Thursday, September 08, 2005

Idle time is the work of the devil (and Katrina)

I am beginning to appreciate how idle time among constituents can be a dangerous thing to a politician.

Here we are, we the inhabitants of that sliver of New Orleans, a crescent of higher elevation that runs adjacent to the Mississippi, and we who live in the neighborhoods around the bend - Uptowners, Garden District and French Quarter residents, Marigny and Bywater residents, Algiers residents - many of us were spared the devastating floods that cost the lives of thousands of our fellow residents, and destroyed tens (or hundreds) of thousands of homes.

Even as we mourn the losses of our brothers and sisters, we can no longer carry the burden we are being asked to bear. We can no longer tolerate a blanket policy of evacuation which only makes sense in areas that suffered the most tragic flooding.

We remain exiled, lost victims, "damnificados" (in Spanish), the forgotten refugees of Hurricane Katrina. Although we were able to escape, and our homes might remain intact, we nevertheless continue to suffer the uncertainty of the damage we may find, the loss of jobs, the loss of our futures.

Although our personal losses are comparatively less devastating than the loss of a family member or home, every day that goes by, another day of work is lost, another day of business is lost, another career is lost, another life is irrevocably changed, another family is destroyed. We have left behind our jobs, our businesses, our educations, our necessities, our sentimental possessions, our valuables, and even our pets. Each day that passes, for some of us, these things may become irretrievable - our careers lost out of necessity, our families lost out of stress, our pets lost out of starvation, our possessions through water damage, vermin, stench, humidity, mold and mildew, looting, or fire.

We are stuck in that damned place between those who lost everything and are getting assistance, and those who are too wealthy to care. We have to fend for ourselves.

The time has come for a massive revolt against the authorities that refuse to respect our sacrifice. We acknowledge that others have suffered more than we, and we sincerely regret those losses. Nevertheless, we didn't cause their suffering - Hurricane Katrina did. There is no reason for us to punish ourselves, nor to allow others to take us for granted.

The time has come for us to reclaim our lives.

The time has come for us to return to our homes to assess the damage, to salvage what we can, to count our blessings, or mourn our losses.

The time has come for those who refuse to allow us to rehabilitate our lives to be held responsible.

I ask New Orleans residents to sign the petition to Mayor Nagin to allow residents back into the city.

Then, contact:

Mayor Ray Nagin, (504) 654-4000, or email.

Governor Kathleen Blanco, (866)310-7617, or email.

Senator Mary Landrieu, (202) 224-5824, or email.

Senator David Vitter, (202) 224-4624, or email.

For readers with a lot more time on their hands, the home contact information for U.S. Representatives Jefferson and Jindal, state representatives, councilmembers and everyone else are in the Louisiana elected officials database.


At 9/08/2005 07:50:00 PM, Blogger Michael said...

I'm not living in the district, and don't want to dilute the power of petition by a false signing, but I can at least offer my support--and I'll go ahead and post a link, FWIW, on my site.

Also, some things are in the works that might allow me to offer you accomodations here in BR--if things work out, that is (long story there)...let me know.

At 9/09/2005 05:33:00 AM, Blogger Mixter said...

My husband and I were talking this morning, and we would like to offer to share our home in East Troy with you and your wife if you still need a place and want to live in Wisco again for a while.

Keep in mind, I have a teenage daughter, two dogs, three cats, a parrot and a parakeet. All can be both very loving and extremely annoying.

We have a four bedroom house, one bedroom we don't use except for guests, so you would have some private space.

The offer is sincere, and if you are at all interested at any time, send me an e-mail: mixter_64 [at] yahoo [dot] com.

I'm certain you want to go home, but if that can't happen, you can hang out with us for a while, if you can handle being so far away from home.



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