Congresswoman Lee Marks 10th Anniversary of Hurricane Katrina

Oakland, CA – Today, Congresswoman Barbara Lee released this statement marking the upcoming 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina:

“Ten years after the tragedy of Hurricane Katrina, much work still remains to rebuild and address the hurricane’s devastation, which disproportionately affected women, communities of color, low-income families and those living with HIV/AIDS.

Despite numerous scholarly examinations of the historical, institutional and geographic causes of the disparate outcomes for communities of color following the storm, little has been done to address the structural inequalities and lingering institutional biases that shaped these disproportionate impacts.

Personally, I remain inspired by the outpouring of generosity and concern shown by fellow Americans in the wake of this tragedy. These small acts of kindness during some of our nation’s darkest hours speak volumes about the American people and our love for our countrymen. The American people deserve a government as good as themselves.

As we mark this milestone anniversary, we must recommit ourselves to the unfinished work of reconstruction and ensuring that our emergency management systems are prepared to effectively and efficiently respond to any natural or man-made disaster that might befall our communities.

It also means tackling the national poverty crisis head-on, a crisis that directly contributed to the devastation of the storm and continues unabated.”

Following Hurricane Katrina, Congresswoman Lee led efforts to aid survivors and advocated for a robust reconstruction effort that prioritizes the needs of Gulf Coast residents. She traveled to the region several times and her office helped coordinate assistance for survivors who came to the East Bay. She led the fight in the House to prevent FEMA from evicting survivors; she introduced H.R. 4633, the HIV/AIDS Emergency Hurricane Relief Act to provide assistance to people living with AIDS who were displaced; and she worked to develop the housing and poverty sections of the Congressional Black Caucus’ comprehensive reconstruction and recovery bill, H.R. 4197.


Congresswoman Lee is a member of the Appropriations and Budget Committees, the Steering and Policy Committee, is a Senior Democratic Whip, former chair of the Congressional Black Caucus and co-chair of the Progressive Caucus. She serves as chair of the Whip’s Task Force on Poverty and Opportunity.