Videos of Presentations by Civil Rights and Labor Leaders at Bayou La Batre City Council Meeting Demanding Justice at Safe Harbor

29 Sep

August 18, 2014 letter from SOS to Mayor of Bayou La Batre demanding he stop the unjust rent hikes and evictions of Katrina Survivors at Safe Harbor

August 18, 2014 letter from SOS to Mayor of Bayou La Batre demanding he stop the unjust rent hikes and evictions of Katrina Survivors at Safe Harbor, p. 2 pdf

August 18, 2014

The Honorable Brett Dungan

Mayor, City of Bayou La Batre

13785 S. Wintzell Avenue Bayou La Batre, AL 36509

Dear Mayor Dungan,

We are grateful that the members of Bayou La Batre’s City Council warmly welcomed, and even applauded several of our speakers during the City Council meeting held on May 22, 2014. Our speakers represented groups from the local community and well-known and highly respected state and national organizations — they were:

Benard Simelton, President of the Alabama State Conference of the NAACP (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=12rPF6gm99A)

Ronald Ali 2nd Vice President of the Alabama State Conference of the NAACP and President of the Mobile County Chapter of the NAACP; (Second speaker on this

recording:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9cMkpVQl5jE)

Barbara Robbins, Co-founder of Alabama Multi-Cultural Fisher and Seafood Worker-Owned Cooperative, resident of Snows Quarter Bayou La Batre, and former resident of Safe Harbor (Second speaker on this recording: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C3nuHD8HXhA)

Barbara Howard, representing Saving OurSelves Movement for Justice and Democracy; and the Honorable Johnny Ford, Mayor Tuskegee, AL (Third speaker on this recording:

Joe Keffer, representing the Federation of Child Care Centers of Alabama (FOCAL) and SOS; also working in conjunction with Alabama AFL-CIO and Service Employees In-ternational Union, (Retired) – First speaker on this recording https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9cMkpVQl5jE

Frank Barragan, Alabama Coalition for Immigrant Justice (who spoke at our rally at Greater New Hope Baptist Church in Snows Quarter)

Zack Carter, Organizer and Co-founder of Alabama Multi-Cultural Fisher and Seafood Worker-Owned Cooperative (First speaker on this recording: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C3nuHD8HXhA)

It was unfortunate that illness prevented you from attending that meeting. We are happy to learn that you have recovered and are back at work. We would appreciate the opportunity to meet with you to discuss the advocacy we presented to the City Council and the many people who attended the meeting. Could you please provide some prospective dates to meet with representatives of our organization?

Specifically, as we asked in the article published on our website just prior to the May 22 meeting: http://sosmovement.net/2014/05/15/sos-members-rally-support-displaced-bayou-la-batre-mothers-safe-harbor
SOS asks the City of Bayou La Batre and its Mayor, Bret Dungan, to appoint a new and reasonable majority to the property management board at Safe Harbor [the Bayou La Batre Housing Authority] who will keep the promise made by the city, federal and state governments of affordable housing at Safe Harbor for Katrina Survivors.”
1) We also ask that you work with SOS to help find funding – be it governmental, non-profit, or faith based organizations — to bring Katrina rebuilding assistance to the historic African American community of Bayou La Batre and other neighborhoods and families who were neglected during the previous mayoral administration. As Barbara Robbins, who was raised in Snows Quarter, expressed in our on-line article:
“We feel Safe Harbor folks’ pain directly. Out of some 100 homes, only four of us received meaningful Katrina rebuilding assistance. We were promised elevation by the former mayor,” she says. “Since Katrina many of our homes flood after a hard rain and we can’t even flush the toilet. My living room floor is rotting. I am afraid my 90 year old mother will fall through any day. Fred Tombar a Senior Advisor in HUD visited my home three years ago and was moved to tears. A few weeks later he brought HUD Secretary Sean Donavan himself. Last year we voted in a new mayor, but still we have found no justice, in Snows or Safe Harbor. But together we will find it!”
2) We also ask that you speak out against the hate graffiti that was scrawled — the night prior to our May 22 Rally — on the truck that transports seafood for the Alabama Multi-Cultural Fishers’ and Seafood Workers’ Owned Cooperative. This hate act was denounced by one of our speakers at the May 22 Bayou La Batre City Council meeting and the City Council showed concern. We are thankful that the Bayou La Batre police immediately followed up with a police report.

Sincerely,

Senator Hank Sanders, Frank Barragan, Mayor Johnny Ford, Jerria Martin, Dr. Joe Reed,
Sharon Wheeler, Dr. Roberta Watts, Benard Simelton
Co-Chairs of Saving Ourselves Movement for Justice and Democracy

Website: http://www.sosmovement.net
Phone: 334-262-0932

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