Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Big Apple to Big Easy Mission

Hurricane Katrina changed many lives. We are all familiar with the immense suffering of the survivors due to the deaths of loved ones and the destruction of possessions, homes, neighborhoods and cities. Our governments’ failure, at every level, to assist the victims has compounded this disaster. I have not forgotten what happened at the end of the summer in 2005 because it changed my life forever. It thrust disturbing realities of our society to the forefront of my consciousness. While nothing will ever replace what the victims lost, their losses were not completely in vain - great good has come to my life as a result of their suffering. I immediately began weaning myself off of my suburban reliance upon gasoline for transportation, and have relied solely upon mass transit and my bicycle as of January 1, 2006. The mission of my bicycle trek is to call to the people’s attention the more glaring dilemmas that became unbearable to my conscience. These are:

• Multinational oil corporations’ abuse of free markets
• Our government’s failure to properly regulate these same multinational oil corporations
• The urgent need for sustainable, renewable energy sources
• Our lack of independence from foreign oil
• Political support of regimes which are supported financially by energy markets
• Environmental deterioration of gulf coast wetlands
• Global climate changes due to carbon emissions
• Political and economic inequality and injustice
• Why has the U.S. not built levees like the Dutch?
• LA is denied control of, and revenue from, gulf energy resources
• Why was the Louisiana National Guard not available to do its duty?

It is the powerlessness that I feel in the face of such problems, and what appear to be ignorance and/or indifference of those in position to implement possible solutions, that transforms my own disengagement to passion. Seeing prices rise at the gas pump while Americans drowned, starved and dehydrated in their own homes was the impetus for my commitment to bicycling to New Orleans. I hope to make a contribution to a solution. I wish to call attention to my mission through various media in order to raise as much funds as possible, but just as important to me is to raise awareness and remind already alarmed citizens of these concerns. I wish to remain anonymous so that the story of my adventure implies the multitudes of nameless Americans that feel as I do about these issues and, most importantly, have not forgotten nor abandoned the people of the gulf region regardless of what the “news” and the “government” are presently concerned with.

The funds raised by my bicycle trek will be donated to ACORN - the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now - the nation's largest community organization of low- and moderate-income families, working together for social justice and stronger communities.

Please direct donations to:
www.acorn.org/donate - which links to a donation form containing two sections I'd like to call attention to:

Purpose: “How should we use your donation?” Please select
"ACORN Hurricane Recovery and Rebuilding Fund"

Gift Information: “I'd like to make this donation...” Please select "on behalf of..."
and type: "Big Apple to Big Easy"

Contact: NewOrleansRide@Gmail.com

I have named my bicycle “Dr. King” because he is my hero and he will carry me on my journey - figuratively and literally.


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