« Alternatives to the Wal-Mart Economy | Main | Katrina Evacuees: Next Steps? »

Contribute Something Tangible To The Hurricane Victims

Do you want to contribute something you can see and feel to those who are displaced by Hurricane Katrina?

We do too, so My Vote is My Voice will be collecting phone cards to be distributed directly to the hurricane victims after they are moved to Texas. These phone cards will allow people to make the important calls that will help them rebuild their lives.

My Vote is My Voice will start the phone card drive by contributing $100 worth of phone cards. Every single phone card that is sent to us will be added to those we purchase, and will be hand delivered to the hurricane victims.

Phone cards may be sent to:

My Vote is My Voice

23C Mansfield Pl.

Rutland, VT 05701

Thank you for showing the kindness we know is inside each of you.

The MViMV Board

Al, Charlene, Jessica, Liane, and Ralph

Posted by Jessica Falker on September 1, 2005 at 05:38 PM | Permalink


And thank you for kicking ass

Posted by: kimmy | Sep 1, 2005 8:33:49 PM

In 2001, FEMA ranked New Orleans as "among the three likeliest, most catastrophic disasters facing this country," if a major hurricane were to strike. How then does our country continue to ignore these types of warnings? Was it the same heads in the sand as with the global warming threat or is it a whole other set of heads in the sand?

Posted by: Charlene | Sep 1, 2005 10:10:54 PM

To answer a couple questions I've gotten:

Several small cards are better than one big card.

We are encouraging people to just send the phone cards, not money to buy cards.


Posted by: Jessica | Sep 2, 2005 10:08:57 AM

International Blogging for Disaster Relief Day.


Posted by: Jessica | Sep 2, 2005 10:38:58 AM

Rapid Response Action Item:
Activist & New Orleans native Richard Hoefer (of www.demspeak.com) developed a tool to help survivors and family members get needed information:

In Richard's words:
Click and see right now the 10 or so categories of information I think most people are seeking -- whether they have evacuated from New Orleans, or are concerned family & friends across country, or people who for one reason or another did not leave before the hurricane.


"Recommend This Diary" at:

Posted by: Charlene | Sep 2, 2005 11:08:09 AM

NY Times Editorial
September 1, 2005
Waiting for a Leader

George W. Bush gave one of the worst speeches of his life yesterday, especially given the level of national distress and the need for words of consolation and wisdom. In what seems to be a ritual in this administration, the president appeared a day later than he was needed. He then read an address of a quality more appropriate for an Arbor Day celebration: a long laundry list of pounds of ice, generators and blankets delivered to the stricken Gulf Coast. He advised the public that anybody who wanted to help should send cash, grinned, and promised that everything would work out in the end.

We will, of course, endure, and the city of New Orleans must come back. But looking at the pictures on television yesterday of a place abandoned to the forces of flood, fire and looting, it was hard not to wonder exactly how that is going to come to pass. Right now, hundreds of thousands of American refugees need our national concern and care. Thousands of people still need to be rescued from imminent peril. Public health threats must be controlled in New Orleans and throughout southern Mississippi. Drivers must be given confidence that gasoline will be available, and profiteering must be brought under control at a moment when television has been showing long lines at some pumps and spot prices approaching $4 a gallon have been reported.

Sacrifices may be necessary to make sure that all these things happen in an orderly, efficient way. But this administration has never been one to counsel sacrifice. And nothing about the president's demeanor yesterday - which seemed casual to the point of carelessness - suggested that he understood the depth of the current crisis.

While our attention must now be on the Gulf Coast's most immediate needs, the nation will soon ask why New Orleans's levees remained so inadequate. Publications from the local newspaper to National Geographic have fulminated about the bad state of flood protection in this beloved city, which is below sea level. Why were developers permitted to destroy wetlands and barrier islands that could have held back the hurricane's surge? Why was Congress, before it wandered off to vacation, engaged in slashing the budget for correcting some of the gaping holes in the area's flood protection?
It would be some comfort to think that, as Mr. Bush cheerily announced, America "will be a stronger place" for enduring this crisis. Complacency will no longer suffice, especially if experts are right in warning that global warming may increase the intensity of future hurricanes. But since this administration won't acknowledge that global warming exists, the chances of leadership seem minimal.

Posted by: karen | Sep 2, 2005 11:14:56 AM

This is a message from Monisha Sujan, who evacuted her home in New Orleans:

Dear Everyone:

It's Friday morning and I'm in Starkville in Northeast Mississippi. We've spent yesterday moving from Baton Rouge across the state of Mississippi.

I've been able to be in email and cell phone contact with many friends around the country today and have learnt that many want and are planning to come down to Louisiana and the Gulf Coast to help with the relief and recovery efforts. In my opinion, the region is overwhelmed with refugees from devastated areas and really is not equipped to deal with another wave of people, even if they are volunteers. The Red Cross in Baton Rouge (the main staging area for Louisiana) supposedly is claiming that it has too many volunteers and that some of its volunteer efforts are impeding general progress. I believe we can be much more effective if we partake in a collective, long-term effort to rebuild lives (especially of those poor, African-American Orleanians who seem to ha! ve nothing left—no savings accounts, insurance, standing home, ect.). I have a couple of nascent ideas where we might begin.

1. Counseling and life planning efforts. The kids I've seen in Louisiana and Mississippi who fled after the storm look like they have grown old and have the weight of the world on them. I think the American Psychological Association could be a great initial point of contact for this project. I plan to try to get in touch with some of their people (my dad's a member)

2. Creating a non-email/internet communication tool for survivors to keep in touch with family and friends. Statistics showed that only 20% of Louisianans had internet access and only 10% had (not used) email. I don't think closing the digital divide needs to be the first step before reconnecting people.

3. Planning long term financial aid/security to victims

4. Finding jobs for victims.

Please let me know what you think we do. I don't think it is possible to watch without doing something and the last couple of hellish days have demonstrated that something isn't enough. We need to be creative and compassionate to intelligently mitigate something I have yet to fathom.

Take care and hugs to everyone,


Posted by: Jessica | Sep 2, 2005 4:53:18 PM

Thanks for collecting the phone cards. This will perhaps be remembered in many of those unfortunate victims' minds as a personal caring effort.

Posted by: Joan | Sep 3, 2005 11:42:27 AM


So far, we have received 57 cards totaling 7705 minutes.

Thank You!

Posted by: Jessica | Sep 3, 2005 11:44:51 AM


So far, we have collected 151 cards totaling 9585 minutes.

Posted by: Jessica | Sep 6, 2005 3:45:16 PM

Air America Radio is offering a Public Voicemail system for people disconnected as a result of Hurricane Katrina.

Call the toll-free number 1-866-217-6255, enter the phone number that people usually use to reach you, and record a message. People can use it to locate you; they enter your usual phone number (even if it doesn't work anymore) and hear your message.

Posted by: Charlene | Sep 6, 2005 5:50:15 PM


So far, we have collected 157 cards totaling 11,085 minutes.

Posted by: Jessica | Sep 7, 2005 1:02:37 PM

Hey Jessica,

... read your post in racketland. It's tough with sooo much going on.
My recommendation to Democracy for Chattanooga was to go with one issue that area voters were needing tackled. They chose school funding, which does branch out into other areas... one being helping 'fund'(ourselves)school supply packages for needy children.
Also, candidates' positions affecting the issue are a major interest. Actually, one of the folks we're supporting for Co. Commission affected a recent vote to increase funding in some areas... just by announcing for a jerks seat. We were stunned, but will stay on point for the future and other areas that need it.

We are doing the other DFA projects with zest and all, but being in the red zone means we have to 'keep it local as possible'.

Take it back... square yard at a time if necessary.
Head up! Forward!

Posted by: Dave in Georgia | Sep 7, 2005 11:24:07 PM

Thanks Dave,

It's sounds like your Link-Up is doing great! WTG!

Posted by: Jessica | Sep 8, 2005 10:50:49 AM

Just wanted to share that, in just 2 days, my sister and I raised $300 with our skydive benefit. We paid for our own skydives, and I organized a contest for folks to guess the altitudes that we'd jump at and pull the cord at. It was a blast and it felt good being able to help the victims.

Posted by: Charlene | Sep 8, 2005 11:36:23 AM

Hey Charlene,

Maybe you should start a Skydivers For Democracy group...in your spare time of coarse ;-)

Posted by: Jessica | Sep 8, 2005 11:40:29 AM

Monday night's MViMV interactive guest blogger will be Quintus Jett. Quintus is the Executive Director for African Americans for Democracy.

Quintus will focus on African American reactions to government
failures in response to Hurricane Katrina, and AAFD's proposal to help New Orleans evacuuees (who are mostly black) establish
themselves as a constituency that will be heard in further government
response efforts. A proposal of tangible actions will be submitted
for discussion.

Join us on Monday, 9/12, 8pm EDT at the My Vote is My Voice blog: http://blog.myvoteismyvoice.com/

Posted by: Jessica | Sep 10, 2005 3:30:01 PM

Skydivers for Democracy...smile. I've decided not to get addicted to yet another hobby, but I could start Scuba for Democracy. : )

I talked to Quintus tonight and he is geared up and ready to let loose on the blog tomorrow night so stop by.

Our gov't response to the hurricane have been pathetic and the folks that are suffering the most seem to be blacks. To relive how bad Bush responded to this national disaster, check out the Daily Show video:
"Jon Stewart on Bush's Second Flight Away from a National Disaster 9/9"

Posted by: Charlene | Sep 11, 2005 7:56:50 PM


So far, we have collected 164 phone cards totaling 15,985 minutes.

We plan to mail this first batch of cards to Democracy For Houston this week for distibution.

Posted by: Jessica | Sep 12, 2005 11:16:26 AM

Great job on the phone cards, Jess.

DFNYC has volunteers and supplies going down to Ocean Springs, Mississippi, this weekend.

Here's the info:

-Donate Supplies Thurs-Sat, Sept. 15-17

DFNYCer and our good friend Jenny Speicher is bringing urgently needed supplies, donations, and volunteers to Ocean Springs, Mississippi. They are working directly with the Mayor and the Emergency Operations Center Command Post Director for this town, which was hit by the eye of hurricane Katrina and has been underserved by the large relief organizations. Departure for the Gulf Coast scheduled for Saturday afternoon.

Give, Donate Supplies or Lend a Hand

Donate $$ for them to buy the supplies or pay for their gas & vehicles! Call Jenny at 917-628-6016 or 212-924-6942 for contribution instructions.

Volunteers are need as well. In particular, we are looking for someone who is willing to go to Mississippi who is comfortable driving a truck. Call Jenny at 917-628-6016 or 212-924-6942.

Donate Supplies at Kettle of Fish –DFNYC West Village Linkup Locale

Wed.-Fri., Sept. 14-16., 3p.m.-1a.m.
[Sat., 9/17, noon-3 p.m., must call to confirm]:
The Kettle of Fish, 59 Christopher Street
--a great and giving bar, just east of 7th Ave., one block south of 10th St.--

A list of URGENTLY NEEDED SUPPLIES specifically requested by the town can be found at: http://www.dfnyc.org/cms/node/87231

Posted by: Charlene | Sep 15, 2005 9:58:04 AM


So far, we have collected 169 phone cards totaling 16,485 minutes.

Posted by: Jessica | Sep 23, 2005 11:16:47 AM

The comments to this entry are closed.