For those keeping score of stronger storms, today marks the opening of hurricane season in New Orleans. It is also more than 9 months after Katrina came ashore and left total devastation in its wake. We know the story of the complete and utter mishandling of this disaster we saw coming in slow motion. We SHOULD know about how the Ninth Ward STILL looks like it was hit by the hurricane two weeks ago. And I posted on Jewschool about the bitter irony of Mardi Gras being the last day of housing subsidies for many Katrina survivors.
Dr. Christopher Malone, Pace University Political Science professor, New Orleans native, and all around good guy (met him while volunteering to judge New York City’s We The People high school Constitution competition) lets us know that on this first day of hurricane season, 2006, the Bush administration is cutting funding for Camp Algiers, one of the only things they’ve done right:

Situated just across the river from downtown New Orleans, the camp opened on September 27th, 2005 and received its first volunteers the next day.
Camp Algiers can house up to 1600 volunteers a day. It comes equipped with linens for the beds in air-conditioned tents, hot and cold personal showers, and laundry tent with washer/dryer units. There is a recreational tent with a large screen color TV. There is also a football field and running track on the premises. The dining hall serves three square meals a day, including a “to go” lunch for volunteers who are working in the city during the day. It also has bottled water, soft drink fountain, coffee, hot water for tea and hot chocolate and fresh fruit out at all times.
The camp is open 24 hours a day – and the entire enterprise is funded by FEMA.
How important has Camp Algiers been to the recovery of New Orleans? Since it opened, Camp Algiers has housed over 11,000 volunteers. Nearly 40 relief organizations have used Camp Algiers to conduct their operations by housing staff, volunteers and contract workers there. Most of the nearly 4,000 college students that traveled to New Orleans for spring break stayed at Camp Algiers. In late March, I went home to New Orleans and brought fifty of my Pace University students with me who stayed at Camp Algiers for a week while we worked with ACORN to clean and gut homes.
Quite simply, my students would not have been able to make the trip if Camp Algiers was not available. The same could be said for thousands of others.

Tell FEMA to keep Camp Algiers open:
Main Number (available 24/7):
Telephone: (202) 646-4600
Media Desk:
E-mail: [email protected]
Kathy Cable, Media Monitor
E-mail: [email protected]
Telephone: (202) 646-7917
Barbara J. Ellis, News Desk/Preparedness
E-mail: [email protected]
Telephone: (202) 646-4021
crossposted at jspot