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Christie DEP Does Camden – Boots on the Rubble

Christie DEP Announces “Boots on the Ground” Program in NJ’s Poorest City

 

Camden is NJ's poorest and most segregated city - ground zero for environmental injustice (Source: "Camden Residents Left in the Dust" - July 21, 2009)

 

I awoke early this morning all pumped up by the diverse and compassionate group of Americans I saw on my TeeVee set last night at the Republican Convention calling for social and economic justice and public investments in urban America.

So proud of our large Governor, who has the TRUTH on his side!

Vibed by that vigorous display, I just opened my email to find a DEP press advisory about an important new program in Camden, so I feet it no less than my civic duty to travel to Camden this morning for a 10 am DEP press event.

DEP’s Press Advisory announces an important photo opportunity this morning in Camden! DEP wrote:

DEP PILOT PROGRAM IDENTIFYING HAZARDS IN ABANDONED BUILDINGS TO BE ANNOUNCED
***August 29, 2012***
Photo/Video Opportunities

On Wednesday, August 29 from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m., the Department of Environmental Protection will announce a new state pilot program called “Boots on the Ground” that locates and identifies hazardous materials in abandoned urban buildings¬†

Gee whiz, I thought, given Camden’s housing problems, that sounds helpful to the people who live in the Nation’s poorest and ¬†most devastated city. Fires in abandoned buildings are a real threat to the poor left behind in the decaying urban core.

You see, according to Chris Hedges, whose book “Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt” which I am reading right now, Camden is a “sacrifice zone” of “invisible people” in serious trouble (more on Hedges and all that jive later, I gotta get going down to Camden now for the DEP event).

But, with hopes soaring from last night’s convention, I was crushed – just crushed – by reading further to find out that the people targeted for protection were not Camden’s poor oppressed victims of urban decay, but firefighters and emergency responders!:

“Boots on the Ground” that locates and identifies hazardous materials in abandoned urban buildings to help protect firefighters and other responders in the event of fire or emergency situation. The effort was launched as a result of a series of fires in abandoned buildings in Camden last year.

Same old, same old – reminded me that the last Republican Gov. I recall in Camden put her own “boots on the ground” in Camden:

Former NJ Gov. Christie Whitman (in WHITE) Frisks Camden

We’ll report back later today upon return from the DEP press conference.

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