I'll never forget Hurricane Katrina - the mix of a natural and a man-made catastrophe that resulted in the death of over 1,500 of our neighbors. Millions of folks were marked by the tragedy.
These past years, as we have been recovering and given our city a rebirth, we have been encouraged by our faith, knowledge, and steadfast belief that we will pull through. There will be challenges and setbacks, as there have already been, but we will continue, and we the citizens of New Orleans will prevail in bringing our city back.
Imagine if, in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Gulf Coast residents had to wait on Democrats and Republicans to agree on cuts before receiving clean water or loans to rebuild. Congress' negotiations often come slow or not at all.
In D.C., I've passed amendments to allocate $6.3 million to keep our waterways open for business, $1 million as a down payment on our wetland restoration - our natural storm protection - and $5 million to ensure that drilling permits are reviewed thoroughly and efficiently.
There are a lot of stats and a strong correlation between dropout rates and crime as well as poverty.
It's something that black men still go through to this day, which is women clutching their purses, hitting the lock button on store, or just basic attitudes. And even as a U.S. congressman, as a black man, it is very, very frustrating, and you build up an internal anger about it that you can't act on.