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'Going Viral' for Coast: Women of the storm Petition 

  The online video and petition launched last week by Women of the Storm to promote national efforts to restore the Gulf Coast drew 25 signatures every 60 seconds on the morning of its launch — and temporarily crashed at one point because of the online rush to sign up. The digital petition (www.restorethegulf.com) had grown to more than 80,000 signatures by Friday afternoon (July 23).

  James Carville joined the city's female City Council members at the launch July 20 at the recently shuttered P&J Oyster Company, which closed as a result of BP's Gulf oil disaster. The video promoting the petition was produced by local advertising agency Peter Mayer and features prominent celebrities with strong Louisiana connections, including Sandra Bullock, John Goodman, Bryan Batt, Lenny Kravitz and Dr. John.

  "I want you to know Women of the Storm is going viral, and I want you to know, a month ago I thought it was a disease, but now they tell me it's a good thing," said Anne Milling, founder of the organization. "We're launching a 21st century, high-tech campaign.

  "We're going to Tweet ... we're going to YouTube, blog, email and Facebook, we're going to do it all. We're going to use social media to harness and garner hundreds of thousands, possibly a million signatures for a petition that demands funding for coastal restoration."

  Carville, who is Milling's cousin, added: "On the eve of the Battle of Trafalgar, Admiral Nelson said that England expects every man to do his duty. Well, this is our Trafalgar, and south Louisiana expects every one of us to do our duty, and our duty is to save this land and this culture and this way of life for our children and our friends.

  "There's an old expression, you want to talk about doing something, go to a man. You actually want to do something, go to a woman," Carville noted, praising the effort by Women of the Storm to get the video and petition together. "It's the signatures, but it's also how much hell we raise." — Matt Davis

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