The Vietnamese community mobilized today seeking support from congressional leaders on how to aid their community who has been hit hard from the oil disaster. Nearly half of all fisherman who have been impacted by the oil spill are Vietnamese. As days go by without earning a wage, and no relief in sight as to how or when they will return to work, the community demands answers.
The community meeting was held this morning at the Mary Queen of Vietnam Community Development Corporation on the east side of New Orleans. Congressman Joseph Cao, Louisiana State Senator David Vitter, and EPA Deputy Administrator, Bob Perciasepe, along with other local government officials, addressed the group and attempted to ease tensions by vowing continued support and engagement in the community. When asked about long term investments in clean energy, Senator Vitter did not want to elaborate, but instead felt strongly that what's important is the immediate needs of the Vietnamese community. Deputy Mayor of Public Safety, Lt. Col. Jerry Sneed, said that it's important for government agencies to understand how the oil slick impacts not only the Vietnamese community, or the fishing community, but all of New Orleans. Col. Sneed called for data to be given to BP for a clear understanding of the impact.