Gulf Coast women voice coastal restoration concerns in D.C.

cwc visits rep palazzoDuring a recent trip to Washington, D.C, members of Coastal Women for Change (CWC) voiced our concerns regarding the RESTORE Act.  As I wrote recently, I support the RESTORE Act.  It would direct 80% of BP’s Clean Water Act fines from the oil disaster towards much needed coastal restoration along the Gulf Coast.  One of our main priorities is that coastal restoration projects employ the locals, rather that bringing in out of state people.

In the wake of the BP Oil Disaster CWC has committed to keeping the public informed of coastal restoration decisions that affect our communities. CWC wants to make sure money and the jobs as a result of the BP oil spill are given to the average working family.  We speak for the vulnerable people who are desperately looking for economic development.

A group of women, including Allytra Perryman from Coastal Women for Change, Michele Roberts from Advocates for Environmental Human Rights, and other allies in D.C. met with Congressman Steven Palazzo’s Legislative Assistant, Brett Richards (see picture).  We shared our thoughts about the RESTORE Act and how Congress can support Mississippians and the Gulf region.

We found out that Rep. Palazzo and others were supporting that the funds stay in Mississippi for our residents.  That’s great news for the home front.  We have folks waiting in line for the opportunity to work.

Overall, I’m feeling great about the trip.  I believe it makes a difference when you show up.  I don't want people to be left out. I want to give them knowledge. Knowledge is power.

During these tough economic times CWC is committed to helping Gulf Coast families thrive. For more information, or to join CWC please visit us at: or call us (228) 297-4849.

Sharon Hanshaw is Executive Director of Coastal Women for Change, in Biloxi, Mississippi. A native of Biloxi, Sharon worked as a cosmetologist for 21 years. She got involved in community organizing and activism after Hurricane Katrina, working to make sure that community members are decision makers in the recovery process. Coastal Women for Change (CWC) focuses on women's empowerment and community development through programs for the elderly and children.