Kathleen Blanco

Politician

1942 –

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Who is Kathleen Blanco?

Kathleen Babineaux Blanco served as the 54th Governor of Louisiana, having served from January 2004 until January 2008. She was the first woman to be elected to the office of governor of Louisiana.

When first elected, Blanco outlined her top priorities as providing affordable healthcare, improving the education system in the state, and helping to create a strong and vibrant economy through aggressive economic development initiatives. Her work as governor changed dramatically when, in 2005, coastal Louisiana was severely damaged by two hurricanes that stuck less than a month apart. In August, Hurricane Katrina devastated the New Orleans region, an urban area of 1.4 million people. Then, in September, Hurricane Rita struck the southwestern coast, displacing another 300,000 people. More than 200,000 housing units were destroyed, 81,000 businesses closed, entire electrical and telecommunication systems were torn apart, and one million people were made homeless as a result of severe flooding caused by levee failures and storm surges.

Many believed the immediate response from the city, state, and federal governments was inadequate, and Blanco later acknowledged there were failures on the part of her administration before and after the storm; much criticism, however, was directed at the Federal Emergency Management Agency, for what was seen as a slow initial response to the disaster and an inability to effectively manage, care for and delivered promised resources to those trying to evacuate from New Orleans.

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Born
Dec 15, 1942
New Iberia
Spouses
Religion
  • Catholicism
Ethnicity
  • Cajun
Nationality
  • United States of America
Profession
Education
  • University of Louisiana at Lafayette
Lived in
  • Lafayette

Submitted
on July 23, 2013

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