The last few weeks following Hurricane Ida have been jarring. As I previously mentioned, this will be a slow recovery for southeast Louisiana and we appreciate all of the kind words, thoughts and resources that are being sent to our corner of the world. While we continue cleanup efforts and start rebuilding, there are still other serious issues we must begin addressing as we work for a better, unified South.
Invest in Infrastructure
With another natural disaster comes the brutal reminder of how we must work together, and we must do better. Following Hurricane Ida, we saw first-hand a major population lose power and go dark. The climate is changing, the storms are more powerful, and we cannot ignore the impact on each and every one of us. Electric, water, sewer, and rural broadband are all critical components for our future. The current federal infrastructure investment package is an important step in the right direction. While we experience the collapse of shared infrastructure – the bridge to get to work, the road to the grocery store – reality is smacking us in the face. Investing today creates a better tomorrow.
Protect Voting Rights
This shared investment starts with our participation in democracy and that begins at the ballot box. With National Voter Registration Day around the corner (September 28), dangerous state legislation continues to pop-up throughout the country, particularly here in the South. If allowed to succeed, this legislation will undermine our democracy. We must combat the calculated attack of elected officials trying to pick their preferred voters to participate; and protect the sacred democratic foundation of voters actually electing our representatives. More people voting makes for a healthier democracy. Elections determine the very issues that impact us from Capitol Hill to Main Street – infrastructure, disaster response, climate change, healthcare, education, jobs, housing, and more.
This is exactly why new federal voting rights legislation is necessary. The Freedom to Vote Act is a critical step to protecting the right to vote. We need this legislation as many states continue to enact restrictions making it harder for younger, poorer, and non-white voters to access the ballot.
Do Big Things
As a region and as a nation, we have serious challenges and decisions ahead. However, America was built for this. We can do big things – restore our shared infrastructure, protect the most sacred right to vote, and overcome others’ hope to divide us. Remember our country’s motto (and our organization’s name) are at the core of America’s greatness.
E Pluribus Unum – out of many, one.
Founder & President, E Pluribus Unum