Thursday October 29th , 2009
From: Fraser, Timothy
As you know, there has been a lot of exciting news and activity taking place in the Gulf Coast over the last several weeks. On September 29, President Obama signed an executive order extending the Office of the Federal Coordinator for Gulf Coast Rebuilding for an additional six months and created a Long Term Disaster Recovery Working Group, chaired by Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan. The President visited New Orleans in October, accompanied by Secretary Napolitano, Secretary Donovan, Education Secretary Arne Duncan, and Council on Environmental Quality Chair Nancy Sutley. Ground was broken at the B.W. Cooper site, and at the suggestion of Sen. Mary Landrieu, the Administration has formed a wetlands restoration working group. At the end of the month, the Office of the Federal Coordinator for Gulf Coast Rebuilding, HUD, and the Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund held an information session and application workshop for non-profits and local organizations, which more than 40 groups attended.
Given all that has been happening, we wanted to give everyone an update on some of the things our office is working on, and provide more information about the Long Term Disaster Working Group. Our office is continuing its regular outreach to our partners in the region, working with the state and local officials to get resources to projects on the ground. We have also worked to link local groups with federal agencies and programs they may find beneficial.
There have been a number of questions about the Long Term Disaster Recovery Working Group. President Obama asked Secretaries Donovan and Napolitano to co-chair the Long Term Disaster Recovery Working Group, comprised of more than 20 federal departments, agencies and offices. The Working Group will focus on ensuring that individuals, communities and the nation’s economy can successfully recover from and revitalize after natural and man-made disasters over the long term. The Working Group will provide the President with recommendations to improve long-term catastrophic disaster recovery and help develop a National Disaster Recovery Framework that will provide detailed operational guidance to recovery organizations under existing authorities.
DisasterRecoveryWorkingGroup.gov will be used by the Working Group to hear from stakeholders that wish to submit ideas for disaster recovery, including examples of best practices, specific challenges to success, and lessons learned.
The website will allow state, local, non-profit, faith-based and tribal partners, as well as community organizations, the private sector and others in the public to submit comments in response to a series of questions regarding disaster recovery. The new site will also include updates on the work of the Long Term Disaster Recovery Working Group.
Comments must be submitted through DisasterRecoveryWorkingGroup.gov in order to put them into the public record, so it’s important to include any feedback or experiences you have had, even if you have previously shared these with our office or other agencies.
Since the President took office in January, a lot of progress has been made in the Gulf Coast, thanks in large part to your unwavering efforts. On behalf of the Administration, thank you for all that you do to help people rebuild their lives and communities. We look forward to continuing our work together.
As always, if you have any questions or we can be of assistance, please don’t hesitate to contact our office. You can reach Tim Fraser, our Director of Public Engagement, at (202) 325-0189 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Federal Coordinator for Gulf Coast Rebuilding