December 2, 2008

Local Green Karas volunteers for New Orleans Congressional candidate

Karas and Malik

Former Alderman Pete Karas emailed a report from New Orleans about a Congressional election that was pushed back to Dec. 6 because of Hurricane Gustav. Karas, a member of the Green Party, is supporting Malik Rahim's bid to unseat (allegedly) corrupt Democratic House member William Jefferson.

Rahim is something of legend in New Orleans. He stayed through Hurricane Katrina and is credited with on-the-ground organizing in the aftermath of the devastation. He opened the first free health clinic in New Orleans, helped thousands of people back into their homes and worked to re-open schools.

Greens like Karas from around the country are targeting the seat in hopes of winning their first Congressional office. They hope Jefferson's corruption troubles (the Republican candidate apparently doesn't stand a chance in the district) push people Malik's way.

Here's Karas' report from New Orleans:
It’s an interesting race. “Dollar Bill” Jefferson is not to be seen. He apparently thinks he has it in the bag. The Republican is visible, but has very little support in this district. I’m seeing true excitement surrounding Malik’s campaign. He is being supported both with dollars and people from not only here, but also from around the country.

It is a very grassroots campaign. There are many people on the street working for him. Radio ads are running. There are even three billboards in prominent locations. Signs are popping up all over town. There is a real feeling that this is a winnable race.

I’ve been canvassing at the doors and talking with people. One of the challenges is to remind people there is an election on Saturday and get them to the polls. I have not talked to one person who had anything nice to say about “Dollar Bill.” And most everyone seems to know who Malik is.


  1. Good Luck Pete! Please come home soon and free us from Mayor Garry Becker

  2. (allegedly) corrupt?

    The good voters of New Orleans alread voted for Jefferson after he got caught with 90K in dirty money once, I bet they'll do it again.

    Democrats don't care when their own are dirty.

  3. Imagine the message to would send to the Obama administration if Malik wins...

  4. Huffington Post:

    The greatest near-term opportunity for progressives around the country is the December 6 congressional election in New Orleans.

    The incumbent, William Jefferson (D-LA), won a run-off against fellow Democrats in the November election. Yet he faces federal corruption charges on at least eight counts of bribery, supported by the FBI's seizure of nearly $100,000 in marked bills from an undercover informant that Jefferson stored in his freezer. It's not merely that Jefferson is electorally vulnerable -- he's also a liability to his own party. Jefferson's ethical problems have become the target of GOP attacks and a saving grace for a corrupt Republican party infrastructure that found in his indictment evidence that corruption in Washington affects both parties.

    Beyond Jefferson's faults, the race happens to include a strong Green candidate, progressive activist & organizer Malik Rahim. Rahim is no politician. Described as "the living embodiment for post-Katrina reconstruction," he is a leader who took it upon himself to step in where the Bush Administration failed in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. And his presence in Congress could pave a road for others to follow.

    The Common Ground Collective, which Rahim co-founded the year before the hurricane, ran the first health clinic in New Orleans after Katrina struck. It also mobilized well over 10,000 volunteers to clean up devastated neighborhoods ruined by flooding. Rahim had previously founded a separate organization to promote affordable housing, as well as a program for ex-offenders that has helped over 1,000 former inmates find their place in society.

    While inundated with volunteers, his campaign is (predictably, given his hostility to corporate interests) starved for cash. Yet Rahim is poised -- with enough support from progressives outside his district -- to win the Green Party's first congressional seat.

    Donate here:

  5. Urban Pioneer12/04/2008 2:50 PM

    Wow that'd be a difficult decision for me if I had to make it. The loony Green Dude, or the corrupt Blue/ Black dude with the frozewn Greenbacks.
    I think I'd vote for Willie Jefferson, and as soon as he is thrown out, perhaps the Repub's could eke out a win. But I doubt it.
    However New Orleans is a whole lot Redder since the "Great Rinsing" of '05, (Sorry Houston; be careful who you invite over for the week, they might never leave!).

  6. Urban, you seem to think more like a Bayou Pioneer...