As the East Coast recovers from Hurricane Irene, which ended up not being the ‘storm of the century,’ let’s keep in mind the disaster that most certainly was.

Today, on the 6th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, the harrowing images of low-income people stranded on their rooftops desperately awaiting help remain indelibly imprinted in our memories.  These people’s plight was the canary in the coalmine reminding us of why we must regard the poverty that inflicts everyday hardship on some 44 million Americans as a disaster in its own right.

We will affix a silver lining to the Katrina tragedy by keeping these images in mind and recognizing the need to make long-term investments that enhance opportunity for low-income people.