Celebrate Mardi Gras From Los Angeles

Amoeba Records is celebrating Fat Tuesday tonight, and helping Katrina to boot, with an auction that’s going on right now. However, if you weren’t able to go, or didn’t donate through Amoeba, here’s some additional ways to help the people of New Orleans, through a few other organizations who are doing real good in the Big Easy.

One of the girls I work with down at CODEPINK has been spending a lot of time in New Orleans this year. She was part of a crew of volunteers from L.A. who went over Thanksgiving weekend last year – and she just fell in love with it. She raves about the community there, how people are pulling together, how the people she works with feel like family. She was amazed and inspired by the devotion and dedication that has been brought into the city, and by the hope that’s resulted.

However, as she told me last week, the conditions in New Orleans are still terrible. Thousands of people are still homeless, but that’s only part of the problem. There is simply no infrastructure in most of the city. There’s a serious lack of emergency services, of medical aid, of shelters. The ground and air and water still make people sick. And there’s still very little protection from hurricane season, 2006.

My friend works with Common Ground, who were also featured in MoJo this week. They’re providing a sort of community center -slash- shelter right now for people returning to rebuild. She also says that Second Harvest are doing a world of good, and are bringing a lot of food to afflicted areas. And finally, Habitat for Humanity needs all the help they can get.

I’m celebrating Mardi Gras tonight out in my Venice shanty with friends. Anyone wanting to come out and join us is welcome – just email me directly. But please, take Mardi Gras to remember. And give, if you can.