Saturday, September 10, 2005

Dig Deep For Katrina Relief

A day before federal legislators began calling for an investigation into what went wrong with the response to Hurricane Katrina, two City Council members made a plea for both an investigation and a strong local response to the disaster.

At Tuesday’s City Council meeting, (Sept.6, 2005) Councilmen Ray Blanco and Rayland Van Blake broke protocol by introducing a resolution on the spot regarding the disaster.

Blanco said the government was “clearly unprepared” for the hurricane that virtually destroyed New Orleans and many Gulf Coast towns.

Van Blake faulted the timeliness of the response, saying the weather forecast made it clear that a disaster was impending.

Van Blake condemned the portrayal of hurricane victims as looters.

If faced with a lack of food and water, he said, “I would probably kick in WalMart’s front door as well.
“The fact that they are being portrayed as animals is completely despicable,” he said.

“This is something we cannot just sit back and let go quietly.”

Van Blake said he wanted to go to New Orleans to help out.

He asked city residents to give whatever help possible.

“Please dig deep, Plainfield,” he said, asking all to make sure they helped someone in need.

All City Council members present endorsed the resolution.

Mayor Albert T. McWilliams also called a meeting thi s week to form a task force to coordinate local response to the disaster.

For more information or to volunteer, call the mayor’s office at (908) 753-3310.