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Unmasking the Flood: A Crusade for Justice


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Sandy Rosenthal’s relentless pursuit of justice helped reshape the narrative around one of America's most significant disasters —the breached levees of New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina. After the tragedy Sandy founded, a nonprofit organization with 25,000 supporters nationwide. Her groundbreaking book, "Words Whispered in Water," reveals how she exposed the Army Corps of Engineers' role in the levee breach that claimed the lives of over 1,000 New Orleans residents.

The Erin Brockovich of New Orleans

Sandy Rosenthal often gets compared to Erin Brockovich, and for a good reason. Both women, armed with no special skills or training, stood up against powerful forces and won. Their stories inspire countless others to stand up and make a difference.

Realizing the Truth

Sandy was fortunate not to lose her home or loved ones, which allowed her to closely follow the news and ask questions. She quickly learned that the levees, designed and built by the federal government, had failed due to cost-cutting measures by the Army Corps of Engineers. The more she probed, the more resistance she faced, which only confirmed she was on the right path. Her book delves into the details of this discovery.

Sandy acknowledges that her activism put her in danger. She made a conscious decision to continue publicly stating the federal government's responsibility, despite the risks. She recounts being followed at every event she organized, with the Army Corps planting people to record and report back. Sandy's determination never wavered, even under surveillance.

Mobilizing Nationwide Support

Despite initial resistance, Sandy built a support base of 25,000 nationwide. She started with just 200 people, using traditional methods like email campaigns. Her push for federal legislation for an independent investigation of the levee failures significantly expanded her support base. Surprisingly, there has never been an independent investigation; the Army Corps of Engineers investigated themselves, raising serious conflicts of interest.

Sandy Rosenthal's relentless pursuit of justice and truth has had a profound impact on New Orleans and beyond. Her story is a powerful reminder of the importance of citizen activism and the need to hold powerful entities accountable. 

Listen to this episode to learn about...

  • [10:38] How the government saving money led to the disaster 
  • [14:25] Why Sandy second guessed her decision to take on the government 
  • [23:03] Why Sandy compares many big energy companies to school yard bullies 

Tune in to the Members Only episode to learn how Sandy realized not to get upset when things don’t work out at first