Broad Shoulders Update

news and information for cmun dev advocates in metropolitan Chicago

Archive for the ‘Katrina’ tag

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Road Home program amended to assist owners of homes of modest value,” - The Times-Picayune

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan came to town carrying a letter that could help thousands of area homeowners finally finish their renovations.

The letter, which Donovan gave on Thursday to Louisiana Recovery Authority head Paul Rainwater, approved a change to the Road Home program that could distribute $600 million in leftover program money, giving up to $34,000 in extra grant money to as many as 19,000 low- to moderate-income homeowners, Rainwater said.

States eager to power up electric car-battery industry,” - USA TODAY

DETROIT — The U.S. government has made it clear that developing a domestic auto-battery industry — for advanced batteries to power next-generation electric cars — is a priority. That has states scrambling to be sure they get a piece of the action.

This week, business leaders, politicians and entrepreneurs will gather in Detroit at a conference called “The Business of Plugging In” to discuss the future of plug-in electrics and plan how to attract and develop businesses involved in plug-in vehicle development.

Public option gains support,” - Washington Post

A new Washington Post-ABC News poll shows that support for a government-run health-care plan to compete with private insurers has rebounded from its summertime lows and wins clear majority support from the public.

Americans remain sharply divided about the overall packages moving closer to votes in Congress and President Obama’s leadership on the issue, reflecting the partisan battle that has raged for months over the administration’s top legislative priority. But sizable majorities back two key and controversial provisions: both the so-called public option and a new mandate that would require all Americans to carry health insurance.

Written by Keith Forest

October 20th, 2009 at 9:16 pm

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 ”How Valid Is the Insurers’ Attack on Health Reform?,” -  TIME MAGAZINE

After months of lending its cautious, very qualified support to health-care reform, the health-insurance industry has lobbed its first bomb at the Democrats’ proposals. But many of the industry’s assertions appear to have missed their mark.

Just two days before Tuesday’s scheduled vote on the Senate Finance Committee’s health bill, a report warning that the bill would result in sizable hikes in insurance premiums was released, and then widely panned as a flawed analysis of cherry-picked information. A spokesman for the committee called the report a “hatchet job, plain and simple”; and some Democrats on Capitol Hill claimed that the insurers’ broadside would actually ease, rather than slow, passage of health reform by unifying the various factions of the party against an industry with precious little credibility among the public. (See 10 players in health-care reform.)

Public Option Is Next Big Hurdle in Health Debate,” - The New York Times

WASHINGTON — As the White House and Congressional leaders turned in earnest on Wednesday to working out big differences in the five health care bills, perhaps no issue loomed as a greater obstacle than whether to establish a government-run competitor to the insurance industry.

One day after the Senate Finance Committee approved a measure without a “public option,” the question on Capitol Hill was how President Obama could reconcile the deep divisions within his party on the issue. All eyes were on Senator Olympia J. Snowe, the Maine Republican whose call for a “trigger” that would establish a government plan as a fallback is one of the leading compromise ideas.

Obama: New Orleans not forgotten,” -   USA TODAY

NEW ORLEANS — In his first presidential visit to this city, Barack Obama praised the resiliency of residents in rebuilding their flood-wrecked homes and promised to continue flowing federal dollars to the effort.

“It is always an inspiration to spend time with the men and women who have reminded the rest of us what it means to persevere in the face of tragedy and rebuild in the face of ruin,” Obama said during a town-hall-style meeting at the University of New Orleans.

Written by Keith Forest

October 16th, 2009 at 6:14 pm

Today in Equity

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Grass Roots Put New Orleans Back on Its Feet,” - The Wall Street Journal
With Federal Aid Finally Flowing to Hurricane-Ravaged City, a Flurry of Rebuilding Helps Shield It from U.S. Downturn

NEW ORLEANS — This once-ravaged city is finally mending from Hurricane Katrina after years of administrative delays and political disputes that choked the flow of millions of dollars in federal aid.

Money now flowing through the city is beginning to deliver the most visibly widespread improvements since Katrina struck four years ago today. Scores of public works projects are under way. The last police precinct using a FEMA trailer as temporary headquarters moved into real offices earlier this year. More than half the public schools in New Orleans have been turned into higher-performing charter schools. Returning residents have pushed the population to 76% of its prestorm total of about 455,000.

Yes, We Can Afford Health-Care Reform,” - Washington Post

“Moderate” opponents of health-care reform like to say that we cannot afford it, particularly in the midst of a recession that has widened the deficit with both reduced tax revenue and the fiscal stimulus package. This was the argument advanced by Sen. Joe Lieberman on TV a week ago and repeated by Michael Gerson in this newspaper: “Obama’s massive spending, intended to stabilize the economy, also drained the Treasury, making it more difficult to propose major new expenditures.”

 ”Report maps out solutions to child obesity,” -  USA TODAY

To make it easier for children to eat healthfully and move more, local governments in towns and cities across the country need to help create a better environment, a new report says.

Children and their families should have access to grocery stores that offer plenty of healthful food such as fruits and vegetables, and schools shouldn’t be surrounded by fast-food restaurants. Children should be able to ride their bikes or walk safely to school, and they should have safe places to play afterward, says the report out today from the Institute of Medicine (IOM) and National Research Council.

Written by Keith Forest

September 1st, 2009 at 6:13 pm

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First Lady Steps Into Policy Spotlight in Debate on Health Care,” -  The New York Times

WASHINGTON — She has become one of the Obama administration’s most visible surrogates on health care, announcing the release of $851 million in federal financing for health clinics, calling for tougher nutritional standards in the government’s school lunch program and urging Democrats to rally around the president’s efforts to revamp health care.

The high-profile emissary? Not Kathleen Sebelius, the health and human services secretary, or Nancy-Ann DeParle, the White House health policy adviser. It is the first lady, Michelle Obama.

Highway spending isn’t the stimulus it was envisioned to be,” - Los Angeles Times

Reporting from Washington — In February, when Congress approved President Obama’s mammoth plan to stimulate the economy, transportation projects were supposed to be among the fastest-acting pieces of the $787-billion package.

All 50 states moved quickly to qualify for their share of the money. But since then the pace has slowed considerably, particularly in California and Florida, where the effect of the economic crisis has been especially severe.

Orleans Wants Ex-Residents Counted,” - The Wall Street Journal
Census Bureau Says Mayor’s Plan to Boost Numbers Is Illegal

New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin is calling on former residents displaced by Hurricane Katrina in 2005 to claim their old city addresses in next year’s census, drawing criticism for trying to circumvent rules for winning federal funds.

The mayor — encouraged that New Orleans has thrown off its post-Katrina malaise to become the U.S.’s fastest-growing big city by percentage — wants the U.S. Census Bureau to grant an exception for its former residents, currently living elsewhere, who want to rebuild homes in New Orleans.

Written by Keith Forest

July 20th, 2009 at 8:01 pm

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A Green Way to Dump Low-Tech Electronics,” -  The New York Times

Thousands still in FEMA trailers,” -  USA TODAY

The Metro Crash: A Nation’s Aging Transit System,” - Times Magazine

Written by Keith Forest

June 30th, 2009 at 3:43 pm

Did you miss these? (June 6, 2009)

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This week’s update on equity news. 

Administration to Reveal Plans for Katrina Housing Transition,” - Washington Post

The Obama administration will announce plans today to virtually give away roughly 1,800 mobile homes to 3,400 families displaced by Hurricane Katrina who are living in government-provided housing along the Gulf Coast, officials said.

The administration also will make available $50 million in rental vouchers to income-eligible trailer occupants who move to targeted housing projects, and take over from Louisiana the job of helping residents find permanent homes, said a senior White House official, speaking on the condition of anonymity before the formal announcement.

Measure would help promote groceries in ‘food deserts’,” - Chicago Tribune

The effort to bring more grocery stores to low-income areas–so-called “food deserts”–would receive a shot in the arm from legislation passed this week by the Illinois General Assembly.

The $3.1 billion public spending bill passed Monday includes $10 million for the Illinois Fresh Food Fund, money that would go to urban and rural neighborhoods with reduced access to healthier foods because they’re underserved by supermarkets.

States, Nonprofits Jockey for ‘Weatherizing’ Funds,” -  The Wall Street Journal

HOUSTON — President Barack Obama wants to make a million houses a year more energy efficient as part of his goal to create thousands of “green” jobs and reduce U.S. carbon emissions.

But the administration’s push to expand an obscure antipoverty program into a centerpiece of that initiative is stirring debate over the best way to use a flash flood of federal stimulus dollars.

Did you miss these? (April 25, 2009)

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Updates on this week’s updates equity news.

 ”An Effort to Save Flint, Mich., by Shrinking It,” - The New York Times

FLINT, Mich. — Dozens of proposals have been floated over the years to slow this city’s endless decline. Now another idea is gaining support: speed it up.

Instead of waiting for houses to become abandoned and then pulling them down, local leaders are talking about demolishing entire blocks and even whole neighborhoods.

Health, education cited as poverty breaker,” - AP

TULSA, Okla. (AP) — Investing up front in early education programs and health care for children would save hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars in the long run and help break the poverty cycle affecting millions of kids, a leading child advocate said Tuesday.

Marian Wright Edelman, founder of the Washington D.C.-based nonprofit Children’s Defense Fund, said it’s one of her group’s goals to end child poverty in this country in “five or six years” and work to dismantle the so-called “cradle-to-prison pipeline” plaguing minorities and the poor.

 ”New Orleans housing project is model for recovery,” - USA TODAY

NEW ORLEANS — Wendell Pierce, an actor best known for his role at Detective William “Bunk” Moreland on HBO’s The Wire, splits a lot of his time lately between Los Angeles and his hometown of New Orleans.

Pierce wants to make sure his push to rebuild one of the city’s most flood-wrecked neighborhoods — Pontchartrain Park — succeeds. The neighborhood of 1,000 homes was slammed with up to 10 feet of floodwater in 2005 during Hurricane Katrina and has been slow to rebound. Now a grass-roots plan that partners residents with the city is about to return the neighborhood to its mid-1950s splendor, developers and residents say.