Action Proposal: Rebuild New Orleans (Elsewhere) as a Model City
Like everyone else, I am horrified by the devastation in New Orleans and Mississippi and along the Gulf Coast. Frugal, I would point out, does not mean stingy. I made a generous donation to the Red Cross and notified someone who was offering to match the gift (he has reached his maximum--this was a friend, not a company). Even if you feel tapped out after whatever you gave after last winter's tsunami, I hope you find room in your heart to open up and give again.
I have been to New Orleans and experienced its grace and charm--but also its grinding poverty and the big disparity between the successful and the have-nots, more glaring than anywhere else I've been in this country. It is the poor who were left behind during the evacuation, and who were met by the pathetic and inadequate response of a government that had several days to prepare, and didn't make it a priority--in fact, a government that had systematically cut funding for repairing the levees, months ago, even as the city has been sinking for decades and even before Katrina, was well below sea-level. This is nothing short of a crime against the American people.
My hope is that A New New Orleans can be created, but not in the same spot. There must be some higher ground nearby where a new city can be built. And wouldn't it be great if that city was created by planners who really understand the challenges of the 21st century: who design in such a way that not only does the city have the grace and charm of the (still miraculously surviving) French Quarter, but that it's built to be sustainable environmentally, socially, and economically: that it's designed from the ground up to create neighborhoods that people *want* to live in, that it's set up with shopping and traffic patterns that minimize the need to use cars, that's it's built on a human scale and using the latest renewable energy techniques to have the whole city live lightly on the land and be as food and energy self-sufficient as possible.
That would be the best memorial to those who were swept away in the rising tides.
If any of you have newsletters aimed at writers, there's an incentive immediately following from my colleague, Dee Power--please go ahead and reprint it.
As you may know we have started a fund raiser for the Red Cross, so far it's raised
over $1000. If you publish a newsletter, belong to a discussion group or bulletin
board, would you consider including this announcement.
Help Us Help The Red Cross
Make a donation of any size to the American Red Cross and we will give you our list
of 300 literary agents with names, addresses, and email addresses, a list of nearly 200
newspaper and freelance book editors and reviewers, the email addresses over 500
independent bookstores, and a format for a press kit and news release. Make your
donation at the Red Cross Website https://www.redcross.org/donate/donation-form.aspbews
by credit card or send your check to American Red Cross P.O. Box 37243
Washington, D.C. 20013 or call (1-800-435-7669).
After you've made your donation, email email@example.com
include your first name and it would be nice if you would tell us the amount of your
donation, but it's not mandatory. This is strictly on the honor system. Your email
address, or that you contributed will not be shared by us with anyone. After you
email us you'll be sent directions on how to download your gifts.
Please pass this message on.
http://www.BrianHillAndDeePower.com Dee Power (Ms.) is co-author with Brian Hill of "The Making of a Bestseller: Success Stories from Authors and the Editors, Agents, and Booksellers Behind Them" March 2005, Dearborn Trade, ISBN 0793193087 Coming October 2005, "Over Time," the novel, ISBN 0974075418