Chris Dodd, the IAFF, and Katrina

Matt Browner-Hamlin writes over at the Dodd Blog concerning a big endorsement pickup for Chris Dodd's Presidential campaign:

Dan Balz of The Washington Post previews tomorrow's announcement of the International Association of Fire Fighters' endorsement of Chris Dodd for President.

Democratic presidential candidate Christopher Dodd picked off the first significant prize in the competition for labor union endorsements yesterday, winning the support of the International Association of Firefighters (IAFF) in what his advisers believe will be an important boost to his campaign.

The firefighters count 281,000 members, making them only the 10th largest union in the AFL-CIO federation. But they are among the most politically active and symbolically prized labor groups in the country because of the heroic actions of firefighters in New York and at the Pentagon when terrorists struck on Sept. 11, 2001.

The IAFF also was the only union to endorse Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.) before the 2004 Democratic primaries and helped sustain his candidacy at a time when he was flagging in the polls and floundering on the campaign trail.
Schaitberger said firefighters play an integral role in communities across the country and, perhaps more significantly, understand the caucus process in Iowa "better than all the highly-paid Washington types."

Look forward to more news and updates to come - as well as a live stream of the official announcement tomorrow morning at 11 AM EDT.

MLN has some more on this:
The firefighters did great things for Kerry in the early 2004 contests. If this and other potential labor endorsements don't jump-start Dodd's campaign out of the lower single digits (and asterisks) in Iowa and NH, it's hard to see what will...
Unions like this have an awesome record of getting out in the streets and making things happen for candidates. This may be just what the Dodd campaign's spin doctor would've prescribed... Matt says to "check out these stories in The Hill, Hartford Courant, Associated Press, and The Washington Post on the IAFF endorsement of Chris Dodd for President."

Matt also asked that you do something about the situation in New Orleans on this two year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina's devastating landfall:

Today is the two year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina's landfall on the Gulf Coast. A new project called When the Saints Go Marching In is organizing to help the rebuilding of infrastructure lost in the disaster and they're encouraging people to lobby their senators in support of Senator Dodd's Gulf Coast Recovery Bill to assist the reconstruction.

This is the message on their site:

It's been two years since Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast region, and still there are tens of thousands of families without homes. 30,000 families are scattered across the country in FEMA apartments, 13,000 are in trailers, and hardly any of the 77,000 rental units destroyed in New Orleans have been rebuilt.

We put together this short film, "When the Saints Go Marching In," to tell several heartbreaking stories. The Aguilar family lost their home and only received $4,000 from the insurance company. Mr. Washington, an 84-year-old man and former carpenter, owned three homes prior to the storm, but is still living in a FEMA trailer. Julie can't return to her job and normal life because the government won't open the public housing she lived in prior to the storm. There are thousands of stories like this.

There is something very specific you can do to help. Sign the petition urging the Senate to pass Chris Dodd's Gulf Coast Recovery Bill of 2007 (S1668).

The bill is expected to come to a vote soon. Its passage will be an important step toward rebuilding the infrastructure in the Gulf Coast region. In addition to S1668, please also encourage your Senators to go further in helping the public and low-income housing residents who lost their homes in Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

Please pass the video on and encourage people to sign the petition. It's important we all support the Gulf Coast region's right to return home and put the needed resources toward rebuilding these families' lives.

Go sign When the Saints' petition, watch the movie, and pass it along.

Two years later and the criminal bush administration has yet to do anything substantial to resolve these many issues. America should be ashamed.

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