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New Orleans Times-Picayune

Amendment 3 to merge, improve levee boards

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

The man-made disaster that followed Hurricane Katrina caused citizens to become involved as never before in the fight to improve levee protection for the southeastern part of the state and to help repair the image of Louisiana. This crusade began with a petition drive demanding a special session to pass levee reform. Within two weeks, the petition was signed by more than 53,000 concerned citizens around the state demanding change.

This historical legislation that the volunteers from Citizens for 1 Greater New Orleans worked so hard to pass in February now requires a statewide vote in order to become law.
If passed, Amendment No. 3 will merge the numerous politically appointed levee boards in the southeastern part of the state into two efficient and transparent bodies.

This amendment will also set standards that candidates for appointment to these two new boards must meet. Proven professionals with backgrounds in engineering, hydrology, geology or other relevant fields will be making decisions about levee safety -- not political appointees.

A vote for Amendment No. 3 is a big step in the renewal of the New Orleans region. By taking responsibility for creating an accountable system of levee management, we are sending a strong signal to the rest of the country that we are taking responsibility for the rebuilding of our city and state.

Ruthie Frierson
Citizens for 1 Greater New Orleans
New Orleans



September 2006