A National Call to Students  "Louisiana Winter"

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Louisiana Winter, 2007
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"We ought to come in mule carts, in old trucks, any kind of transportation people can get their hands on.  People ought to come...and say, 'We are here, we are poor; we don't have any money; you made us this way; you keep us down this way; and we've come to stay until you do something about it." 
- Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.


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January 14—20, 2007

In 1964, 800 college students from around the country came to Mississippi to register African American voters who were being denied this constitutional right.  In that spirit of democracy, we call upon students to travel to the Gulf Coast to participate this January in “Louisiana Winter.”  The goals of Louisiana Winter are: to turn the nation’s attention to the Gulf Coast; to have students witness first-hand the social suffering that is occurring; and to promote the immediate passage of federal legislation to implement the Gulf Coast Civic Works Project. 

If passed by Congress, the Gulf Coast Civic Works Project would hire 100,000 Gulf Coast residents to rebuild New Orleans and the surrounding region. The residents, who will be given subsidized tickets back to their neighborhoods, will set up temporary housing for themselves, and then rebuild and repair houses, schools, levees, parks, and other civic buildings. 

Responding to the Call:  Students
If you are a student, and want to participate in Louisiana Winter, plan on being in the Gulf Coast region from January 14-20, 2007.  Students can participate for just one day (e.g., on Dr. Martin Luther King's birthday, Monday, January 15), for two or three days (e.g., on Thursday or Friday and then participate in the mass rally on Saturday, January 20th), or for the entire six days. (Detailed Schedule)

Teams of 20-40 students will spend Monday through Friday in a different town throughout the Gulf Coast.  Each student team will arrive in a town between 7 and 9 am; then, from 9 am-10:30 am, the local residents will tell their stories of the social suffering that has occurred and still is occurring.  The students will then go from door to door and store to store between 10:30 am and 5 pm, handing out flyers and educating citizens about the Gulf Coast Civic Works Project, and the need to pass immediate Congressional legislation to implement it.  

Each night, there will be a town hall meeting from 7-9 pm.  All of the citizens that the students have met with throughout the day will be invited in order to have a more in-depth conversation about the Gulf Coast Civic Works Project, and to see what actions we can take together to implement it in Congress.  In each town hall meeting, the residents will be invited to attend a mass rally on Saturday, January 20 in either New Orleans or Baton Rouge.

To register your participation, please go to the on-line registration form.  After you complete the form, we will contact you with information about your student team and where you will need to be at 3 pm, on Sunday, January 14.  If you have any questions, contact Seychelle Martinez at gulfcoastcivicworks@gmail.com.

Responding to the Call:  Gulf Coast Towns and Neighborhoods
If you are a community group or a citizen in the Gulf Coast, and would like to invite a student team of 20-40 to your town or neighborhood for one day, please go to registration page and fill out the on-line community registration form. 

Here are a list of things we need for each town or neighborhood that is interested in hosting a student team:

  (a) a place for the students to sleep for 1 night,
  (b) breakfast, lunch, and dinner for 1 day,
  (c) a community center that can host the morning discussion and the
       evening town meeting,
  (d) 4 or 5 community members to talk to the students in the morning,
  (e) assistance on where the students should go door to door and store
       to store, and
  (f) help with transportation to the next town. 

If you have any questions, contact Dr. Scott Myers-Lipton at smlipton@sjsu.edu.

Responding to the Call:  American Citizens
If you are an American citizen and you want to support Louisiana Winter, you can do two things: first, join us at the rally on January 20, 2007.   You can also make a financial contribution to support the logistical costs.  Click here for more details.

Media Kick-Off:
A national press conference to announce Louisiana Winter will be held on Thursday, December 14th, one month to the day before students arrive in the Gulf Coast, at 3pm at the Federal Building in New Orleans, Louisiana and at 1 pm at the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Library in San Jose, California.  Dignitaries and students will be in attendance.




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