NAACP interim President Derrick Johnson said Tuesday that he wants to make sure minority neighborhoods get equal funding for Hurricane Harvey recovery efforts after the storm caused major destruction along the Gulf Coast.
The Associated Press (AP) reports that the NAACP is monitoring how federal aid is doled out in Houston and other areas, with Johnson telling an audience at the National Press Club that the organization’s goal is “to ensure that resources directed from the federal government don’t skip neighborhoods.”
Johnson said he met with Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) officials earlier on Tuesday and stressed that the NAACP is responsible for making sure “equity is at the table” while recovery efforts take place.
He added that minority neighborhoods suffered more than other neighborhoods during Hurricane Katrina relief efforts.
In 2005, when Hurricane Katrina hit much of the Gulf Coast by New Orleans, the city’s poorest residents were disproportionately affected by the natural disaster because many did not have the means to rebuild their homes or evacuate inland.
Floods from Harvey have killed 15 people and damaged homes, buildings, and roadways. There is also a continued concern that the levees may not be able to support the rising floodwaters and that rivers will overflow.
Despite the storm’s destruction, Americans regardless of race have come together to help those in need during the storm.