Steps Coalition Presents Its Movie: 'Above Board, Port of the Future'

Contributor: Sarah Duffey
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Updated: 10/25/2013 12:45 pm
Tonight, Steps Coalition is holding a screening of its movie, 'Above Board, Port of the Future'. The Steps Coalition focuses on the rebuilding of housing after the storm. All of that changed once elected officials decided to take away 600 million dollars from housing and gave it to the restoration of the Port of Gulfport. At first, Steps fought back with the ‘People Before Ports Campaign’. However, the campaign was unsuccessful. Governor Barbour said that the state would not build houses before creating jobs. As a result, Steps had no choice but to beat them at their own game, with a reversal in strategy. The organizations came together to start ‘Partners for a Safe and Healthy Port’.

Roberta Avila, the Executive Director of the Steps Coalition, says, "Organizing and advocating to make sure the money that was going to be spent at the port was spent in ways to better the health of the workers and the community by using green technology." Howard Page, the Community Organizer of Step Coalition, says, Howard Page, the Community Organizer of Step Coalition, says, "Our work has had a lot of positive effects already on some decisions at the port. The decision that it wasn't necessary to elevate it 25 feet, we brought a lot of information on that and some of the channel issues and we're the group that pretty much made public the concerned about jobs.” The Steps Coalition decided to use leftover grant money to create a documentary about their efforts and the importance of community involvement. Avila also says, "People feel like my going to a meeting and speaking out, isn't going to make a difference and what I think this documentary shows over time is that you do make a difference if you speak out and your voice is heard." No decision has been made on when the film will be made available to the public. This is the first of many screenings along the coast.
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