The world watched the debacle of a rescue attempt after Katrina to save the people of New Orleans. Three years later, things are still a mess. Blabbermouth reported recently that Nine Inch Nails, R.E.M, Pearl Jam, Aaron Neville and several other rockers, totaling over 90 artists, have all signed a petition to persuade US presidential candidates Barack Obama and John McCain to debate in New Orleans on September 18th. From the sounds of it, the debate would focus on the issues and reconstruction effort in the region. The Gulf Restoration Network has called for the debate, saying:
In the almost three years since Hurricanes Katrina and Rita devastated the Gulf Coast we’ve seen significant steps from federal leaders towards a more sustainable coast and safer communities, but these efforts will need substantial resources, funding, and time to succeed.
Now is the time to make sure that the future president of the United States commits to the Gulf States. Help us ask the candidates to commit to: tackling the Dead Zone, a hurricane recovery that includes safe and sustainable communities and rebuilt coastal lines of defense, and spotlighting their plans for recovery at the Google/YouTube debate in New Orleans.
This sounds like a great opportunity to get the ball rolling shortly after each party’s conventions and allow the candidates to explain what, how and if the intend to help rebuild a part of our country that continues to struggle. I say, let’s see what both candidates are made of. The format for the debate proposed by GRN would continue the YouTube started in the primaries, which were great. Unlike other presidential debates that are normailly prearranged, which just pampers the candidates, this would prove as a real test to have candidates answer questions from us. No holds barred, and the candidates can’t hide.
Anyone can support GRN’s effort by submitting a prepared petition. All you have to do is fill in missing information.
For the people of New Orleans that were forced to transform their lives overnight, this post is for you. I hope everyone will spread this message. I want to see this happen, so let’s all start a blogger initiative by spreading the word of this petition.