Fleur de Dee (silverdee) wrote,
Fleur de Dee

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Forget Chocolate, Let's Talk About Housing

Ray Nagin, the mayor of New Orleans, has been in the news almost daily since August 29th. Before the storms, he would've received a decent grade for his first term as mayor. He was new to politics and won the only election he'd ever run in to become the city's leader. He brought a businessman's approach to the management of New Orleans which was quite different from the years of cronyism that ruled City Hall. I like Nagin. He's always spoken his mind and eschewed the careful and empty rhetoric of career politicians.

Many people in New Orleans share Nagin's concern that New Orleans will become a less diverse place post-Katrina. It's unfortunate that he expressed his feelings using the term "Chocolate City" in conjunction with comments about God's displeasure being channeled through hurricanes. I think fatigue and his speechifying style all caught up with him that day.

I worry that many African-Americans who were evacuated in the crazed days after Katrina cannot return even if they do want to. The extended families consisting of relatives and friends that many New Orleanians relied on, whether white or black, are dispersed so camping out with someone else is not possible for many people and reasonably-priced housing options are scarce for everyone.

Nagin's comments on Martin Luther King's birthday and the accompanying media hoopla diverted attention from the real issue: Decent and affordable places for people who want to live here will be an ongoing problem in New Orleans for years to come.

The etymology of Nagin's "Chocolate City."
Tags: new orleans, politics, storm

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