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Sunday, August 29, 2010

Day 134: Remembering Hurricane Katrina

As the Nation and especially the Gulf Coast acknowledges the 5 year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina today, I have my own very personal story to share of this disaster.

I like to mark my birthday's with significant acts. That's why I plan to run the LA Marathon in honor of my 50th Birthday next April. When I turned 40 I celebrated my first political campaign with what was suppose to be a Victory party, but I lost ... we celebrated anyway and I couldn't imagine a better 40th birthday present then to have completed a run for political office! How many folks can say that!

For my 45th Birthday I celebrated by giving 5 days to volunteer to rebuild homes damaged in Mississippi due to Hurricane Katrina. I was part of a delegation organized by The Jewish Federation of Los Angeles. We flew into Biloxi, Mississippi and stayed in barrack type housing adjacent to a church which was our partner in the mission.

I had never spent anytime before on a roof with machinery and yet there I was with a pink tool belt (compliments from my gal pals, Lissa Solomon, Stacy Bell & Jenny Savitsky) and a nail gun. Wow, was that a trip and an experience.

I met some wonderful people -- other volunteers from all over the country. I met beautiful Mississippians who were working feverishly to help their community. I saw devastation like I had never seen before. Rows and rows and rows of streets which use to hold homes devastated ... I mean completely gone. Piles and piles of rubble from what remained. Endless Federal trailers housing people left homeless from the destruction. Memories you never forget.

So today, as you sit comfortably in your home, remember the thousands of people still left homeless from one of the worst natural disasters to hit America. To all the people still trying to rebuild their lives, we have not forgotten you.