Black Elected Leaders Help Rebuild Biloxi Homes

Signal Hill California Councilman Ed Wilson gets a little carried away with a nail gun.

"Yeah, I was excited about that," says Wilson. "I got going and once you get into a rhythm you can't stop. You can't slow down."

He and his fellow volunteers are here for the annual summer conference of the National Black Caucus of Local Elected Officials. And they're here to work.

"I've been waiting for a hammer," says Durham, North Carolina Mayor pro tem Cora Cole MacFadden. "If I had a hammer in the morning. I'd hammer in the evening."

MacFadden is more accustomed to hammering with a gavel. But she says this is important city business for all Americans.

"All over America there are people who actually care, because when one community is hurting, all of us hurt."

The theme of the group's conference is "Rebuilding the Gulf Coast," so that's exactly what they're doing.

"We're serious about what we're doing," says Gary, Indiana Councilwoman Shirley Stanford.

"We're having fun while we're doing it. It's just all great. I wish we got paid for it. Put us on record," she said with a smile.

For them, it's important that folks see the people behind the politicians.

"Elected officials are not a bunch of bureaucrats sitting behind a desk," says Hickory, North Carolina Councilwoman Z. Ann Hoyle. "We are human."

And they remain united in one cause.

"We are out doing something," says Stanford. "We are helping."