Reflecting on Katrina and Rita

Reflecting on Katrina and Rita

Governor Kathleen Blanco

2.19.2008

Governor Kathleen Blanco

Kathleen Blanco was the first female governor of Louisiana after being elected in November 2004, serving through January 2008. She began her career as a public servant in 1984 when she became the first woman ever elected to the Louisiana state legislature. Blanco was elected lieutenant governor in 1995 and was overwhelmingly re-elected to her second term in 1999, winning 80 percent of the vote. Before her political career, Blanco taught at Breaux Bridge High School, a public school in Southwest Louisiana.

In her first post-governorship speech outside her home state, former Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco reflects on her time in office and the challenges she faced in the aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Blanco discusses many of the efforts her administration made during the crisis as well as those made by President Bush and FEMA. She discusses what went right, what went wrong, and advises communities to prepare for future large natural disasters while cautioning not to rely upon federal assistance.