For Immediate Release
Contact: Kristin Tutino, (585) 258-0253

FORMER ROCHESTER MAYOR JOHNSON REFLECTS ON HIS TRIP TO NEW ORLEANS IN AN EXCLUSIVE WXXI TELEVISION SPECIAL

Premiering Monday, April 10 at 11 P.M. on WXXI-TV

Rochester, New York (April 4, 2006) – Last February former Rochester Mayor William Johnson visited the Gulf Coast to study the damage from Hurricane Katrina and to take a closer look at the rebuilding efforts as they might apply to renewing urban areas. In addition to calling in radio reports to AM 1370 throughout his trip, Johnson also videotaped his journey and his conversations with New Orleans residents who are putting their lives back together. Now, exclusively for WXXI, Johnson shares his video diary and reflects on the people he met and places he visited in a half-hour special, Rebuilding Hope: Mayor William Johnson’s New Orleans Diary, airing Monday, April 10 at 11 p.m. on WXXI-TV 21 (cable 11).

Johnson’s visit to the Gulf Coast included the lower ninth ward of New Orleans, Biloxi, Mississippi and Pass Christian, Mississippi. Though these small communities were hit as hard as others, their voices have not been as widely heard and many have not seen as much relief effort. As someone who barely escaped before Katrina hit, Johnson will recount the experiences of his return visit, sharing personal stories about those who are rebuilding their lives more than six months after the hurricane. Viewers will also learn how the former Mayor hopes to use what he learned on this trip in his new position as Public Policy Professor at Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT). Johnson says the restoration process is a case study in how communities should -- and should not -- be rebuilt.

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