When Hurricane Ida knocked out the eight transmission lines carrying electricity into New Orleans in September, many people spent days in the dark.
Brenda Lomax-Brown, president of the city’s Hollygrove-Dixon Neighborhood Association, said median incomes of around $30,000 made it difficult for many in the area to evacuate or afford generators. Challenges included spoiled food, the inability to refrigerate medicine, and the difficulty for the elderly to find a place to stay cool. Cell phones died and cut off communications.
“People were desperate,” said Ms. Lomax-Brown. “Without your phone you can’t communicate with your loved ones who may be out of town, or with your neighbors to let them know how their house fared.”
New Orleans nonprofits are now stepping in to try to provide emergency power. Together New Orleans, a coalition of religious and civic groups, is raising money to add rooftop solar with batteries to 85 congregations and community centers. Their goal is for everyone in New Orleans to be a mile or less away from what they are calling “community lighthouses,” said Gregory Manning, pastor at Broadmoor Community Church.
“You get the ordinary benefits of solar, but if and when the grid goes out, you’ve got a real network that can respond,” said Together New Orleans organizer Broderick Bagert.
[Photo: Pastor Gregory Manning Broadmoor Community Church, New Orleans, LA. Credit Kathleen Flynn, Wall Street Journal]
Wary of Being Left in the Dark, Americans Produce Their Own Power, Wall Street Journal, Jennifer Hiller [pdf]
Four years ago, the Jeremiah Group created, fought for, and won approval for a proposal to set aside $75 million for home ownership in Louisiana (with $52 Million for New Orleans).
The Times Picayune reports that "the $52.3 million 'soft-second mortgage' program has endured many starts and stops over the years. The program was approved nearly four years ago by the state and former Mayor Ray Nagin, but it never got off the ground.
The faith-based Jeremiah Group, however, continued to fight City Hall for the money until it finally became a reality."
[Map Credit: Times-Picayune]Read more
"Jeremiah Group, which pushed the state to dedicate the money for the new program out of the failed Road Home rental recovery program, deserves credit for ...pushing the administration to deliver on the idea."Read more
by Editorial Staff, "Jefferson Parish's Advanced Academy Overhaul," Times Picayune
Last June, the Jeremiah Group in New Orleans brought forth 25 parents with gifted children that had been denied admissions to advanced academies in the Jefferson parish. After several months of challenging the lack of transparency and irregularities of the admissions process, evidence emerged that school board members wrote letters supporting the admission of certain children, leading the Superintendent to step down.Read more
by Mark Waller, "Critics Say Admissions Inquiry into Jefferson Parish Stops Short," The Times PicayuneRead more
Jeremiah Group Leads Investigation into Exclusion of Black Students from Jefferson Parish Magnet Schools
"Gretna Magnet School Admissions Review Uncovers 40 Irregularities," by Andrea Shaw, Times PicayuneRead more