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Greens focus on electing Malik Rahim to Congress 12/6/08

• Rahim, co-founder of the Common Ground Collective, receives Thomas Merton Award for his relief work in the aftermath of Katrina

• Video clip: Rahim’s keynote speech at the Green Party’s 2008 National Convention, July 12 in Chicago [googlevideo=http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=7226475852159421918]

Green Party leaders are focusing on the campaign to elect Malik Rahim, Louisiana Green candidate for the US House in New Orleans (District 2) (http://www.votemalik.com), urging local and national support and assistance for Mr. Rahim.

The election for the 2nd District US House seat will take place on December 6 instead of November 4 because of election delays caused by Hurricanes Gustave and Ike.  District 2 is currently represented by William Jefferson, who is facing trial on 16 counts of corruption.

“Malik Rahim is more than just a welcome change from Rep. Jefferson and the corrupt political culture he represents.  New Orleans voters have a chance to elect a hero who organized thousands of Common Ground volunteers to provide food, health care, and other basic services to hurricane victims in the wake of Hurricane Katrina,” said Jody Grage, treasurer of the Green Party of the United States.  “We’re encouraging Greens and friends all over the US to donate to his campaign, and those who can get to New Orleans to work on his campaign.”

Mr. Rahim is co-founder of the Common Ground Collective (http://www.commongroundrelief.org), an organization that provides short-term relief to victims of hurricane disasters in the Gulf Coast region.  Mr. Rahim is a former Black Panther Party member and ran for New Orleans City Council in 2002 as a Green Party candidate.

On November 12, Malik Rahim received the Thomas Merton Award (http://www.thomasmertoncenter.org) for his work in community organizing and providing relief in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.  Under Mr. Rahim’s leadership, the Common Ground Collective opened the first free health clinic in the city of New Orleans, helped reopen schools, gutted over 3,000 homes that needed repair in the Ninth Ward of New Orleans, and provided direct services to nearly 200,000 returning residents.

Malik Rahim’s political agenda includes withdrawal from the Iraq War, support for a national health care program (with an endorsement of HR676, ‘The United States National Health Insurance Act’), federal money to rebuild the Gulf Coast region’s health care infrastructure, federally funded Category 5 flood protection, and comprehensive storm protection by maintaining and preserving ecosystem services, including rebuilding the region’s cypress swamps.

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