Katrina's Angels

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Rally: Give locals more Katrina reconstruction work

Date: 10/30/2005

Rally: Give locals more Katrina reconstruction work

BATON ROUGE (AP) A rally in Baton Rouge draws some 500 people angered about what they feel is a snub to help rebuild New Orleans.

The Revs. Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton issued a call during yesterday's gathering to give some of the 296,000 jobless Louisiana residents priority in jobs and contracts to help repair the damage caused by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

One man interested in working is Edward Hawkins. He'd like to use his fleet of bulldozers and other heavy equipment to help in the rebuilding effort. But he says he's been shut out by jobs that appear to be flowing to companies outside the state. Sharpton called it an example of how jobs are being fed to politically connected companies, specifically pointing a finger at Halliburton, Vice President Dick Cheney's company.

Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco promised the rallying workers they'll soon have better access to jobs. Starting Monday, a free shuttle service will transport evacuees in Baton Rouge to New Orleans for work.