Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis today issued the following statement regarding the sixth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina:
"I will never forget visiting New Orleans' Ninth Ward as a member of Congress in Hurricane Katrina's aftermath and seeing the poor families and terrified children that time forgot. Katrina was a wake-up call to this country about the plight facing our most vulnerable families and the critical role that Washington can and must play to support local communities before, during and after a major disaster.
"Last week, as the specter of Hurricane Irene loomed, the Obama administration was ready, deploying assistance teams to staging bases up and down the East Coast. They were armed with emergency supplies and detailed contingency plans well before the storm arrived. This type of coordinated response is what Americans expect and deserve from their government. We must never again be caught flat-footed.
"Despite what some politicians say, public servants and policymakers in Washington can help save and rebuild lives during times of profound crisis. On the six-year anniversary of Katrina, President Obama has recommitted our government to work more closely than ever before with local officials in New Orleans. The administration's "Strong Cities, Strong Communities" is a first-of-its-kind partnership committed to cutting the red tape, putting experts on the ground and putting resources at the city's disposal to make New Orleans whole again.
"The people of New Orleans have an indomitable spirit. I believe that, working together, when New Orleans has its 300th birthday in 2018, we will celebrate the remarkable rebirth of a truly world class American city."