they were host stopped. i know theyheat got a lot of excuses. the next thing i want to talk about. know what, ted? we've got a lot of callers on the loan and want to get as many callers as possible. the u >> the agencies that safeguard n our cities and notably the u.s.b corps ofle engineers, they are human agencies and they are fallible and certainly was born out in katrina. the big canal that was built
more quickly would cause s tremendous damage over the years to our wetlands. one o some of thef protective measur that need to be taken and need to be done to safeguard not just new orleans but other cities ono want to show a map. this is the new orleans diaspora. all the people who were living in new orleans down here and where they have applied for aid and this is a map of the u.s. and all the counties that are not in white are places that new orleans residents fled after katrina.
constance is constance is in lafayette, indiana. you're on with jim amoss of the "times picayune." >> caller: good morning. >> good morning. i lived in terrytown which is i right across the mississippi in- river from new orleans. and i took all my kids. ind one lived down in the southern p part and lostpo everything. my other daughter, she sold her house and was supposed to buy another home two days after the hurricane hit. well, that house was flooded. that was in the other side of lake pontchartrain. a tree fell down on it.and but one of the problems, i left
with all my family, and we went to indiana. and i couldn't get money out of my credit union for whatever reason it was. cre i went everywhere to get money u from my bank, and none of the banks or the credit unions in indiana could give me money because they closed down. i guess the whole banking system that i was under there. the second thing was, when i did come back, because they kept to saying we could come back and rd look, my home in terrytown was damaged. i guess there was a tornado of right in that area and i had hm trees in my swimming pool and the house roof is messed up. >> how much of your damage was covered by insurance?
>> caller: well, i had asked to go through the insurance, but iy took so long to get any money v back, and i had to drive all the way from where i lived in terrytown all the way to baton rouge just to see the people and then i think they only gave me $2,000 or $3,000 then. but i couldn't get all the monea that i a needed for the repairs. >> are you planning on returning to the new orleans area at all? >> caller: i'm scared to because i've got so sick from the mold and the -- i live right across the street from a huge apartment complex, and they threw all this stuff out the doors and they
hired about 40 mexicans, and no they lived in this building with no food -- i mean no electric, no nothing, and they were somehow or other gotten heavy equipment and crushed the fridgeerators with all the gas in it and pushed all that stuff out on to the side of the road. >> i think we got the idea. jim amoss, any response for constance? >> your story really resonates with me, and it's one that in part i've experienced or watchei friends live through. i remember in the days immediately after the storm, er standing in endless lines in banks in baton rouge where ther was just utter chaos in the banking system and accessing your account was virtually impossible. but ife would like to allay you
fears about new orleans as a much safer place to live and to raise a family. now the mold problem, thank god, is long gone. the water is long gone and the flood protection that we enjoy, while it's not at the level of the kind of infrastructure the ni netherlands enjoys, it's not category 5 protection, but still an immense upgrade and it's the main reason why people in new orleans feel confident enough to, for the most part, live in neighborhoods and rebuild and not fear an exact repeat of what happened in hurricane katrina. >> alan is calling in from kenner, louisiana, out near the new orleans airport.ing, >> caller: good morning. how are you guys?e to s can you hear me? >> we're listening, sir. a please go ahead. >> caller: i'd like to say, it'm been ten years and a lot of
people haven't come back becaus of the fact that they think that, you know, another one is going to come. and if another one comes, and they feel like, you know, they're not going to be well y s protected. and the levees fail. and the jewel of the city is the french quarters. and if you notice, every time they have a big storm, they oper up the industrial canal and let the water go in the lower ninthe and that's where mostly black y people live at. and the jewel never gets destroyed because that's the te. moneymaker, the french quarter. >> let's get a response from jim amoss. >> if you live in a coastal cits of the united states, you're
just about as vulnerable as new orleans is. repeate it's been demonstrated east repeatedly by hurricaneco hugo charleston, hurricane sandy on d the east coast, and it's something that we have to face as a nation and we have to mos muster the political will that p it takes to protect our cities.t these are the places most of ouh population is and most our tradk and commerce originates from. secondly about the french storij quarter, and it is the jewel. historic and futuristic jewel. the reason hier land and in some case, eight to 12 feet above sea level because to the deposits of the mississippi river over the centuries.
it wasn't until the 20th century that new orleans expanded toward the lake into what we know is the bowl or in some cases, eight feet below safely. -- sea level and is more vulnerable than some place that are high. host: what about his point about the industrial canal and the effect on african-americans? guest: it dispurportly affected the lower ninth ward, which was ajority african-americans. and it inundated neighborhoods like you, which is a middle class white neighborhood. so the water was unsparing and in some sense, it was an equal opportunity disaster in terms of
who was damaged and whose house was under water. the industrial canal happened to be the biggest body of water and it was right adjacent to one of the poorest neighborhoods in the city. host: julian is calling in from louisiana. go ahead. caller: yeah, just in reference to that last caller, the river had nothing to do with the lower ninth ward. when they opened to the industrial canal, i goes in a lake unless the levee falls down. i notice the 17th streets with lake view, that was an engineering failure. did you ever find anything? when you say engineering, when you're talking about building a levy or a dike or whatever, you get -- that dictate what is the engineering's going to be because whatever you're going to put in the ground is only good for the soil you put in. and if you set a set of blueprint it's got an
engineering stamp on it. was it a real engineer? guest: that's a complex question. but the corps of engineers itself acknowledged the floodwalls on the side of the drainage canal which is collapsed were not sufficiently anchored in the soil. and that eye walls were not appropriate for that kind of situation. and so when the water rose not only to the top of those floodwalls, the pressure loosens the soil below. they weren't sufficiently anchored the walls collapsed. the water inundated the city. as for the industrial canal, it was built to connect the river to the lake. and the lake waters were able to come into it. and so that's what caused the pressure on those floodwalls. host: next call, albert in lafayette, louisiana. albert, go ahead. caller: okay. what i was calling about is the
fact that the city is trying to get people to come back to new orleans. and i'm thinking that with all the political stuff that's going on down in new orleans, why is it that they only have these corner political stuff that's going on down in new orleans, why is it p they onlyeo have these corner grocery stores. they need more supermarkets. where people have to go, like, n winn-dixie, they had different supermarkets down in the lower ninth ward as well as upper ninth ward. now you only have one, and that's winn-dixie. >> that's right. >> caller: now, if they broughtr more supermarkets down to the lower ninth haward, the area wan just destroyed by katrina, you h would draw more people. but all the places they have is win decksy down there. everybody in the lower ninth do ward and upper ninth ward have to go to st. bernard parish. we wonder why go is a corner grocery store. if they took the money and time
to put in a supermarket, you will drum more peo they took that money and time to put it into super markets, you'll draw more people back to new orleans. >> albert, i think we got the point. mr. amoss, if you could, talk about how the city has changed in the last ten years. its racial makeup, its economic makeup, et cetera. >> sure. it's still a majority african-american city, but less so than it was in 2005. in 2005 the african-american percentage of the population was at about 67%. and it has gone down to about 58%. these are the people we've been talking about, for the most part, who just have not returned, have not been able to return. another big demographic change has been the influx of hispanic people. used to be a relatively small
part of new orleans' population. now almost 6% of the city's population is hispanic. a lot of the hispanic construction workers who came in to help rebuild new orleans after katrina and stayed. we also have a significant vietnamese population, which has been true since the 1970s. another big change in the city, nobody would have ever mistaken new orleans for an entrepreneurial magnet before 2005. now the number of startups and just the entrepreneurial spirit, the village is an incubator of many of these efforts is a remarkable switch. finally, i would say in the years after katrina, for a good four, five years after the storm, there was not a day that you couldn't go to new orleans airport and see large groups of young people from high school
kids to people in their 20s arriving as volunteers to help rebuild, to work and teach for america. and many of these people fell in love with what they came here to do and stayed. and they have -- they have changed both the demographics and the spirit of large neighborhoods in the city. so, those are striking changes that, i think, are palpable today. >> now, you mentioned at the beginning of this segment, if you'd go a little more in depth about the improvement in the schools or the changes in the new orleans public schools. >> yeah. the biggest change is that new orleans public school system under the so-called recovery district, which is run by the state of louisiana, has become almost entirely charter school. it's one giant charter school experiment. the biggest per capita in the united states. and not that charter schools are
the solution to all the ills of schools, but governance by parents on location has proved to be a big reform over the corrupt public school governance that we had before 2005. indeed, that's borne out in the scores about 30% of new orleans public school children met state standards in 2005. that number is now up to 88%. so, that's -- that's just one measure of the kind of improvement that's taken place in education. the city, as i said earlier, the influx of young people who became teach for america teachers has had a huge effect on the quality of our schools. all of those are among the great bright spots in the years after katrina.
>> annie from san diego. you're on with the editor of the "times-picayune." >> caller: i remember watching this years ago. i remember a black woman assisting a white woman from the front. the white woman was carrying a limp baby and she was talking about how her baby needed water. her baby hadn't had water in so long. they had a lot of people who hadn't had water. and i always wondered why it was so hard just to get these people water. if i would have had helicopter, i would have dropped them water. how many children died because they did not get water? i thought we would see some statistics, and we never did. thank you. >> well, what you're talking about in the early days after the storm, utter chaos and disorganization of the relief effort, especially on the part of the public sector and the federal government really has to take some blame for that.
you could see in the first couple days after the storm hit, you could see private retailer trucks, walmart trucks and the like, crossing the mississippi river bridge. yet it was days before that kind of relief came from the federal government. and i think that's -- that was a national scandal. and it was there for all the world to see. hopefully as a nation we learned some lessons from that and we'll all be better prepared. certainly i think in this city we are. >> jim amoss, there are some discrepancies in the number of deaths in new orleans. here are some of the reports. this is from the 538.com website. state of louisiana, 986 deaths. television station in georgia says 1200. accuweather says 1800 and "times-picayune" says 1853 in
new orleans. why the discrepancy? >> "times-picayune" didn't say 1800 in new orleans. 1800 is the number of new orleans plus the gulf region, including everything from new orleans through waveland and base st. louis and gulfport and biloxi. so, that is the main discrepancy i think you're looking at. again, it's hard to draw a line between the deaths that were caused directly by flooding and drowning, the deaths that were caused by being in an attic for days and the stress from that, and the deaths that were caused simply by older people especially, not being able to bear the stress of their lives being turned upside down and dying within months of the storm as a result. so, there are several ways of calculating that. and each will yield a slightly different number. i think the overall number is
that most statisticians agree on is a little over 1800 for the entire region as a result of katrina and somewhere between 900 and 1,000 for the new orleans metropolitan area. >> here's the front page of "times-picayune," published on wednesday, friday, sunday. nola.com is the website associated with the "times-picayune." jim amoss is the editor. mr. amoss, thank you for being on "the washington journal" this morning. >> it's been a pleasure. thank you. >> well, there is a lot to watch this weekend on c-span networks. politics, books and history all weekend for you. tomorrow on c-span, hurricane katrina's tenth anniversary all day continues. at 6:00 p.m. eastern our live coverage of the new orleans community commemoration and celebration. book tv on c-span2 at 10:00 p.m.
eastern tomorrow evening. our afterwords program with dan el padilla peralta's book. and sunday on american history tv, which is c-span3 on the weekends at 6:00 p.m. eastern time, american artifacts takes you to jamestown island, virginia, for a tour of the trenches where digs are conducted and a visit to the lab where artifacts are studied. those are some of the highlights. you can find more details on our schedules, on our website at c-span.org. thanks for being with us.
here's what's coming up today on c-span3 as we focus on congressional and white house ceremonies. next, a portrait unveiling for long-time house judiciary committee john conyers. after that a congressional gold medal ceremony to honor members of the 1st special service force in world war ii. the 1st special service force was an american-canadian special operations unit formed in 1942. then another congressional gold medal ceremony honoring the doolittle tokyo raiders for their service during world war ii. and after that, president obama awards the medal of honor posthumously to two army soldiers for their courage until action in world war i. this weekend on the c-span