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AFT Resolutions

REBUILDING AFTER HURRICANES KATRINA AND RITA

WHEREAS, Hurricanes Katrina and Rita resulted in the deaths of over 1,000 people, hundreds of thousands of homeless people in Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas, and billions of dollars in damage to homes, schools, shops, and public and private services; and

WHEREAS, nearly 15,000 members had to evacuate their homes and several thousand AFT members are still not able to return to their homes; and

WHEREAS, several thousand members currently have no jobs to which to return; and

WHEREAS, many members may never be able to return to the jobs they held before the hurricane and thousands are in jeopardy of losing health benefits; and

WHEREAS, the magnitude of the destruction was unprecedented as much because of political forces as because of natural ones; failures of public policy and neglect of cities, working people, the poor and public services; and

WHEREAS, the trauma of this unprecedented catastrophe has caused irreparable harm to our brothers and sisters in the affected region; and

WHEREAS, never before has an entire U.S. city faced the kind of devastation we have seen in New Orleans from Hurricane Katrina; and

WHEREAS, the American Federation of Teachers has a long tradition of assisting our members when they are in dire need; and

WHEREAS, the union, in the words of one New Orleans AFT leader, "is our rock," and providing assistance through the union to members in need helps to rebuild the local unions and restore the social fabric:

RESOLVED, that AFT undertake an unprecedented fundraising program through the AFT Disaster Relief Fund to assist AFT members in the areas affected by the hurricanes.  [Executive Council, October 2005]


(2005)