When Hurricane Ian hit Florida in late September 2022, it took more than 100 lives, becoming the deadliest storm to hit the United States since Katrina in 2005. Hurricane Ian also caused the most financial damage in Florida of any storm in history, and was the third costliest in the U.S. as a whole.
The storm also caused a massive loss of housing. In a state where developers were engaged in predatory behavior even before Ian, how have people been rebuilding in the intersection between climate change and disaster capitalism? Florida-based writer Elena Novak, who reported on post-hurricane rebuilding for YES!, answered that question in a conversation with YES! Racial Justice Editor Sonali Kolhatkar on YES! Presents: Rising Up With Sonali.
Sonali Kolhatkar is currently the racial justice editor at YES! Media and a writing fellow with Independent Media Institute. She was previously a weekly columnist for Truthdig.com. She is also the host and creator of Rising Up with Sonali, a nationally syndicated television and radio program airing on Free Speech TV and dozens of independent and community radio stations. Sonali won First Place at the Los Angeles Press Club Annual Awards for Best Election Commentary in 2016. She also won numerous awards including Best TV Anchor from the LA Press Club and has also been nominated as Best Radio Anchor 4 years in a row. She is the author of Bleeding Afghanistan: Washington, Warlords, and the Propaganda of Silence, and the co-director of the nonprofit group, Afghan Women's Mission. Her forthcoming book is Rising Up: The Power of Narrative in Pursuing Racial Justice (City Lights, 2023). She has a Master’s in Astronomy from the University of Hawai’i, and two undergraduate degrees in Physics and Astronomy from the University of Texas at Austin. She reflects on her professional path in her 2014 TEDx talk, “My Journey From Astrophysicist to Radio Host.” She can be reached at sonalikolhatkar.com