Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Bring (just some of) New Orleans Back meeting today

The first in a series of Bring New Orleans Back Commission meetings will be held today:

Wednesday, Jan. 11, 1 p.m., Urban Planning Committee.

The meetings will be held in the Napoleon Room at the Sheraton Hotel, 500 Canal St., in New Orleans.

BNOB reports to Mayor Nagin will influence the scope and direction of a final master plan for rebuilding the city that Nagin will present in the future.

Excerpted here is a letter I received from one member of the Urban Planning Committee:

The presentation will outline, in general, the goals and means for restoring the city's neighborhoods, housing, levees, and infrastructure. The presentation will be followed by a more detailed paper report in the coming weeks.

The recommendations are the sum total of the work of six subcommittees, which were comprised of over 100 citizens, advocates, planners, scientists, architects, developers, environmentalists, and academics. In addition, the ideas of numerous other grassroots meetings were incorporated.

The task of this Committee was beyond challenging. In the final product there are many good ideas. There are many more that will need to be refined and added in the coming months. All of them will require citizen involvement and leadership, along with a healthy dose of courage and cooperation from our political leadership.

If issues of concern are mentioned, but not discussed in adequate detail at tomorrow's presentation, I encourage you to download the more detailed subcommittee reports available at

A side note here -- although there have been a number of issues and opinions surfacing in the last couple of weeks that demand attention, my posts have been notably reduced for lack of time (and I've been considering dropping down to a weekly post). Nevertheless, I am busy working behind the scenes -- Saturday at 9 AM on WTUL, for example, I'll be airing an interview with Brandon Darby of Common Ground who has an alternative vision for the rebuilding of New Orleans that springs from empowering citizens rather than patronizing them (as has been Mayor Nagin's approach thus far).


At 1/11/2006 09:27:00 AM, Blogger Michael said...

Even if you can only post once a week or so I'll be reading. Sounds like you've got plenty of stuff on your plate.

At 1/12/2006 02:26:00 AM, Blogger Vera said...

Here's something I'm concerned about.

I've been hearing about efforts to rebuild NOLA, but I don't hear anything about bringing many of the people back to the city who are too poor to rebuild.

I just read a story about people in hotel rooms in Detroit, and that city having few rooms--and $$$ for the Super Bowl. While the people aren't getting thrown out, I find this tragic.

Are the poor being left out of the rebuilding process to live as refugees in other cities or is this just something that the national media is overlooking?

At 1/12/2006 07:40:00 AM, Blogger Schroeder said...

Vera -- you're absolutely right. I don't disagree necessarily with the progressive goals of the BNOB -- they have outlined a progressive vision for the future, but it's not up to them to decide. We're talking about people's lives here, and nobody's talking to those people. It's patronizing, plain and simple -- and it's not just the poor, but the middle class and rich who are being left out of the process.


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