National Guard Petition Drive Takes Off



By: Allen Johnson

The 100-member Holy Cross Neighborhood Association in the Lower Ninth Ward has picked up a major ally in its petition drive asking Gov. Bobby Jindal to extend deployment of 300 National Guard troops in New Orleans. Citizens for 1 Greater New Orleans, an influential post-Katrina grassroots organization, has joined the drive to get 100,000 signatures to Jindal before the Guard phase-out begins next month, says Ariane Wiltse, an organizer for the Holy Cross neighborhood group and an occasional contributor to Gambit Weekly. Citizens for 1 has posted the petition on its Web site

The Citizens’ site allows visitors to edit individual letters to Jindal and to add their own comments. Further, when users hit “send,” the petition goes directly to Jindal’s email, Wiltse says. Formed in November 2005, Citizens boasts a ListServe of more than 20,000 subscribers and an executive committee of upscale women activists chaired by Ruthie Frierson. As of May 7, the petition had 500 signatures, but support for the campaign is building, Wiltse says. However, she added that as of press time no public official had responded to individual letters seeking help and signatures.

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