Working together toward a common goal often requires mobilizing the strength and energy of many groups of people, all of whom share the same passion for accomplishing that goal. Hurricane Katrina and its devastating effect on the environment and communities in New Orleans and the Gulf Coast has done exactly that, bringing together numerous coalitions of concerned individuals who share the determination to clean up and improve New Orleans and the Gulf region. This Article addresses how lawyers from around the country can work with local advocates on reconstruction efforts in New Orleans in a way that increases, rather than undermines, community empowerment. While the Article focuses on environmental justice advocacy, it defines the concept broadly with the understanding that adequate housing, opportunities for employment and economic stability, and an effective political voice are just as important as neighborhoods free from toxic pollution.
The Authors are grateful for the inspiration and assistance of Albert Huang, Environmental Justice Attorney at the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC).
Janell Smith & Rachel Spector,
Environmental Justice, Community Empowerment, and the Role of Lawyers in Post-Katrina New Orleans,
N.Y. City L. Rev.
Available at: http://academicworks.cuny.edu/clr/vol10/iss1/12