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Ralph Nader > Special Features > Nader calls on Former President Bill Clinton to help Katrina Victims

Read President Clinton’s Response Letter

William Jefferson Clinton
55 West 125th Street
New York NY 10027

March 15, 2006

Dear Mr. Clinton:

When I heard that 10,000 (yes, ten thousand) FEMA-purchased new trailers for the displaced victims of Katrina have been languishing for weeks in a little used airfield in Hope, Arkansas without being shipped to the families in desperate need for shelter, my first reaction was:

“Why that’s Bill Clinton’s home town! Why isn’t he raising the roof on this bureaucratic nightmare?”

So I ask you, why aren’t you trying to expedite delivery of these mobile homes (valued at $400 million) out of your home town? It is not because you are unfamiliar with the back and forth between federal, state and local jurisdictions over Katrina—induced needs. You are identified with the Bush-Katrina Fund and have visited the devastated area. You can cut through the perceived overcome-able obstacles, like the floodplain policy that has been described as a snag between the state of Louisiana and Washington, D.C.

Hope, Arkansas, as you well know, is a town with a population around 10,000. Often you used the name of your home town as the metaphor for your 1992 Presidential campaign. “The man from Hope.” Well, I am sure that many Katrina displaced families now homeless, or huddling with friends or relatives or in shacks wish that you would give them some hope. They were certainly encouraged in that regard by your many expressions of hope and support post-Katrina.

Let’s say that the situation in your home town, where some say the trailers in the mud are deteriorating, is a special responsibility of yours.

Along with many other Americans, I look forward to hearing from you.


Ralph Nader
P.O. Box 19312
Washington, D.C. 20036