For Immediate Release: February 26, 2009
Contact: Beth Butler, Louisiana ACORN Head Organizer, (504) 994-6661
Louisiana ACORN Slams Jindal's Political Posturing That Hurts Families
Jindal's refusal of federal aid will hurt 25,000 Louisiana families
(New Orleans)-Louisiana ACORN is sharply criticizing Governor Bobby Jindal for rejecting almost $100 million in aid from President Obama's stimulus package that would have helped more individuals qualify for and receive unemployment assistance during this economic crisis. The southern part of Louisiana has been devastated by hurricanes and needs aid now.
ACORN has been a leader in the recovery effort-from coordinating volunteers, gutting, repairing and rebuilding homes to direct engagement of the citizenry in new plans for their communities and policy-making. ACORN took 500 displaced hurricane survivors, the largest delegation of Louisiana residents to Washington D.C. to march and rally for hurricane relief. President Bush responded with new substantial allocations for the Gulf region and Louisiana.
ACORN is further calling for the Legislature in Baton Rouge to override the Governor's refusal and accept the aid for those unemployed workers whose families are struggling in the current economic crisis.
"Governor Jindal should be ashamed of rejecting this needed assistance. It send a terrible message to the rest of the nation, which has been very generous to Louisiana by sending volunteers and aid to
rebuild our great state. Governor Jindal is holding the recovery and the state's economy hostage to his own ideology and his naked ambitions for national office," said Gwendolyn Adams, board member of Louisiana ACORN.
According the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, Louisiana had an unemployment rate of 4.0% in December of 2007, which ballooned to 5.9% in December of 2008, and is likely substantially higher now. Governor Jindal mistakenly said that accepting this money would lead to a permanent new tax on businesses, but the federal assistance is designed to be temporary.
"This political posturing proves that Jindal is already looking for other work instead of taking care of Louisianans who are out of work. Unemployment in Louisiana is up 50% over the last year, and
unemployment assistance is the quickest way to get money into our struggling economy as jobless workers spend those funds immediately on necessities with our Louisiana merchants," said Adams. "Louisiana needs this federal help, not politicians positioning themselves for federal office. The
Legislature needs fix this as soon as possible."
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ACORN is the nation's largest community organization of low- and moderate-income families, with over 450,000 member families organized into neighborhood chapters in 100 cities across the country. Since 1970 ACORN has taken action and won victories on issues of concern to our members. Our priorities include: better housing for first time homebuyers and tenants, living wages for low-wage workers, more investment in our communities from banks and governments, and better public schools. ACORN is an acronym, and each letter should be capitalized. ACORN stands for the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now.