Jill Stein, left, with resident Le’Kedra Robertson. (Jill 2016)

Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein was in Denham Springs, La., on Monday to speak with people forced from their homes by historic flooding — and to the volunteers trying to help them.

Some of the groups working on the scene were the Louisiana Environmental Action Network, Together Baton Rouge, North Baton Rouge Disaster Relief and Mutual Aid Disaster Relief.

In one clip (viewed 42,000 times within three hours of appearing on Facebook), Stein spoke with some of the displaced residents and volunteer relief workers from Louisiana’s Green Party.

Anika Ofori, a representative of the black caucus of the Louisiana Greens, pointed out the racialized neglect of residents in the form of slow-arriving support from the federal government. “We know from Hurricane Katrina that when the resources come, they don’t always, and most often, do not get to the poorest or the blackest communities,” she said. “So I am part of the Green Party because the Green Party platform encompasses issues that affect me, that affect the black community, that affect the poor community, that affect other minority communities. And so I thank Jill for getting in contact with us.”

Another woman expressed gratitude for her experience at the shelter, saying that despite flood victims’ losses, “we’re still gaining because we have each other to lean on.”

Stein added that “it’s a crisis like this that really brings out the strength of a community. And we’re here to help enlarge that community.”

In another clip, Stein described what she saw while walking around a formerly submerged neighborhood. “We basically saw drenched floors where the floors were buckling. We saw walls that were beginning to be covered with mold. … We saw basically muck on the floor, on the furniture, on the cabinets; the doors being taken down.

“All these emotional mementos and trophies,” she continued. “The sports trophies that were earned by the parents and also by the kids who are now adults. … Grown children, their life’s treasures, their childhood treasures were basically all out on the front lawn.

“And we saw a crew of wonderful people, neighbors and many people who came from New Orleans, who had been victimized by the floods.”

In a concluding clip, Stein thanked everyone who had shown up to help the people of Denham Springs recover. Local activist Le’Kedra Robertson said local children won’t be able to return to school until December and invited viewers to come to Denham Springs and contribute physical labor to help residents get back on their feet.

“If you walk through these streets of Denham Springs, where I grew up, there aren’t any FEMA or other resources that are coming except for people who have compassionate hearts who are fixing lunches and putting boots on the ground.”

Anyone interested in financially contributing to the community’s recovery can do so via a GoFundMe campaign.

—Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.


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