SPOTLIGHT ON A SUCCESSFUL INVESTMENT
The Mississippi Renewal Forum – From
Tragedy to Opportunity
Excerpts from an address by
Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour
But in the last month I've learned that an awful disaster, with its
myriad of tragedies for individuals and families, also brings out
the best in most people. Out of this terrible tragedy, beyond all
imagination, comes our opportunity, and I beg you not to let Mississippi
miss it. All of us are responsible. I'm determined we will not fail
to seize this opportunity.
Just over six weeks ago, Hurricane Katrina, the worst natural disaster
in American history, struck our Gulf Coast and South Mississippi
a grievous blow. In her wake, Katrina left literally tens of thousands
of uninhabitable, often obliterated homes; thousands of small businesses
in shambles; dozens of schools and public buildings ruined and unusable;
highways and ports and railroads, water and sewer systems, all destroyed.
I've appointed a Commission on Recovery, Rebuilding and Renewal composed
of capable people who love Mississippi. The Commission will lead,
but local governments and the private sector will decide. The Coast
and South Mississippi will decide their own destiny, but with strong
support from the Commission, our Congressional delegation, state officials
and many others.
The Commission has organized the “Mississippi Renewal Forum.”
Teams of highly qualified local and out-of-state professionals will
work with community leaders to design and plan for the Gulf Coast.
These teams will work with county officials, municipal officials
and others with the intention to create a bigger and better Mississippi
Gulf Coast that we all love so dearly.
It is important to emphasize that these tools and designs will
be made available to the citizens of the Coast, but not forced upon
you. The people of the Coast will make the decisions - we only want
to provide good ideas and resources that can help us move together
beyond the rubble to a bright new future that's in our grasp.
In the coming weeks the Commission will address the needs of the
entire affected area with a series of public, town hall-type meetings
to encourage broad participation in our planning efforts. These
meetings will begin in late October and help set the tone of our
This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to rebuild the right way
and make the Coast bigger and better than ever. What we do now will
decide what the Coast will look like in 10 years, 20 years and beyond.
To read about the Mississippi Renewal Forum, please click here.