When rules, guidance, process, laws and procedures are put in place that are described as helpful but the victims of the disasters see no help we need to review the rules, the process, the laws and the procedures and question why they are in place. Matters Under Review are issues experience by disaster victims that are specific to rules, laws, guidance, procedures of disaster recovery.
When we started researching disaster assistance we found the only source for information was our state and local government which included their outsourced contracted private companies.
When we started asking local and state government for information about our specific disaster recovery needs we were handed off to a social media public relations company under contract with the state to handle communications between the state and the disaster victims.
When we had our first experience with the social media public relations company it cost us over $80,000 and earned us the title of "Denied HUD CDBG-DR Recovery Grant funds."
Was this the way our state was managing all disasters since Hurricane Katrina? Seems so, it also seemed like the state didn't want to directly communicate with disaster victims. Even the states attorney generals office stated the Governors Executive Order for disasters allows the public to communicate with the Governors appointed task force members but does not have any provisions that require the states appointed task force members or state government to respond to it's citizens.
Have we reached the level that local and state governments are now more focused on "Plausible Deniability" than to say, "Sorry, we made a mistake and we will correct it as soon as possible." The facts are clear to us, without watchdog groups at state levels for disaster recovery local and state government are making disaster recovery into an industry and even use it in political campaigns for talking points of "Economic Growth" and "Job Creation" when in fact they are only reporting the influx of American Taxpayer dollars distributed by the federal government and directing it to projects they can claim increased growth and jobs. Just take some of our states own political campaigns, $700 million from BP Oil money not distributed to thousands because they didn't provide proper tax return information or from Hurricane Gustav for the $55 million not spent on homeowners elevation projects because after all those years the homeowners either moved or dropped off the waiting list.
It's become a "War of Attrition" for most disaster victims with local and state governments federally funded for the long haul. Most homeowners will never win this long war while they watch new state hires work the industry to retirement while many never actually seeing first hand what disaster zone life is about for the states citizens. We have state leaders, government workers that actually talk about the recovery as if it's over while still receiving paychecks for spending disaster money. How can one in charge of Homeowners Assistance actually say they don't know if their are any people that are still in need and not know where to look for physical signs of the disaster and those still in the disaster recovery cycle.
It's the "Talking Heads" that don't know where you live. They don't know your community because your community leaders aren't reminding them that you need assistance. It's larger than most can handle, many mayors simply want to go back to how things were before the disaster. They look to their GDP base and focus only on what distracts them from those still in long term recovery. It's these people we need to work out of office so our futures are assisted by those that are concerned for all citizens and not just a select few.
Until every homeowner recovers from the disaster the disaster recovery can not be called a success. We plan to monitor the recovery processes and watch the local and state government officials and their hires. We plan to review policy and procedures in place by local and state officials. We plan on educating the public to their right of access to recovery funds. We plan on promoting "Citizens First" as a national objective of our group placing state and local government agendas second.
It's our fellow taxpayers that are helping us not the local and state leaders that claim the victories. It's our federal government that controls the federal tax dollars flow to the states then it's awash with special agenda items states quickly discuss and budget for. Louisiana is one of the foremost at creating programs to boost state and city growth all while claiming to have assisted thousands of disaster victims as if that was all they had and all of those that didn't receive assistance found other methods of recovery.
Our story may or may not match yours, but as long as we have a disaster victim in the recovery process we will work to educate that household on Matters that Concern us all related to Disaster Recovery.
Become a member and contact us so we can add your name to your state as a watchdog advocate for disaster victims.
Citizens Proposed SBA Disaster Federal Assistance Declined Solution.
Proposal Date: 8-22-2018
Announcement via: Published Web, Social Media, Email
Title: Homeowner Declined or Canceled SBA Disaster Assistance
A. Email to Sen. Kennedy 2-8-2018:
B. Press Release Gov. Edwards 2-8-2018:
Disaster Victims Watchdog Advocacy Group.