President Obama visited New Orleans Thursday morning for the first time in his presidency. His appearance focuses attention on a city that's still rebuilding over four years after Hurricane Katrina broke levees and flooded the city.
Reception to Obama's visit has been mixed, with some residents praising him for holding a public town hall meeting, while others are criticizing the brevity of his stay.
HuffPost blogger Harry Shearer compares the four hours Obama was in New Orleans with the 16 he is spending in San Francisco. "They must have experienced a hell of a federal disaster there," he says.
Despite considerable progress, there is still much to be done, and many of these actions may not be mentioned in the brief time Obama is in the city. The following actions and organizations are supported by the National Council of University Research Administrators, Causecast.org or other active groups in New Orleans:
- New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees and his wife Brittany have initiated the Brees Dream Foundation, in conjunction with Operation Kids, to provide education and opportunities for underprivileged children. Because of the foundation, new athletic fields and resource centers are being built.
- The Make It Right NOLA foundation has had tremendous success working directly on the ground, rebuilding homes and changing lives. Brad Pitt's involvement in New Orleans, most specifically the Lower Ninth Ward, have led some NOLA citizens to suggest that he run for mayor.
- Global Green USA has dedicated resources not just to rebuilding homes, but to doing it in an environmentally-friendly way. The organization is making a huge difference to the city and setting an example for home-builders throughout the country.
Have a question or comment for the president? Make your voice heard at WhiteHouse.gov.