October 7, 2022

Kamala: Hurricane Recovery Should Take "Equity" Into Account

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By Ophelia Garrett

In Brief: 

Vice President Kamala Harris has once again caused quite a stir. The latest action is her claim that the Biden administration would take "equity" into account when dividing up disaster relief post Hurricane Ian. However, her statements were confusing, and did not thoroughly explain the process or standards by which the administration will distribute the “equitable” disaster relief. 

The Background: 

Someone, please give Vice President Harris a dictionary. 

Last week, while attending the Democratic National Committee's Women’s Leadership Forum, Vice President Harris stated, "It is our lowest income communities and our communities of color that are most impacted by these extreme conditions. We have to address this in a way that is about giving resources based on equity, understanding that we fight for equality, but we also need to fight for equity.”

Her statements set off panic for many Floridians who are already facing so much hardship post-Hurricane Ian. 

According to the Merriam Webster dictionary:

                             “Equity:

                                  a

                              : justice according to natural law or right

                               specifically : freedom from bias or favoritism

 

FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell told CBS,  “[O]ur programs support everybody. I would say I believe some of the things the vice president was talking about are the long-term recovery and rebuilding these communities to be able to withstand disasters, so they can have less impact. We’re going to support all communities. I committed that to (Florida Republican Governor Ron DeSantis), I commit to you right here that all Floridians are going to be able to get the help that is available to them through our programs.”

During an awards dinner in D.C., Vice President Harris was approached by a man asking “Vice President, can you clarify what you meant about equity for hurricane relief?” In response, she turned and kept walking. 

Notable Quotes: 

“This is false. @VP’s rhetoric is causing undue panic and must be clarified. FEMA Individual Assistance is already available to all Floridians impacted by Hurricane Ian, regardless of race or background. If you need assistance, visit disasterassistance.gov or call 1-800-621-3362.”-- Christina Pushaw, Director of Rapid Response for Florida Governor Ron DeSantis

What do you think?