WASHINGTON (CNN) – Democratic presidential hopeful John Edwards announced a six-point plan Monday to help the Gulf Coast’s recovery from Hurricane Katrina as the historic storm’s two-year anniversary approaches.
As president, Edwards would enact a new requirement - dubbed “Brownie’s Law” by the Edwards campaign – that would require senior political appointees to be qualified for their positions.
Edwards’ plan would also, among other things, address the nursing shortage in New Orleans, aid in the development of a proposed biomedical corridor, and provide federal funding for 500 new police officers for New Orleans’ streets. It would fully fund the so-called “Road Home” program meant to help Louisiana residents return and resettle. Finally, it would include the appointment of a chief recovery officer to oversee the federal government’s involvement in the recovery effort, as well as the appointment of a Gulf Coast inspector general tasked with accounting for public funds spent during the recovery process.
Edwards, a former senator from North Carolina, announced his presidential candidacy in New Orleans in December 2006, and has made the slow pace of recovery in the city a persistent theme in his campaign.
He will participate in a “Hope and Recovery” Summit in New Orleans on Monday night, along with New York Sen. Hillary Clinton and California Rep. Duncan Hunter. Illinois Sen. Barack Obama visited New Orleans on Sunday, and will not participate in Monday’s summit. The summit is hosted by Louisiana Sen. Mary Landrieu.
– CNN Associate Producer Martina Stewart