DNC - 2008 Democratic National Convention Delegate Event to Recognize the Spirit of New Orleans

Event to Commemorate Heroes of Gulf Region Recovery, Rebuilding As Convention Marks Three Year Anniversary of Hurricane Katrina

DENVER - In an effort to drive national recognition of the ongoing, important work to rebuild the Gulf Coast region in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, the Democratic National Convention Committee (DNCC) announced today a special event for delegates to the 2008 Democratic National Convention in recognition of the Friends of New Orleans (FONO), Oxfam America and other organizations affiliated with the Gulf Coast recovery and rebuilding effort.  

The event will take place on Sunday, August 24, 2008 and will include delegates from all 56 state and territorial delegations attending the Convention.  The event will bring international media attention to the important work still taking place in the Gulf Coast region while marking the three year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, the most destructive natural disaster in U.S. history.
"This anniversary is too important to pass by unnoticed.  We are one country, and we stand together in good times and bad," said Democratic National Committee (DNC) Chairman Governor Howard Dean. "Nearly three years after Katrina, we want the nation to know that rebuilding New Orleans and the Gulf Region is not just a local issue but a national one.  The voices of those who were affected by Hurricane Katrina have not gone silent, and it is critical to make sure those who live there and those who were displaced are not forgotten."

Convention organizers have been in discussions for several months on ways to bring attention to this important anniversary and raise the profile of organizations committed to this effort.  FONO and Oxfam America, since the first days after Katrina, have supported the efforts of local groups to promote the recovery and rebuilding in the region while raising the voice of those most affected by the storm.  As part of the event, delegates and other Convention guests will be encouraged to make donations to FONO and their affiliates.

"I couldn't imagine a more meaningful way to kick off this historic week," said Mark Brewer, President of the Association of State Democratic Chairs.  "By bringing all of the state, district and territorial delegations together for one event, we are demonstrating the solidarity that is needed in our country.  All of our state parties are excited to participate - because it's a good cause and because it will be a fabulous, fun event - in the grand New Orleans tradition."

The delegate event, financially supported by the Denver 2008 Convention Host Committee, will be a preview of the 'New Orleans All-Star Jam-Balaya,' a musical and culinary benefit to be held later that evening generating further support for Gulf Coast region recovery and rebuilding efforts.  Both events will pair well known jazz musicians and world famous Louisiana cuisine with the festive ambiance of the Rocky Mountain West and will generate financial support for charities and organizations that have been working to rebuild communities in the Gulf Coast region.

"The spirit of the many unsung 'Heroes of the Storm,' people who have unselfishly given of themselves to help others, is something for our entire nation to recognize and celebrate," said Donna Brazile, Board Member of FONO.  "There could not be a better time than the Democratic National Convention to showcase the unity of our country and power of our collective efforts for such a great cause."

FONO is a private, non-profit, non-partisan, membership organization for people in the U.S. and abroad who care about the region.

Oxfam America is a non-profit, non-partisan international relief and development organization that creates lasting solutions to poverty, hunger and injustice.  Together with individuals and local groups in more than 120 countries, Oxfam saves lives, helps people overcome poverty and fights for social justice.

The Democratic National Convention, held from August 25-28, 2008, is expected to pump an estimated $160 million into the Denver area's economy and draw up to 50,000 visitors to the region.