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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  August 26, 2015 2:00am-4:01am EDT

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the water rose two days later. the first thing i did was to gather extended family because i live on higher ground. my children are all grown and only my 20-year-old still resides at home. i told my other children and their families to come to my house. i thank god i did because my first and second daughters lost all of their possessions and they would have lost their lives as well when we went back to new orbls the line where the water stopped was like right around my head. both these daughters have young children that cannot swim. so i was invited to leave new orleans before the hurricane but like a mother, i was not leaving my children, even though they're grown, i was not leaving them. and i'm so glad i didn't. in these, in the two locations where these two
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daughters lived had they tried to swim out of their houses, the water only got deeper. i would have lost two children and six grandchildren, okay? so like i say, i'm glad that they didn't remain in the houses. we were abandoned. city officials did nothing to protect us. we were told to go to the superdome, convention zrp, interstate bridge for safety. we did this more than once. in fact, we tried them all every day for over a week, we saw buses, helicopters, fema trucks but no one stopped to help us, we never felt so cut off in our lives. when you feel like this you do one of two things. you either give up or go in to survival mode. we chose the latter. this is how we made it. we slept next to dead bodies, we slept on streets at least four times next to human fees sees and urine. there was garbage everywhere in the city, in the city,
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panic and fear had taken over. the way we were treated by police was demoralizing and inhuman. we were cursed when we asked for help for our elderly, we had guns aimed at us by the police who were supposed to be there to protect and serve. they made everybody sit on the ground with their hands in the air, even babies. the children were confused and frightened and terrified and they were not, i mean excuse me, they were terrified and they were not placing their hands in the air correctly. my five-year-old granddaughter cried and asked her mama if she was doing it right. i know the police were scared, but they had no right to treat everyone like criminals. being from new orleans i know the police are quick to kill, because they have done it so knee times, nothing is never done about it. you know, we live this on a daily basis, okay? they can and have gotten
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away with criminal acts. i live across the street from a police substation, a lot of crimes blamed on citizens were actually committed i police and other city officials. i watch the police go in to the substation with all kind of stolen goods, i watch the police and theesque laids, i watch the police do a lot that we got blamed for. i was living at the time in a three bedroom apartment and thank god for that because even though i have six children and 11 grandchildren, the amount of people that was in my house during the storm was 22 because i could not refuse anybody of shelter, okay? we were packed in like sardines. during this time my 22-year-old daughter had a three-month old baby, this child cried constantly because she was uncomfortable, she can't stand being hot. i had a pregnant 22-year-old
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that is in labor as i speak, you know, i'm praying for her and her baby, okay? i am the grandmother of 11 children, to watch my grandchildren walking and falling in the filth was too much to take, okay? i am now living in college station, texas where i have started a new life. the most wonderful place on earth as far as i'm concerned. i'm not going back to new orleans at least not now. however, we won't be missed because we're not wanted there anyway. i know this and everyone above the age of 18 should know it. believe me, our problems didn't start with katrina. katrina was more of a blessing than anything because she gave us the opportunity to get out. last thursday i went back to new orleans to see what could be in sad i was shocked to see how people were living and being treated in fact i have a list of names and numbers that i'm willing to give to anybody in here who is interested.
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they're not getting the resources, or the services that we are, okay? and i really think somebody should check in to it. when i was in new orleans at one, on one of the jobs, i was a career development specialist, i was used to sending people out to go to work, used to giving, telling people, helping people get bills paid. when i got to my house to new orleans 4:30 thursday morning i was locked out. before the day was over, my 20-year-old was locked up. you understand? never been to jail a day in her life. she tried explaining to the police what was going on, they locked her up anyway. because you know, one thing we know about new orleans, it's a money city, you know? they wouldn't care if had you something to eat a place to stay, just give me your money, okay? and so like i said, when i got, there my locks was changed, i've had other family members to go home, find eviction notice, other folk to come home and their stuff is on the street.
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those people have to pay back rent for when the storm hit for houses that they weren't even in. i think it's really sad, okay? i have, i have personally, nobody cares about each other in new orleans. okay. i think the politicians in new orleans first must stop stealing and robbing the city because that's definitely what's going on. and in order to rebuild new orleans i think every elected official should be replaced starting with the president. fema and homeland security failed us. we did not get quality information in a timely manner, we were just a city destroyed and we were left to twist in the twilight zone. no one cared except those around us in the same situation. we had to depend on each other. my decision was difficult,
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but i had to leave my home of 53 years and my grandchildren had to go too. i have six children and that is six households that had to leave new orleans. we returned to new orleans and i thought we would maybe get the idea to stay. but that didn't happen. nothing happened to change our mind. like i said when i arrived at 4:30, i was locked out and by 7:30 that night my daughter was locked up. we explained, what we were doing but like always, the police didn't listen. you know, i had to leave my daughter in jail in new orleans. i had to leave her in jail. because i had to return the u.s.-haul truck and i just secured a job in texas and i don't want to lose that. i love my city, you know, i feel my presence and the presence of my family and the existence of my culture
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has made new orleans a loving, exciting and educational place to learn and joy and grow. it's hurting to realize we have such a rich culture taken away us from. i see no future for the city and no one is giving us hope. the saddest part is that the children of new orleans and this nation will never know the richness of a area that was built on love and caring. thank you for your time. >> thank you, thank you very much. ms. hodges. thank you for being with us. >> first of all, i would like to thank the committee and congresswoman cynthia, my mother's second to baby sister's name is cynthia and i feel so close to you already, thank you all. first of all, i would like to offer condolences to the approximately 10,000 people who lost family members in
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what certainly appears to me to be a mass act, an account of genocide and an ethnic cleansing, i would like to cover condolences to ms. gen dough lynn steward and her family who on december 10th will be burying four of their family members who drowned, a sister, her sister and her three nieces who drowned as a result of the city of new orleans being abandoned by our very own government from the very highest level t very lowest. i would also like to appeal to my brother carl hodges, who is still missing. if you are out there and if are within the sound of my voice, if anybody knows where my brought is, please contact the red cross. we love you, we miss you and we are so worried about you. anyway, i'm chair of a
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committee called cause way concentration camp. cause way concentration camp arose directly from the harsh military treatment and detention fascist style under the i-10 in jefferson parish at the cause way exit. i came from a family of musicians, civil rights workers and human rights workers. before katrina we were planning a musical family reunion. i had taken time off from pursuing a law degree to care for my sick grand dad. i was also in the process of working with community leaders on setting up music and art workshops for youth to provide meaningful activities after school. the manual i was writing for the workshop was severely
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damaged in the flood. by the grace of god i managed to get out a portion of the outline so i can do it again. i have also started a new project, which is about my experience as a detainee at the interstate 10 highway at the causeway exit. to begin with, a few general points. the failures of the president of the united states, the governor of louisiana, kathleen blanco and the mayor of new orleans, nagin need not be pointed out as they have already accepted responsibility for their roles in abandoning their very own citizens, their constituencies, the people who elected them and pay taxes to pay their salaries to protect us, they abandoned us. the people of new orleans
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were stranded in a flood and were allowed to die. what happened to us was foreseeable and it was preventable. the military personnel was stationed just 40 miles outside the city. they could have moved in and gotten people out sooner. people were allowed to die. people did not need to die. our military has the capability. i have seen the military prepare and ride out for desert storm, for ours and hours, a good four hours every massive vehicle imaginable passed over. particularly in the 9th ward area where so many, an a a majority of the people died, there is what was once called the port of embark indication, they have massive ships. they have military hospital,
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america has military hospitals and medical personnel. they should have moved in and moved people out first. they should not have allowed the worst of the worst to happen and new orleans was basically turned in to a mass grave and then tried to move in and clean up the aftermath. there was so many people who were murdered by the military and the police for trying to survive labeled as criminals. and were murdered and i saw on cnn where the politicians said that would not count all of the bodies. they would not count the bodies who were murdered by police and military personnel. well, they should count the bodies. these bodies, a lots of them voted, their families voted, they paid taxes. they are human beings, they deserve to be counted. i mean if we don't count all these bodies and what are we talking, a mass grave somewhere? a mass burning somewhere? these bodies should be accounted for. in my neighborhood in the water area, one of the first
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areas where i heard floating bodies, where i tutored and mentored young people. where we had barbecues and we got along like families, we looked after each other on a daily basis. a lot of my neighbors are unaccounted for, a lot of my neighbors are dechld i saw the first living person in my neighborhood roughly about a month ago. but i want to speak a little more in detail about the concentration camp situations, the military, after having told thaws there was nothing they could do for us, and the local police and there was no help for us over the radio we heard that they had designated so-called evacuation points. my brother and my nieces niece's fiancee set out to find evacuation points and they stayed gone a very long time and we were very worried about them. when they returned they said that had been detained on the gretna bridge and they had been turned around and were not allowed to pass
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through that area in order to locate evacuation camps. evacuation points. our situation was one such that we became aware of some senior citizens who had been abandoned in a brand new federally funded facility. a lot of them had life- threatening illnesses. they had been without medication for days. we shared our provisions with them that they had gotten together for the storm. once the police began to tell thaws there was no help for us and our provisions ran low, i took some bricks that had been blown down from a building across the street from a grocery store and i poured some color rocks on them and cleaned them up and fashioned a stove and some people from the community brought some food that was still good from their freezers and i moved some of the tables
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from indoors because the building was still continue tam contaminated with flood water answer i bleached the tables and set up a hand washing and dish washing station, washed food, took very long to do because it was just like living off the land basically. and we got it all done. we cooked and we fed people. and encouraged people and we flagged down police and asked for help and told them we had people with life threatening illnesses, we had one man who was an amputee. they insulted us when they weren't telling us they had no help for us, they couldn't help us, they insult us and told us that they should have gotten out. i told my baby brother when we located a friend who still had gas and she said that we could cook dinner, you know, for teld letter i because we were trying to at least feed them and keep them alive until we can get help. so i instructed my baby brother, steven hodges to
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flag down any official vehicle that you see and let them know that we need medicine, we have sick people and we are afraid the lose these people to die. my brother flagged down a police car and asked for help. they used racial slurs and dirty obscenity, they cursed him and threatened to blow his brains out and when he turned around to walk away he said one police officers said i started to blow that nigger's brains out and the other one said you should have. my brother walked away and he said, i said look, we just going to have to get out of here. the director for this boyd manor in algiers came in the day before the storm, told the senior citizens to get out, then she took the keys to their brand new state of the art bus and abandoned them. so we took it upon ourselves to care for them because that was the only care that they could get at the time. so in the meantime, my brothers got back and we eventually had to command
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dear a van, try to get somebody to rig it so we could get started and get the sick to the so-called evacuation points. and among us was a pregnant woman with two small children. we bought to the evacuation points and you know, the military, they, you know, they were kind of nice to us at first, though we were wondering why all the m-16s, looked like we just stepped in to a war. why all the guns? we didn't see any first aid kits. all we saw was water and guns. now, the u.s. coast guard search and rescue team were frustrated, they were furious, said they cannot want to stand around holding guns on people, they were ordered to stand and hold guns on see vac wees when they wanted to be rescuing people from drownings and plucking people up out of the contaminated water and from rooftops, yet they were ordered to stand there and hold war weapons, weapons that had the capability of mass destruction, the
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weapons that they had upon them was capable of killing a lot of people at close range. so anyway, they told us that they would take to us shelters where we could get help and get the seniors to help. and they loaded us up on these military trucks, then they declared the city of new orleans, orleans parish and jefferson parish a war zone and it still didn't sink in that we were the surprise conners of war. once we got to this place, the people who said this guy from the u.s. coast guard, his name was louis, they plucked him off from a coast guard ship off the coast of venezuela and brought him in to help without because eaves search and rescue specialist. when they brought to us this wide open outdoor space on the highway, on the highway. and they said that buss would come in and that they would get out the sick and the elderly and special needs people first.
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and louis, i saw he moved out some groups of people in wheelchairs and sick people and said he would move our group out next because we had people who were critically ill. he said he would position his car directly across the highway from us and leave on the lights so that we could see him in the event that any among us needed anything before he could move us out. well, i saw a vehicle across the highway from us but the lights never came on, we never saw him again, the one person who was there to actually help people, he just vanished, we never saw him again. the next morning all we saw was what appeared to be a bunch of hardened read neck scowling and growling at us in military uniforms, just hostile, full of hatred and pointing guns at us and treating us worse than prisoners of war. over 100 degree, in over 100 degree temperatures we were forced to stand out in that
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hot sun with 100% humidity, we exposed to skin cancer, we were tortured with sleep deprivation, they created a garbage dump and made us live on it and sleep on it and flew helicopters over our heads and blew the garre gej, the muck and the toxic meyer back in to our faces. we left body bags behind. we had to fake a labor on a pregnant woman to get them to move her and her two children out. the elderly, the amputee for a whole day and a whole night they refused to give us food and water for people who could not fend for themselves. myself, my family and other people, we had been circulating through camp trying to see about people, you know, who couldn't get up and fends for themselves. and as of the night that we got out of there, they still refused to give food and water to us to see that people got it who needed it and they would not feed people and they pushed us away with guns and told us not to come back asking anymore.
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i have been told to wrap it up. this is not a situation that i can describe in five or ten minutes and i don't want to overextend my time, but i will answer questions, but i say this: we have been exposed to genocide by ethnic cleansing, the rights of our children have been violated, women's rights against discrimination have been violated, our economic, social and cultural rights have been violated, our human rights have been violated, our rights against torture have been violated, our rights as prisoners of war within the scope of the geneva have been violated, mike grant workers rights violated, both express and implied arise directly from the failure of the united states government to eliminate an apart tied practices and other forms of oppressive practice against poor and working poor citizens of the united states who are mostly
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african-american or otherwise people of color. these violations are historical and continuing. this is a formal request that this situation being blamed on the hurricane be further investigated. this should never have happened anyplace, especially in america. and certainly should never happen again. some people are shocked to hear me say concentration camp, but if you have ever seen any footage of the hitler concentration camps in world war ii, i assure you that is what happened to us at the very lowest level, all the way up to the level of some people dying and pregnant women losing babies. thank you.
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gumbo variety of ingredients to make good gumbo east bank west bank uptown downtown lakeside riverside, men, women, old, rich, poor, protestant catholic, orthodox jews muslims, hindu, straight, gay, oh, my goodness. would you please accept this. the second gift is from saints augustine catholic church the oldest. bill that enslaved people in the city, with love and respect, you take this. i didn't go anywhere.
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why? because i didn't have to. i live in america. i'm free. does that sound strange to anybody in 2005? i hope not. hurricane even had it named after me, i'm 60. s-x-x-t-y. years old. -- >>, i've lived through, i guess at this point, thousands of hurricanes. why are we so excited about hurricane? katrina didn't do this. let's get very, very clear. katrina didn't do this. the islams of america -- the isms, that we got to get rid of including ism, i-s-m,
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almost like xat end of "prescriptions" means poison we need more monday where is the place around the corner please somebody order up some more paper with ink on it put the nominations on it is this really going to be about this? as i was told i was coming here the neighbors started comeing by with their comments. and they want some answers, how you doing? god bless your heart for being here. because i was looking for you -- where the rest of them don't they know we still with our all basic services, would you let them know that for me, please. i said -- saw what they did to you so it could try to
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attempt to complete this genocide. where i live -- but i live in america. my neighbors want to know where the children are. what insane group of people separated parents from their children? my neighbors want to know where their children are, somebody find out. oh, and our whole community want to know where's our deceased we know they are dead. -- we downtown just to chance this year y'all, 15-year-old first man you all probably saw on television accusing -- accuse of looting looking for his 15-year-old son's body, or teghamilton, coleman, please find him so are susso we can have some closure. we need that. then the whole want to know where our rights as americans all these folk coming to fix us, why is
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some parts of new orleans decorated till christmas some of us don't have nothing to decorate? we want an answer. why is it taking in excess of i think day before yesterday, excess of 90 days for us to get basic utilities, lights not gas, not telephone, not mail service, you know this morning, oh somebody is cbs here? how is gag-- gabe please find out for me my mind won't get clear. we want to know why can't we go to sin mi and to new york and get things straight? for all these other folk we know you all go check us out
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we go everywhere we got hearts of gold we give, give, give what i'm confused about hour people in new orleans not sharing with party of new orleans i think newcomers going to have to understand spirit of new orleans. they want to know how is it that we creating some agency, that can buy our land, because it ain't good enough but they can do something to it and make it good enough to sell back to us. what kind insanity that is i own it? almost sound like christopher columbus i own it but i got sell it to somebody at slave wages, my grandma says she made 50 cents a day y'all. and she brought the house bought the house i live in my last breath, my last breath five generations, it will take that it is not for sale. please let whoever these people are know new orleans
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is not for sale. they ain't going inwhere roaches block folk tried to exterminate we still there we plan to be there. whatever it takes, tent city no city sleeping in cars, whatever we got to do, and let me share this at this point. my home without telephone, e-mail, children gave me one of those crazy phones i don't know what to do with, without any of that, my home because of the spirit it brings was visited by six continents that came on boats. i wish i had the magazines with me. the one that looks liketime with sister walking down main street with baby on her back the world is looking at us, we are okay understand how less than 500,000 people who dis-- be displaced for over a hundred days at this point, and we can't fix that in america? and we going to fix somebody else? we are really confuseed in
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new orleans, help us out. we really don't -- don't start -- we are not going to give up our property. please don't. it is going to take murdering me and my family to achieve that. i'd like to congress to know that.m 8 years sanitation five years department traings i saw -- i i don't want to say all words and with guns, who come rescue with guns? no life vests, no supplies, nothing to help handicapped. how do i know i didn't go anywhere. we didn't leave. there are a group of men i'm so proud of them god bless the soul patrol we had to get a name i went to chief police asked for a green card give us something. why is it mandatory that we leave? i went to dillard argentine went onp -- there was cuba i went a ltle further there was mexico, i went where they were feeding there was denmark, and i live in new
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orleans. 60 years in new orleans and i have to buy obey gunpoint lead i was ready to die if that's what it took, that's not america. who are these people who did they bring even jews in our community - pple want to visit. go check the records. our bad tourism -- paraphernalia because it is awful, what do you all like about new orleans when you come? what do youall like about new orleans when you come? it is our spirit and it's real. it's the people. if you are on street corner with us you are having fun, we treating you with love respect like till people just -- just don't need a straitjacket we are will house you. new orleans is that kind of a city. what did we are doing here? one of the problems, is that
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mr. trump came months ago and decided he wants -- a street princes charles on street telling me i need a -- i'm going to check on my little independent living mentally ill community why is prince charles trying to buy a house in new orleans that say don't need to exist somebody needs to explain these things to us, you know. it is not making sense. it is really not making sense. why were we held hostage? i didn't go anywhere. why were we held hostage and not allowed to rescue our people? we have proof of it. why was that the case? you know what -- i'm from the 60s call the police i'm going to stop talk when i finish with my messages from my community that is the only reason why i'm here i didn't come to represent me.
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i didn't come representing dyan french cole i came representing the people sit song the street right now around a brick made fireplace because that's the only thing we have in december, hurricane happened in august! somebody needs to hear. why we are less than 500,000 people spread over 50 states is a question one of my neighbors wants to know. if fema had given every registered person on census a million dollars according to what they say they have spent, they still have a half a billion put on five to spend if they had given all of us a million dollars, why are they out of money come look at my neighborhood. some of these people have been there tell them to show you the film, fema didn't do
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that. the red cross didn't do that. the citizens of new orleans did that. only one elect if i hadshal has bothered to pass by, ooh, and don't get me wrong. by grace of -- my god, they have been people from all over the world who have come and shown great love. i have little blonde blueied brunette, grayied all chored children at my house right now i know what they take the act where of mama d. because they work hard from sun superto sundown every day because we have a mission, and that is we not trying to do a christopher columbus not a trying to go somewhere and take somebody else's stuff, why would you get in the public media and ask a city where 80% of its citizens ride public transit, to evacuate? what were they supposed to do fly? get on a broom?
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after you allow buses to sit in the water areas that is one thing five years transportation would have told me i wasn't at the tub, you move all of the equipment you transportation out of harm's way you know, the president declares two days in advance, that it is coming, you don't move any of the equipment? who's fooling who? i blame mr. bush for all this -- he caught caught up poor baby caught up a couple times watching him telling louisiana folk, oh, and i'd like to publicly think general -- because media lied. and 82nd airborne we call them i got the note with me red wrinkle caps, only ones didn't pull guns. call us filthy names. shoot us. or try to do harm. they brought peace and smiles, and love with them. i applaud those children.
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we've just a few more i will be gone why did fcc, allow the media to consolidate and we only heard one version of everything in new orleans? what was that about? that was so sick, mayor, a few more folk patting themselves on the back while we were sitting in six feet of water. we couldn't -- confused. what happened there? and then just a series of oppression, take the schools, move the hospitals, don't put services back. don't permit people to come back because of fair housing act say you can't discrime nate how the hell do you discriminate if it was my house when i left ought to be my house when i come back how you put somebody else there when you know some form or fashion why is public housing in the city of new orleans? that is quiet why is public housing which is dry never been touched by anything. and doesn't have any
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problems first of all, why were those people surrounded in forced to leave by gunpoint? that happened. facilities now? they are dry. they don't have any problems. what is press ever call -- joe zarnes and them up to i call names i worked five administration is my first one being moon land ruse my last onray nathan some too thil the to stay in some in between i stayed whole duration my minute making to you now we don't need another 50, 60, 70s, because you know what, somebody been sleeping. our police got to loaded they wrote fort apache, go see the media got it across the first district station. they took extra guns. they shaved their heads. we need those answers because these are the people
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these are the people who kept asking 60-year-old gray haired people like myself where's the guns and the dope? we want to ask them how do they keep coming in our neighborhoods we not bringing it. there's a lot needs to be done, if we going to cleanse. we want to know why. why is this possible? that all of these things all of a sudden eliminating -- sister that is why i i gave you the fan, attempted to eliminate the oldest african catholic church i'm not catholic y'all, father oh, wonderful gorgeous spirit that i love, and he is a brother that i will always cherish, he is a pillar, institution is a pillar, look like those things that were will support us the things that people are attempting to eliminate. you know well-kept secret we don't mind, i will be finished in a second. a well sent secret if you start at waveland let's get
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to the big picture wave land mississippi come around 90, into new orleans. is bigger than vegas. we understand that. -- the poor white people live will not be the next like the hilton head over there in carolina, they need to stop this, because you got a dollar doesn't mean you ought to -- ought to be able to displace poor working class people don't mind being poor if everybody leave them alone those people were fishermen control fishing industry in louisiana now not even controlled, they don't even have that. these are poor white people. we all suffering the same fate. in a new orleans area. i don't know which you all want to know i want to say this to you, i live on -- streit -- i can't tell the story, come see, i'm not there, now, but there about 14, young beautiful brave all ethnicity children at my
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home. most of the black children are just being released you know if you go visit your grandmother in public housing new orleans you go to jail for trespassing. >> sure do. >> some of my children are returning because they were trying to check on elders gaterested for trespassing go see how many charges we have had like that, since pre, post katrina. and they are coming home they don't know where their parents are. they don't know where their families are all of these people are living in and about the vicinity of my house. because good people that volunteered to let us use facilities we have cleaned them, we've gotten them prepared we have clothing, someone passed said you feeding the red cross and billy graham i said long as they come with the right spirit and the right heart. and that's correct, thanksgiving day we did that. people just gave us we asked for, 10 turkeys we got 40. all those, cooked we gave didn't cook we gave away one
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last thing i promise this the last thing i was crying this morning, when cbs showed up at my hotel. and they said what's the matter mama d. i said i don't work -- ab mike's nerves michael behind you all i said ladies with him i know very well respect and love, but they have had the opportunity to take hot baths. they have had that -- had the opportunity to get new clothing. they have had the opportunity interact with more than just people who come to your door. this is my second trip out of the city of new orleans. and i came because the ism that really bothered me the most is racism one they have grand daughter's head looked like this lady's head y'all be careful with racism. two of my grandsons, look like you and you, mr. , better be careful with racism, they love their grandma, they respect their
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black daddy, somebody better be kaefful about what we doing. majority of the volunteers because most of the african-american children have been forced out of new orleans, at my home, and i have had hundreds to come, since the first since we hit dry land are not african-american. they don't agree with the way we are being treated. they are good solid wonderful children, they take their wrag of wrama d, you know they got to be strong and solid because we have we have what we need in place, and if we can, because i don't writing them down, neighbors didn't write it down, my are a he era computer up here we didn't have nothing to put it in i beg you all you know right now the main thing we need because i didn't just come with questions, we came with solutions. we need y'all to take fema,
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fema mom and daddy, red cross, and all the rest of them people, and just take them somewhere. just get them out of my neighborhood. that's all we need right now. we did not lose our ability to fish, don't bring tisch tide -- just bring us fishing pohls and some bat we didn't lose our minds i don't know why we didn't but we could have we lost all of the necessities we need to support our survival. just give us that. just give us that. and i promise you in six months like i promised one of these television stations come back we going to make gumbo it's going to be all right you know what we have for dinner sunday, one of the stations was there, larry and ben two young brothers young men one lektrician one working "on the waterfront", one fishing for us sunday morning y'all.
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and everybody in the neighborhood including the cameramen we had fish for dinner sunday, out of the same lake pontchartrain and i'm still sitting here. please, please, if you are not going to come and let us tell you what we need, just stay away. it is caused more problems than help. if fema spent all this money, oh, lord the red cross bot me barrel hard rock candy i just -- i got it i want you all to come see that in a barrel. hard rock candy. and what was insulting about that two years expired but they have haven't had a choice, please, give us some response, we don't need the rhetoric hubert humphrey said approximately 40 years ago african-american children commit no more crime than any other ethnic group, 40 years later looking at incarceration almost 100% young
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african-american males we need to get on the right page here, if y'all let me have all my babes they working in the jail free, just let me have them, ask them, go to angola go to opportunities, hod, i know all of them. and my mentally ill children adults they are hard workers, we could do more in new orleans than any group that you have there. >> amen. >> any group that you have there. police brutality we are used to. we got to do something about that, too, as citizens we got to stop allowing american -- make rules remember that from the 60s you can't make rules that oppress some of your people. all of us have to be for am full americans we don't need to get violent about that. that is just human nature that we can do this, as a people. and thank you very much. thank you very much. >> okay. >> thank you very much, i want to thank you all of the panelists, before we go to questions mr. jefferson would you like to make any comments?
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>>. >> thank you mr. chairman. >> i was getting schooled here by my colleague. krin that mckinney on testimony of other witnesses i'm very for the national to have benefit i hope most of -- most of your testimony to have had the benefit of having been your friend and having you been a supporter a mentor for i don't know other all the time i've been in public life. and privilege to see you here in washington still fighting the good fight for people in the neighborhoods back home. i think that what has been expressed here this morning is the next best thing to taking people to new orleans. it is a place after as you said a hundred days that not a whole lot changed in the
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neighborhoods where people live. yes, the airport is open again, and the hotels have gotten open downtown, and the french quarter operating didn't get wet parts of uptown, where -- are high and dry, but for most of new orleans -- >> but for most of new orleans now, it is still devastated. and most neighborhoods -- are still crippled where people can't get back into the neighborhoods the most important thing that we can do now is to provide an opportunity for people to get back where they used to live as close as they can to uss they can start helping to rebuild our city, the temporary housing, is a huge issue, down our way. if you don't have that situation straightened out, the depopulation is going to remain as it is for one long, long time but if you do something about it. which you will find as --
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don french, i used to call don french co, back in old days. what you find is that there is a spirit among our people amongst our folks that desires to return to the new orleans and rebuild that city and you will see it. and people coming in there now every day, during the day on weekend, going out night falls they don't have lights don't have electricity on working on their properties trying to pull things out, and get things fix upped, and get themselves in position where they can move back in. but they need to be able to come in there on a more permanent basis to be able to put their hands on properties and start working on things, the biggest threat that people feel right now is that they won't be able to reclaim the place where they were. as i have heard you say. they are worried about the government not being fair with them as it deals with their property and their belongings. and as it will deals with schools, schoolchildren. and it is a big set of issues that marks this whole
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devastation the most i guess if there is one thing that characterizes everything that happened down there one word it is uncertainty, certainty is -- is threatening to override the great spirit of our people because they don't know what's coming next, whether they are going to have a chance for a job to have their house restored to get kids back in town, to get their lives back together. they haven't any idea we aren't gik very clear answers from up here so i want to thank you all of you for taking time out of your lives, to come up here and share with us, some of the realities that regular folks are facing back home, because, it is regular ordinary citizen that we are supposed to be serving up here, and i think that if we can find a way to address it in meet people who have talked to us these folks on their terms, then i think we have done our job for everybody back home, so, i thank the chairman for permitting this meeting to take place i tank our witnesses for showing up today and sharing with us, and we look forward to
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working with you and all of our people back home and the folks in this audience to bring life back to our city we have a vital people we just need the support to make sure our people get a fair shake get their lives back together so i thank you very much mr. chairman. >> thank all very much again i want to thank everyone for your questions let me start the question in five minute intervals. in katrina's aftermath some suggested that race and class issues contributed to the government's inadequate response, let me just ask each of you, you kind i have alouded to it in your testimony, but what roll if any do you think race or class paid we can go briefly in terms of if you think it played any and to what extent. >> chair chairman i really suspect more socioeconomic issue than race, i think unfortunately, a lot of what the destruction that we saw
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the that persons were unable to safely evacuate is because they basically were poor, i think i don't think anybody had some unbelievable plan to go after any particular race because is a think someone else pointed out, in saint bernard parrish there are lots of poor white people i think the real problem there was an economic and in nature. >> miss cooler. >> i do think economic factors played a part i think race played significant part also the city is quite aware the poorest people in the area are blacks and that no one stayed there, suffered through katrina they wanted to be blown away or suffered through flood because they wanted to be drowned they suffered through it because they had no way of getting out and i think if it was not poor african-americans, would be most affected by this there would have been a plan in place would have been equipment in place would have been everything needed in place, to get folks out. >> let me just ask this
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though evacuation plans were generateed the product of local governments, not federal -- do you fault equally all levels. >> i blame state, i blame federal, i think we got disappointed. by every branch of government that exists. >> thank you very much. >> miss thompson. >> yes, i know or in a fact it was a race issue, because you see i live in one of the housing developments. in mew orleans trust me, nothing happens anywhere like it happens in the project. you know. we are secluded not seclude uted but we are put a bunch of us in an area together, oh, we know where they are. you understand, we were told to leave, go to the interstate go to superdome, go to the convention center, where we stepped outside, guns were pointed on us, i felt like we were being told to go outside in order to be killed. no one is going tell me it
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wasn't a race issue. yes, it was an issue of race, because they knew one thing the city had pretty much been evacuated the people that were left there mostly was black. >> can i ask a question, then was that city state and federal do you fault all levels. >> i fault everybody. any time excuse me, my five grand baby is sitting on the ground with her hands in the air, with a bean pointed between her eyes saying momma am i doing it right i'm scared they going to shoot me five years old my grand baby going traumatized. >> was it national guard or local police or was it both? >> this was this was we was treated bad by everybody i think this was national guard. i'm not sure. >> okay. you know but we didn't get -- and we i lived across the street from a police substation. i have to yet for anybody to knock on my door ask if they can do anything to help. you noted in your testimony
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that your daughter ended up going to jail through this want to give us what did they charge her with that -- >> charged her with what is it curfew violation. -- we got to new orleans at 4:30 in the morning. you understand what i'm saying we couldn't do anything then we had five rooms, furniture to move it was four females. >> got you. >> thank you. >> okay. >> miss hodges. >> i'm sure that race has everything to do with it as race always has everything to do with the treatment of people of color, in america. the fish were evacuated and the people were left to die. the stray animals from the animal shelters most of whom would have been euthanized were evacuated two days before the storm and the people were left to die. buses that could have gotten our people who otherwise
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could not get out were left to flood and people were left to die. >> that's right. >> the military which has the great capability of moving and entire cities failed to move in, and move out the people the way the dogs and the fish had been moved out, and people were left to die. mostly poor mostly people of color. race had everything to do with the ethnic cleansing, and the massacre of predominantly african-american people being blamed on hurricane katrina. >> miss hodges you fault state and local and all levels? >> fault the president of the united states of america george w. bush, i fault kathleen babineaux blanco governor state of louisiana i fault ray c. nagin the mayor new orleans all of whom have accepted, full responsibility for what has happened to us, and we are still living with the aftermath we are still suffering post-traumatic
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stress syndrome we are reliving this nightmare sometimes two a night, night after night after night we still crying. drae day after day. >> and -- >> let me get my time is up so i just miss thompson give us a list of people you mentioned in testimony he we will try to get on that yes, sir i truly thank you going to make this very brief when i got new orleans thursday morning i was locked out of my house, went to a friend's house, in this place i worked with the plays kings -- career development specialist,s were a lot of people that i helped to get resources to pay bills helped to get jobs and stuff, and when i got to new orleans couldn't get any went to a friend's house that live around these people when i got there, she had an air mattress on floor that is where i slept when i woke up next morning was encircled in people, helpless hopeless people what do we do didn't realize i handn't come back they thought something i could do to help i told them all i'm going washington i will bring it to washington.
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>> thank you very much. >> miss mckinney. >> thank you mr. chairman, many things have been said here, that is -- this afternoon that i think deserve further on the record we are not going to be able to do that because of the constriction of time. however, i do have some testimony from people who are not here that i would like to submit for the record. >> there is objection if not we'll be lapp to enter that into the record. >> thank you, and we will have more testimony as well, to submit for the record. i just want to note that some from the collective testimony some things do stick out. one of the items mentioned was weapons confiscation. and at some point i don't know how or when, this committee ought to address
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that but i don't think the second amendment was lifted, just because we were in a catastrophic situation, that there should have been weapons confiscation. so at any rate, i would like to discuss that, later on but just to put it on the record. >> we'll have a mayor here next week too who can talk about that. >> beautiful. >> the other issue that was raised, i think, was the order of the briefing of the levees. and how it came to be that some parts of town flooded and other parts of town didn't flood, and i think that -- mr. chairman. >> i didn't leave -- >> i apologize, did you say there was an order that the levees be breached. >>. >> no. i said the order in which the levees were breached. >> final -- >> the order.
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>> the chronological order. >> oh, you discern that wrd for me are what does beach -- breach me on bombed? i was on my front porch i have witnesses that they bombed the walls of the levee. and debris that is in front of my door will testify to that. so what do we mean breached? what are you saying. >> there is a -- there is a -- headline in the times picayune dated, actually, today. -- november 8, no, november 8, okay. -- scrutinizing levee failures, so, my question that i hope we will have the opportunity to explore in a little bit more in-depth is the how the levees failed, the order in which the city began to flood, and if that has anything to do with anything. but i think it's something
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that is to be put on the record. >> close every black institution of higher learning -- >> we also had the opportunity to view you are absolutely right on that, and that is another issue that at some point needs to be addressed. within the time constraints. the issue of the mold and will the sludge someone mentioned i think you mama d. mentioned fish i don't know how safe it is when we went there, i saw something everywhere. over everything. and i wouldn't want to touch that stuff. and so i don't know how safe the environment is. we need to know that i have introduced legislation about that. but the presence of the mold and the sludge, and the process of the cleanup and
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thoroughness of the cleanup and the confidence that we can have in the cleanup, is something that needs to be addressed. >> let me just we will do a separate interrogation on the walls the breech, and if mama d. has information on anything that lapp to get that information as part of that hearing -- >> i also have information. >> we would be happy to get. >> i have interviewed witnesses and i have videotape footage. >> we will be happy to get that before you leave today we will hold a separate hearing on the history the funding everything with levees. >> excellent thank you. i have footage also but couldn't bring it putting me could mail it? if you have it we will get it. >> i will send my address. >> panelists have mentioned, eviction notices, and we've got on the second panel some attorneys that i want to put a marker down, on the eviction notices because i'd like to know more about that. >> i don't nen ris oh disrupt you i really need that answer i got them at my
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house now thank gd some neighbors have a lot of spaces -- i got a young sister, real name wynonna two little boys, at my house now, i got several people like that, maybe more now we've just had where do we put these people she had a hard voucher why is she homeless? >> the other issue, that another issue that has come up is the outpouring of support by faith-based organizations, not listed at the department of homeland security or with fema, but that who are still doing yeoman's work on behalf of the katrina survivors. now, i've asked that question before, i asked the question of our secretary chertoff didn't get any answer. but i would like to know about reimbursements for our faith-based organizations, that continue to help with
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katrina survivors says well as for the families who are housing katrina survivors, it is very difficult to get im-- information out of the fema people. the other issue that didn't come up yet but that will come up is on contracts. because as many people here have said, i think the congress has been very generous in allotting 62 billion dollars thus far, people have talked about 200 billion dollars, but i'd like to see well so far it has been black -- blackwater -- bechtel, halliburton, but it hasn't been the companies inside louisiana new orleans, mississippi, and alabama, or for that matter, even companies that have the expertise and wherewithal in four congress -- fourth congressional district i would like the issue of contracts to be addressed, even though i oppose -- i posed the question to the
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secretary i didn't get a response from him as well. >> okay thank you. >> mr. chairman will we be allowed a second round of questioning. >> see how quickly this goes we have second panel as you know need to get through by 4:00. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, i am struck by many emotions right now, one of them is i'm in awe what people in new orleans have had to do to deal with the fact they don't have a home and place to live. and you know, just having to face that makes me try to put myself in your shoes i can't do that. there is another part that wants to be careful because i don't want to be offensive, when you have gone through such incredible challenges. but there is another part of me that feels that i would be derelict in my duty to listen to some comments and
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not respond to them because you are all under oath, every one of you, you are before a hearing of congress, this is a big deal. and when i hear that a bead impression is a laser bead on your five-year-old daughter's fore head. >> granddaughter. >> i just don't frankly believe it but i'm just being honest. >> you believe what you want i was there, sir. >> and -- >> we saw the guns we saw them. >> we will have to -- >> you should go home with me now. >> wait a second. >> see some of it. >> ma'am i listened to you a did a lot of listening you were honest i'm honests we won't get anywhere from both not honest. when i hear that you were on your porch and you saw -- that the levee was blown up, and bombed, i can't let that pass. i zmont don't let that pass come go home with me i don't know if theater or truth. >> come go home with me. >> okay now this is what i want to ask you let's start with you then. >> um-hmm. >> is your home right next
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door to where the levee broke. >> london street kanell southern ward. >> how far away was the breech from where -- >> 17th street canal is little further difference but you have to understand new orleans called the crescent city. >> i don't need long explanation how far how many. >> mr. i don't know what talking about i'm going sell you -- tell you i'm 62 i have to talk the way i talk. >> how many feet was the levee from your porch. >> i'm fi bet phenomena kappa too but i have to talk the way i talk i'm trying to answer your question. >> how many feet of a mile a mile. >> let me go further that was a military person in my house, somebody who served country well, who when we started looking at what was the -- boom, boom. mr. . i'm never forget it. >> let me ask you this then. how far. >> he said mama d. that was a bomb. >> you were going to answer my question. >> yeah. >> how far away is your porch. >> from the london street canal halfway to my post office box that i walk every day. >> so the levee is just across the street from you. >> i would say, how far is
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-- from me -- in brood and st. bernard -- broad and -- >> can you see levee of breech from your house. >> i haven't looked for still look for dead people. >> from your house do you see the levee where it is breached? >> i haven't looked for it mr. . i'm trying to till. >> but you are not answer meg the question. >> i have not gone one of the reporters came i sent him to look at iwhich was right down from my house can he verify that for you. >> can you see the levee from your house where it was breached? >> are you familiar with new orleans? >> i'm asking you, a question. >> you can't see from one street to the other if you got two stor houses trees live in a tree lined street. that is what i'm saying you need come see my city. >> so far i have asked you two questions you've been very unresponsive, the first question >> i don't know what you are calling unresponseive. >> well the first question was how far. >> can i see no i can't see you i i wear glasses can't afford to buy any, i heard.
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>> ma'am we don't need to speak in tongues just need to speak in honest answers. >> that is honest i have no reason to lie how who are you where what have you done for me i'm sitting you up here now don't know where i'm going to be tomorrow don't know what i'm going to be able to do tomorrow why would i have to sit here lie to you first of all? >> let's get honest about this. >> can i. >> i want to be on same page with you. >> can why i understand that you didn't see it but you heard it is that fair to say. >> anybody who saw it ain't living to tell about it. >> so you didn't see it but you heard it. >> the water within the minutes that the water came in my neighborhood looked like somebody put atlantic ocean it was 10 feet of water rolling you could surf on its i have tree marked in front of my door over six feet the where it settled i don't know what kind of answer you want mr. that is why we have problems coming telling us what to do you don't understand us when we talk. >> don't understand situation. >> i'm trying to understand. >> no you are not. >> i have asked, two questions. >> and i have answered them. >> no. >> what do you mean see?
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>> don't interrupt me now, please. i listened to your presentation, i didn't interrupt you. i asked two questions. >> you did not ask me the question? >> let him finish his question. >> i asked two questions, i first asked, how far your house was from where the levee broke the second and did not get an answer, the second question i asked is is your house close enough so that you can see it? i think i've gotten the answer indirectly by your failing to answer the question. >> and you can't sit there do that mr. i'm 60 if i wasn't in america i wouldn't let you sit there do that i asked that you and my answers are still the same, i live at 1733 north dirgua you got all powers in your and i have have to take a baath when i -- in cold water you get somebody call get on phone ask something how far this from 1733, to the london street canal, it is very close, i walked it diller university i walked at my pobox just beyond that.
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i'm 60 years old -- i can't give you specifics. >> the answer is a mile or less she didn't see anything, but she heard. >> i saw the water, immediately after. >> okay. >> my time is up. >> thank you very much any questions. >> nobody going to play with people's intelligence? >> i resent being told that i'm lying about people having machine guns on. >> miss jefferson your time. >> thousands of people were held at gunpoint. >> let me just ask you, please you have had plenty of opportunities to speak, and nobody is impoumg anything -- impugning. >> offensive. >> i continues to think anybody called that you. >> body bags behind people die your --. >> recognized five minutes. >> the time that i have, i wanted to -- permit to you continues with your answer. that you were started ops he answering i would like to ask you continue. >> because you know, let me say something to you -- new york finest asked me with 60-year-old gray haired house how many tricks i turned got that on film want
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me to go get that television station police asked my house this sunday i didn't know for sure if i was going to be here said we hear you are going before congress don't go up there acting stupid embarrassing us that is the one to dog pickedo dog pickedo kicked with feet feet above his face i can bring in here tell you it happened to him i got two white witnesses coming from elderly white person whose housetopping to keep rain out of old people's houses a lot of stories, this isn't puttinging no in they pocket not going to foed me i survived the worst part of this. contrary to the sickness that a few want to keep perpetrating out here. african-americans even in enslavement time were 90% of the skilled labor. go check it out it is in books read it we didn't write the books, i'm going to call what you were saying for they brand children to be able to see you think we
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lying? >> miss hodgees. >> i'm appalled that he would suggest that my mother's -- my mother was he detained under causeway with the same m-16s and was tortureed the same threat of skin cancer tortored with the same germ warfare, and sleep deprivation, we were within one sunrise of being consumed by maggots and fliesigh repeat one hole day one hole night special needs people seeing citizens with life, threatening illnesses diabetics, and amputee pregnant women, there were denied food and water we tried to get it for them, they could not get up and fend for themselves, the military refused to give us food and water and they used our guns to push us used their guns to push us away from food lines. >> can i ask whose guns were national guard -- >> there were there were national guard, there were united states coast guard people out there, there were state police, but it was the
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military the national guard when we asked for food and water, for these old people who could not oh not get you up fend for themselves told them those people had in the had food watt since day before they took guns barcate barricaded us pushed as you i way. >> when did this take place. >> that took at intelligentstate 10 at the causeway -- all i can see every day i wake up in this horrible, horrible concentration camp, and every time i circulate, to try to help people, all i see the sign say causeway, causeway i wanted to mark that spot. >> how long after the storm? >> that was within -- within two days after the storm, we arrived there there were people already there, who said they had already been there, and, yes, i did interview people who lived in the lower 9th ward i've been over there, i have footage didn't bring with me be certainly glad to see that you have it in developed, i have interviewed people, who lived in area that area looks likes a bomb has been dropped on it. and people say they heard an
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explosion that sound like a bomb. >> i was there. >> mr. shays, i want you to know that not only did they pull up did they aim gun at 5-year old fabio grandson aimed it at 2 are-year-old grandson sonl reason i used 5-year old grand daughter because of her response, but, i don't mean any insult with when you walk a mile in my shoe, tell me what you believe, then. the military bragged on krin the state de-- police bragged on cnn about how many people they mad killed mudded in streets new orleans wasn't even 3:00 in the afternoon they were happy they were bragging they were smiling, they said yeah, we killed five of them today. where were you when cnn was showing that part of what really happened? >> we had to hide, i didn't leave we had to hide to save people. if we started -- i'm talking about dogs that we used to
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nopd, no -- no disrespect, to those who were sincere honest that is why we maintained the rence -- residency law, i our police department if you all police cars up here washington please send them home they went awol took the cause with them, our police department went into -- and stole cadillacs and corvettes this is provable, our police, i'm going to talk nopd, our police went in looted wal-marts, it is on film. we have no reason to lie about this. you know. it is just unfor the national that -- unfortunate that other ethnics continued to come to america, and get respect, and i'm at least seven generations on african side, and i would waste my time to come before you all? >> i want to ask one last question about, public housing because we keep talking about temporary housing housing available --
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fisher -- and -- town with lowrise, high-rise, those are in good shape as far as i'm able to -- >> they are boarded up. >> another story in albertville. >> alberville. >> speaking to me. >> yes, say again? >> could you tell me ones that you based on inspection you think are livable. >> well, i'm going to be totally honest gussis livable in its only because the resident -- cynthia wiggins, that mr. freddie who is i forget what his title is -- with -- those people are fighting for those residents you understand what i'm saying if the city would have been run like that development, out -- because they are definitely fighting for their residents. >> aberville seems in good
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shape have you had chance. >> i haven't had chance to see. >> i've been there, i never -- what i'm trying tell you been all over new orleans i had a lawyer ask why they can't go in he said i -- running back and forth is too much. there was no water, they are putting steel, steel to make sure the residents can't go back baby, they putting steel plates over doors and windows there. i haven't been anywhere. >> and the fish let me tell what you they did something strange this is about a month ago, they have this, this strange housing meeting he and declare all public housing some kind of disaster something. this is way after the fact now, man, and on the sealed start putting up steele metal things over the doors, i mean so you can't even get in period if you live there. all overall the doors and the windows of those that have never been touched. this is why i'm asking i'm really asking because you know my husband used as a --
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center what do i do with people when i you anup run out of windows backyards cars to put them in that's coming home that is my reason for asking the questions. and we don't we don't care about who believes and not believes us at this point is that my point i'm making. >> serious. >> we can if we can get -- our people from stop being arrested for isn't this pitiful go in french quarter drink to 2:00 but if you are caught in my neighborhood quarter to 2:00 they say arresting people i don't go through that they know not to play with me with that. guess what they are doing with these people avg getting 40 hours community service so they can clean up free slave labor bring on all other people from blazes from other countries who don't have a clue who we are what we talking about, to make money. >> you know, we need the houseing so critical at this point, the bad treatment, unfortunately is not, i am the former president of naacp city new orleans i do
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know what racism sickness like that is about. >> thank you. >>. mr. -- >> thank you, mr. williams i want to thank you for your testimony, i have one question, of when did oubtain your weapons you said weapons were confiscated from you. did you get those when you went back home? >> sorry. what was last part of your question? >> the they were confiscateed me -- from me at my mother pose house. >> so when you went back to your house when you got some weapons for personal protection? >> some of the weapons that were confiscated belonged to my father now decreased some were my weapons, yes, that is correct. >> -- >> the -- >> i want to thank for your testimony because i -- you
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did a very good job in how you wrote this. >> thank you. >> i mean it is your it is your personal statement it is exactly how it laid out happened to you i know that a lot of other things you could have added to this i want to ask you this. i mean you have lived in the city you have worked you've been a community leader in the city. and you have chosen to spends your life in an area whereby -- i live in indiana, and i grew up on a river it floods and we know who lives in the floodplain and who doesn't, who prepares for what. hand how we look out after each other. and you made a personal decision as you were monitoring the storm whether you could ride this one out or not. kind of remind of me cousin who lives on folly beach south carolina will calculate whether he can
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ride out a storm or thought you felt pretty comfortable concerned about your mother, and the rest of your family, which sounds like a story that happens when a disaster will strike. >> sure. >> so knowing though that you have chosen to live your life in that type of environment, how -- we have a responsibility that is as we examine these evacuation plans, we have set this out, coming after september 11, okay how best do we handle all of this. we turn to localities since localities of the government that which is closest to people, in the government officials then turn to the community leaders, how because we know who our nay boers are. who is disabilityed who have special needs requirements, how do we get our family and friends out upon a mandatory evacuation? and then when mandatory evacuation is given, what do you do when people refuse?
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so now that you have had a lot of your own special moments, where you could look back on this how well do you feel that from the local standpoint, that this evacuation plan did or did not function well? >> well from the -- i assume you are speaking to local government. >> yes. >> obviously, there was a failure there. there was a breakdown, there was not a great disaster recovery plan. in place. certainly. again, i think that -- people were just many people who were caught in the -- wrongs economically not able to help themselves, and i think that there are people you know, there was no plan in action to -- to take that into consideration. >> probably when i look back, as we've been many hearings
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now, one of them was that there was actually a -- a mock hurricane whereby they had already said evacuation had taken place. >> um-hmm. >> when in fact probably in the end, we should have not excluded that from the test, and said how do you actually evacuate a city where there are so many individuals who are socially economicly disadvantaged. >> exactly. >> so they talked about buses other ways to get people out. but how it my time about to lapse can you help us how do we interact better with communities around the country that we take into account people whom are disadvantaged soial economics special needs handicaps, handicapped individuals, how do the local governments do that to makes sure that their job is done? >> well i think the big stuff is recognition. -- i think. i being in doing any sort of
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disaster plan disaster recovery plan, you certainly have to recognize what all your problems really are. and i think that unfortunately and that is major undertakeing to try move that many people at any one time, we have seen over many cases, where the highways are very cluttered, i don't know that we could have obviously this is something that has to be studied this is something that is going to take someone really coming up with a o serious plan. >> how do we -- when you noticed that the teenagers when they were ordered to evacuate and didn't and up said that weapons were pointed at them, at first you thought that was excessive now you think look back on it, that was probably the right thing to do, how do you move people who refuse to move i'm curious. >> i'm sorry i didn't say i felt that was the right thing for them to do certainly don't think that
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is right thing to do at any time, i have teenagered sons myself -- teenager sons myself certainly, i think understand the situation that national guard and the other police officers were in. and what with if i can believe any of you know what i've heard was going on that they were being shot at whole nine yards certainly i can understand their being very touchy at this time. no, i think that i don't every think that is right sort of thing for anyone to do i understand the circumstance, then what happened those kids were, they actually left head back to beforehand, coming back to get additional, clothes, and that sort of thing. and certainly didn't expect to be confronted by army that way, and so they were friendly with army waving whatnot, but at that point the army had made a decision to you know, just evacuate everybody, was going to be a
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mandatory evacuation at that point. >> thank you. >> thank you very much mr. miller. >> thank you, mr. chairman plis keeler. >> let me start your time again we do have students here i understand from close-up foundation. students from new orleans baton rouge houston dallas, utah, california. just want to welcome you here to our hearing. thank you very much. >> mr. miller start your fame -- time again. >> mr. chairman you said i think in the beginning your comments, that the mandatory evacuation should have been called for earlier. can you give me an idea had it been called earlier, what you think the at youcome may have been in regards to evacuation out of the city? >> well, if is there anything positive that comes out of this whole thing, is at least from my experience is that studying the plan and the plan but exiting the city for the most part that worked.
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however, you have a lot of senior citizens in new orleans like long less dents will say i reed out emil betsy going stay here for this hard as hell trying to convince them to get up and leave. people who died as a result of this disaster were senior citizens. going to them this mandatory evacuation do you not have a choice, you have to leave. i feel that definitely helped me to get my senior citizens out. without waiting as long as i hood there in order to leave, and i think that if some miracle there was any type of evacuation plan available, it could have been put into play earlier. if a mandatory evacuation had been called. >> mr. miller may i say something to you please sir i didn't leave, my picture is a little different from this. >> i didn't leave i went to the storm. >> i didn't leave period i went through rita katrina, and all of the aftermath.
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if we not going sit here be honest about the racism, that was perpetrated. then i have really truly wasteed my time coming here. >> miss dad's work. >> i really don't want nobody get confused, at 60, i just don't want to call you the names that we were called. we have documentation. we -- don't have to sit in this room i invite all of you to please come. to new orleans the proof is there. the proof of what happened, our milt mayor he may get offend i don't care he who knows i think he knows not. that is how to get caught up. you can't get surrounding parrishes, to put your disaster plan together. most of his top staff i've been appointed, most of my jobs with the city. people who don't live in the parrish. they live in surrounding parrishes, that is what happened to us on the day of.
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rightfully so, the police who didn't live there, stayed home and took care of their people but they hadn't been working for the city because as law says ordnance says you can't. >> talked about parrishes this is something that i have heard people talk about, is it true that some parrishes are refusing to allow temporary housing, of certain peoples within their parrishes? >> very true very true. >> but particularly true of. >> jefferson, and jefferson parrish, jefferson parrish is where the causeway concentration camp was housed, where we experienced the gestapo keup type oppression as opposed to being rescue, we were three minutes away from the airport they could have taken us to the airport military vehicles, could have taken to us any dry safe city in america, instead, they dumped us at a dumping ground, sealed us in there, and they backed up all their authority, with
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military m-16s. >> and there were thousands and thousands of people in the last day we were in there. and let me tell you something they handpicked the white people to ride out first, yes racism was very much involved, they handpicked the white people to ride out first, every day, the crowd got darker and darker and darker, until finally there were only there were 95% people of color in that place. >> miss hodgees would you be offended if i respectfully asked you not to call the causeway area a concentration camp? >> i'm going to call it what it is, if i put address on a pig a pig is still a pig. >> are you familiar with the history -- >> yes, sir i am. and that is the only thing i could compare what we went through to. a concentration -- and everybody who was in that place with me, the lady sitting next to me was there, my mother was there, my younger brother was there my two sisters, we ran into other that is the point that
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they broke a up families dispersed us. >> that is right. >> and still over us with guns enforce third authority and yes they tortured us. and then they used various forms of torture yes, i know what concentration camp is i'm a college educated woman. and i love the study of history. >> not a siegeel person was marched into not single person mar mar sfwoched gas came peer killed. >> they died from abject neglect we left body bags snind they died pregnant woman lost babies one of the reasons some people wouldn't come out those houseshold told to come on street when people came out they were shot. >> excuse me, mr. miller, another minute left. >> i should have more time than that. >> go ahead. >> thank you. >> i respectfully, request that you not call it the causeway concentration camp. >> respectfully, sir. >> excuse me. >> mr. miller's time you had your time. >> mama d. you are very smart all of you are smart.
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but you obviously are very smart, and worldly women. >> i'm old. >> well i'm not going to say that i ain't going there. >> i said it evenget discount at places quarter -- >> we've got the mayor coming next week,. >> you know what i feel sorry for the baby, let me just say something to you being an older person, any name you call new orleans particularly, in the state of louisiana, overall, do you know me jeff? you don't just know me being my congressman you know me as a person in my community. >> absolutely. >> -- hispanic community two years ago when they came about ininjustice theurs suffering in this country i'm always called the one -- themently ill, and incarcerated, i do special things for them, because i understand their plights, my problem with all of this and i said this, i said this in
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september, i said nobody is going to believe us, this is an yo -- unbelievable story. we -- we talked about this. you know. when we started going with -- let me just tell you a couple things because i'm. >> i'm sorry my time is running out i just all i want to say is i understand. >> let me share this with you baby so if let him finish his time to go ahead. >> we've got the mayor come next week and because you are a citizen all of you, of new orleans, what would you have us ask him when he testifies? >> where was he? >> well i know where he was, see i didn't leave. >> why he has not yet resigned he? has failed to the people he abandoned the citizens who elected him to office, why has he not resigned? is he waiting for to us impeach him? >> well that's not the questions i would want to ask the that is questions i would want to ask. >> mama d. >> i tell you i will write them down for you baby, because i know i know the
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whole plight of that situation. you know it is almost like -- we charged the oppressed for being oppressed. yet naeng like i said don't mean to offend him but he who knows not that he knows, he really didn't understand the full impact of his position at the time, our governor the first day first thing she did gave 800 number where to send money then told us for house to of us dumb enough to stay write our social security numbers on our arms, so when they find us -- you know i'm talking about compassion everything i'm saying if they recorded recorded recordings would you get that. ask mayor if -- is he now willing to set oh sit down with the community. that he represents, not st. bernard parrish not jefferson parrish, orleans parrish, and discuss with us
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where are we going. with future of new orleans. >> mr. chairman quickly, miss -- miss cooler had a comment wanted to make in regards to mayor's is veryit. >> we are what concerns me about the mayor is what i'm looking for him is some continuity in what he says. in other words, think before you speak, he has made so many statements, in so many arenas and then, minutes, hours, days later, contradicted or backtracked what he said the biggest problems having with this whole situation is lack of communication lack of information, and three months later people are still looking for answers. and him like at the branches of government are saying one thing, they are saying different things contradicting each other. you know, one week he wants mardi gras next week doesn't one week going to have dambling cas in nos hotels next week he isn't you know, he is saying we are going to bring back all -- all of the neighborhoods and all of new orleans you have other entities saying that is not
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possible. people of new orleans who want to come back don't know if they come back can come back and if they can come back they don't know what's going to happen six months from now when the next hurricane comes through and blows us away we need continuity, in answers we need some answers without him, and everybody else, back flipg over it. no three branches of government has given us any answer on any question. but three of them. >> that is good place to end thank you very much, why -- one more question, if you want wan more question. >> mr. williamson if you would tell me were any government entities or nonprofit associations helpful to you in any way any government agencies, or nonprofits helpful to you since the storm? >> if they were if you would identify them. >> okay. yes. certainly. >> mike directly under. you sorry, certainly
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american red cross has been helpful, the department of housing urban development has been helloful, fema. has been help full. there have been lots of. federal agencies that have given me aid. >> has local government been helpful any entity local government. >> i think there are organizations such as i believe they are called strong families is an organization here that's right -- been helpful again, one of the biggest things has been, that most of this has been rather chaotic. so help has been there, it has been sporadic it has been unorganized certainly, i think there has been great effort at offering help. >> miss keeley. >> with me the american red cross in florida. it was not consistent, louisiana texas, arkansas other blazes i went to because they gave different things but american red cross florida bas able to answer my questions give me
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help give me direction. >> miss thompson has any government agency nonprofit. >> i was helped but helped in texas. >> okay. >> by the state of -- texas. >> yes, and mainly mainly not -- mainly just a kind people. in the state of texas. how i got help because i had to get my house, the -- center yeah the center why i was, one of the ladies helping us husband had some real estate. this man came around took put us all in his truck, and rode is around to houses gave us keys even before we got the vouchers. you understand mainly the people that helped me and my family. >> thank you. miss hodgees. >> i would like to first of all thank the people of america who did demonstrate and outpouring of compassion and care and concern and even love, there were people who wanted to give and wanted to help, but i
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remember this one lady said i have nothing to give. but i said to her, you give your offer your love, and that is sufficient. but, fema has created a nightmare inside of nightmare for some people, i have a few people to call me, and ask me to please help. i know right now, the 70-year-old man in new orleans who is a diabetic and a veteran, and fementa a tree fell on this man's house fema said he has no damage, and they have not given him zip. >> -- before we end here was any government agency or nonprofit that was helpful not helpful fema has taken lot of hits from this commit sfe. >> they deserve it. >> and up the got ibig time. but the question i'm asking is any government agency that has proved helpful. >> well, i'm not really understanding helpful on a scale from one the the --
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one to 10 is its helpful that i got help after they have given me the worst case of high blood pressure i ever mad in my life not suffered high blood pressure before this situation. >> do you want to hear my answer? >> now, i don't i'm not even sure what help is in the situation, because fema, have been so high of been hostile get them on the phone they will argue with you they ask you a question, you answer their question they will argue with you and when they send you a copy of your application, they have put things on your application that you don't even recognize they do not apply to you, they interpret your answers and they indicate the answer us the want on your application, which are guaranteed to tie you up so that if you get any help at all it will not be soon forthcoming. >> any government agency that has beenhful to you, nonprofit organization? >>. you know. >> i tell how has been helpful to me, the corinne
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thean church cincinnati corinthian baptist church from there that i got the strength to withstand the foolishness of fema because what fema do to people you know, is criminal. like i said, after they have ruined my health they throw a few dollars at me, is that really help? when now i need to pay to see a doctor, i don't have medical insurance, i told them i have medical needs, they send me a letter back, telling me that they deny my medical needs on the one hand, but fill out some paper saying i don't have health insurance they are not forthcoming with any medical assistance that i need and throwing a few dollars at me, after they have driven my health to a very bad state, no, i don't consider that help at all. >> let me finish up. >> -- by grace of god -- a
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fema man returned the do at to washington i believe he was from here. -- you need to come see our space that we using in my community, fema has come and had lunch with us, one person. i don't even know what fema is about i'm not from that era. >> let's fet -- get fema out of it any other trying to know. >> trying to share with you their crosshairs, lady saw me on cnn show. >> she drove all the way from wherever from state of washington, and she brought us to red cross's attention, the fema man told me about mobile unit that we are trying to get them to put the mobile unit on the lot. so that people won't have to go across the city without bus services, i'm trying to tell you that my space is used as a center for anybody who comes to new orleans, we feed, we house, we thoupses we gut we are cleaning out, i have two big is clear if
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you were there, because your hair gray as mine would you have a chair in front of your door when you come homefront porch totally clean your yard is clean, all we are doing is waiting for those and only two in my neighborhood have a have not come back home and cleaned their space, doing more we have to look out for when there is no hoin hurricane we live in a swamp all of the agents our problem with all of them my problem with fema i understand their restrictions we ain't asking fema to do it nor city so we're going to do stuff being told if you put it here the city is going to fein you if you do fema is go to have something to say we need folk really, for those of us who want to roll up our sleeves and return new orleans to new orleans to get on our get out of our way. >> we are also taking people names off the list not contacting again. >> end up last question. >> thank you, mr. chairman, and my question only requires yes or no answer,
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and the question is do you have confidence in the number of dead that is being reported by the authorities? >> no. no. no. >> thank you. >> let me shink saw in we know better. >> let me thank this panel, all of you for your firsthand insights, sharing us with your ideas has been very helpful to us we gather information, for final report on this. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> mr. davis, please, the list that i gave you because right now i'm people stronghold. >> working sharing with mr. jefferson. >> that lady that is on the back, name is barbara jackson she is the residents counsel person, for all these people, she is a very important person, to contact. she can put you in touch with a lot of others. >> i hope when you leave you will come to back share with us if you have film other things you want to share with us. >> i wasn't able to get my film developed but i'm going to send it back. >> so we can least get it make it part of the record thank you all, mr. williams thank good to have you in washington thanks, thank you all we'll take a 3 minute
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reseas we move to the last panel. >> thanks to plis jenny in houston, texas for opts praiting relief out of her home, to hurricane victims. >> thank you. you will get the last word. >> saturday, august 29 marks the 10th anniversary of katrina. twoght at 8:00, c-span's thousand six of hurricane damage and recovery at st. bernard's parish in louisiana. quick you cannot describe it. that is your whole life. you got nothing but seem it left and rubble. all your friends, your family, everybody is gone. ,, a year later and family and friends, you do not see anymore.
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feeling. you will never forget it the rest of your life. >> follow at 9:00, with a 2005 townhall meeting in new orleans, narrated by ray nagin. >> i relied on you. i know all of you at state level, federal level, i do not 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. >> thursday night at 8:00, more from the atlantic conference where fema's craig fugue eight and jean mckay and family. at 9:00, we will show you president obama's trip to the region. hurricane katrina anniversary coverage all this week on c-span. >> we will have live coverage of president obama's visit to new
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-- on thursday. here on c-span. >> coming on c-span, congressional budget office director keith hall is an update on the budget outlook. then the increase on americans working later in life. that is followed by a hud briefing on the katrina recovery. today, a discussion on baking access and various countries and how technology can expand it. we'll be live at the center for technology at tenant clock eastern on c-span. today, a look at how involving young people in a democratic processes can deter radicalization. at 9:30 a.m. eastern on c-span two.
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♪ >> i'm so thrilled and excited to be here. i want to thank c-span for covering this national book festival. we have a beautiful sunny day. i hope the camera shows behind me how excited we are about that. >> one thing to remember about exceptional presidents is that they are exceptions. [laughter] >> thank you all for coming today. this is a wonderful event. heaven is a library, if that is case, heaven has gone outside and we are in heaven at the national book festival. felt at that time, you must say to yourself i am a youth leader for today. see what i can do. trying tos an article
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sell that we had this blue mask. when you interview people, the divide was a little divide. political scientists were just in town. the idea that the country is polarized as washington is just wrong. i don't know political scientists who believes that. >> i hope that all people will realize that whatever they have done in life is something that ought to be recorded and passed on to the next generation. that's the way we learn. future byor the trying to understand the past. all of us have a past. >> when you talk about about guam, you only focused on taipan. >> at thinkdo that? that is a great question. it goes to the heart of a lot of questions we have been talking about here we realized there was no way we could tell the whole story. there was no way we could be
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short of an encyclopedia are having a story read like a telephone book. of course, the telephone book is not a story. >> i think all of the -- when i was in law school, i graduated in 1967, there were 13 women in my class of 500. today law schools are 50-50. >> i think the key to learning what tr did it she never liked people who put profit above the public good. -- belong to the american people for generations unborn. they need to be handed on for places to be waken the spirit. >> out of my love for books. to help spread the love, and helped to found the texas book festival. then the national book festival. while i love reading, i never thought i would write a book.
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certainly not one about myself. >> the goal is in some ways a , to go to thecy oldest people in our families and define them and get their stories before it's too late. to be able to -- i have been -- i've had a father and daughter who came together and after hearing the talk and hearing about the book, the daughter said to the father, i am taking you to the coffee shop now and you're going to tell me the story. >> i think the history looks , related to health insurance, that is going to be quite a change. martin is the king said the moral arc of the universe bentz slowly. .- universe bends it slowly you know what johnson would've said?
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he said the poor thing -- >> i believe the narrative is to bring back the dead. that not only with the eisenhower's and patents, but generals teddy roosevelt junior. on fillmore or edward pierce. there is no person to go back easily. write abouto leadership. that is what i care about underneath it all. [applause] thank you. >> c-span is going to have questions called in. ♪ >> the congressional budget
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-- down $59 billion from last year in the six straight year of decline. -- tuesday, hall keith hall gave an update on the budget. this is 40 minutes. billion deficit next year, which would be the sixth straight year of deficit reduction. the head of the congressional hallt office keith ahl announce those numbers today. this is 45 minutes. director hall: good morning, again.
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i am keith hall at the congressional budget office. we have released a net day to our previous economic projections for the next 10 years. i will briefly summarize those projections gaining with the budget and then turning to the economy and i will be happy to take your questions. the federal budget deficit we predicted for 2015 -- 2016 will be smaller than we predicted in march. specifically, we estimate that the deficit for this fiscal year will reach 426 billion dollars, $59 billion less than last year, or 2.4% of gdp. this will be the sixth straight year of declining deficit relative to gdp. however, the debt will reach 13.2 trillion million dollars -- trillion dollars.
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it is slightly less than the ratio last year, but higher than any ratio since 1950. over the next 10 years, the outlook does not defer substantially from the one we described in march. under the assumption that current laws generally remain in place, deficit as a percentage of gdp are estimated to remain low for the next three years, but then begin to rise. at the cbo's current baseline, the deficit falls to 1% of gdp in 2013, but in the next decade much higher. those deficits occur because significant projected growth in spending on health care and retirement programs and rising interest payments on federal debt outpace projected revenues.
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by the end of the ten year baseline, rising debts push public health debt up to 7% of gdp, roughly 20% of the last five decades. under current law, both spending and revenues would remain higher as related to current levels of gdp. both will be for the next several years above the 20% average they have been at the last 20 years. outlays would total 22% of gdp. spending on three components of the budget will grow faster than the economy. the major health programs, including medicare and medicaid and subsidies for health exchanges, and social security and net interest payments. in contrast, mandatory spending other than that for major health care programs and social
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security and both defense and nondefense discretionary spending would shrink markedly relative to the size of the economy. outlays in those categories would fall to the lowest percentage of gdp since 1940, the lowest year for which comparable data has been reported. federal revenues as a share of gdp are expected to rise to 18.9 percent of gdp in 2016, primarily because several tax receipts would increase relative to gdp, largely a result of real bracket creep
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with smaller effects of changes and other factors. payroll tax receipts would decline relative to gdp, especially over the next several years. reflecting several factors, such as declined to unemployment trust funds. corporate tax receipts would decline, mostly because of an anticipated drop in estimated profits as a percentage of gdp and the effect of recently expired tax provisions. remittances to the treasury and federal reserve, which have been written -- have been very large since 2010 would decline to more typical levels. beyond 2025, is current laws remain in place them same pressures that contribute to the rising deficits in the next decade would accelerate that --
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would push debt up sharply relative to gdp. when interest rates return to more typical higher levels, federal spending on interest payments would increase substantially. because federal borrowing reduces national savings over time, the nation's capital profit would ultimately be smaller and total wages would be lower than if debtor smaller. lawmakers would have less flexibility to use taxing and spending policies for changes. for the economic outlook, our budget reductions are built on the economic forecast leverage anticipate that the economy is


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