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September 29, 2005

Congressman Earl Blumenauer Responds to Letter

This morning I received the following response, to my letter, from the Office of Congressman Earl Blumenauer, of Oregon, who is the head of the Congressional Bicycle Caucus:

September 29, 2005

Mr. Kiril Kundurazieff
Santa Ana, CA.

Dear Mr. Kundurazieff:

Thank you for contacting me about Hurricane Katrina and FEMA's efforts to
respond.  I too am deeply concerned by the administration's
well-publicized flawed performance. Our response to this disaster has
itself been a disaster and we must make sure that those responsible are
held accountable. What is frustrating for me is not just that this was so
inevitable, but that steps could have been taken to moderate the losses. I
truly believe that thousands of people were killed, injured, or lost their
homes unnecessarily. I am an original co-sponsor of legislation to create
an independent commission -- modeled on the successful 9/11 Commission --
to investigate what went wrong in the Katrina response in order to ensure
it does not happen again.

I believe that many of FEMA's problems started when it became part of the
Department of Homeland Security.  I voted against creating this department
in part because I was afraid that FEMA would get lost in this vast
bureaucracy.  I was pleased that Mike Brown stepped down as head of FEMA,
and I am working to make sure that FEMA is reformed so that it is headed
up by a professional who reports directly to the President.

We need to learn from our past mistakes and ensure that our recovery and
reconstruction efforts on the Gulf Coast do not put people back in harm's
way. Wherever possible, we need to employ natural solutions to protect
people, such as restoring natural floodplains and wetlands. This was the
goal of the Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2004, which I co-authored with
Congressman Doug Bereuter (R-NE), and which the President signed into law
in the summer of 2004. I have also introduced the "Safe Communities Act"
with my colleague Congressman Curt Weldon (R-PA) to help communities
prepare for disasters.

Thanks again for sharing your views on this important issue.  The
government's role in preparing for and responding to natural disasters is
something I have been working on for the past three decades, and you can
be sure that I will continue to make it a focus of my work here in


Earl Blumenauer
Member of Congress

An apparent Form Letter sent, by his office, to anyone who wrote him about Katrina for any reason at all.

"I'm Mad at FEMA, and I'm NOT Gonna Take it Anymore!"

Pure politics, probably sent out by every politician in the country in one form or another, to cover his/her Ass, and, though interesting, and informative, very disappointing, considering the subject of my letter, was part of ongoing coverage of the aftermath of Katrina, with a focus on Cycling, and the fact it had absolutely nothing to do with FEMA.

However, all may not be lost...

I ALSO got the following e-mail, from his Webmaster, that is a bit more enlightening, and indicates that the Congressman may actually have been made aware of my letter, and possibly may have even read it, even if he didn't follow the links provided to explore this blog further:

How's it going?

I am Congressman Blumenauer's webmaster, and he wanted me to drop a note to thank you for your work, and to let you know that unfortunately House ethics rules prohibit us from linking to blogs from our Congressional website (versus a campaign/political website).

Thanks, again, though.

Ernesto Omar Falcón

Office Technology Manager

Office of Congressman Earl Blumenauer

That is a good start. ;-D

Encouraging enough that, now that I have an actual e-mail, attached to a real person, I may be able to finally make the Congressman aware of my thoughts about the Bike Caucus, its membership make-up, and its website, and get some serious responses related to Bicycling issues.

Now that my life has settled down I think it's time to write more on the Caucus, and its efforts. ;-D

September 29, 2005 in Congressional Bicycle Caucus Watch, KATRINA: Cycling toward Recovery | Permalink


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Interesting, and good observations also.

Posted by: Richard | Sep 29, 2005 4:07:54 PM

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