Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Issue avoidance 

Via Got Law? we found this tasteless but humorous take on the infamous "condo" poster you can view here (I agree with Jeffrey that some "hipster goofball" type is behind the original) :



I have roughly the same mixed feelings that Adrastos has over the current public housing issue in New Orleans. That's one reason why I'm reluctant to come down hard on one side or the other. I don't feel properly informed to be a strong advocate. For example, one important reported claim that I would like verified is this one:

HANO said Monday that 300 apartments at B.W. Cooper, Guste, Fischer, Iberville and River Garden are in move-in condition but remain unoccupied.

Is this true or false? And if this is true, WHY is it true? If there are thousands of people waiting to return to the projects and there are hundreds of available units, wouldn't it be politically savvy for protesters to force HANO to fill these dwellings ASAP? And if HANO didn't move lightning quick to do so, wouldn't this be an effective and media-friendly angle to press in the public housing debate?

Also, as a provider of extremely affordable housing in New Orleans (who hasn't raised rents despite massive increases in utilities, insurance and other costs), I'll echo Laureen Lentz who say that the local rental market has loosened noticeably over the past few months. (In fact, I have two available units as we speak).

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5 Comments:

As I've said before, the protesters are angling for some kind of Palestinian style "Right of Return" and permanent tenancy.

I suspect if they can win here it will be used to try stop redevelopments all over the country.

By the way did the march to Ray's house take place. I wonder if the NOPD held the Park Island Bridge? Will there will be charges of police excessive force with shots filed etc.?

By Blogger mominem, at 1:03 PM  

I find this post problematic.

These folks were forced to evacuate. They had leases. They had paid their rent. And now they can't come back.

These folks are human beings. Many of them work. They are all individuals, not some giant throng.

I do think they have a "right of return."

I also think redevelopment is a good idea -- as long as the community has input and there is transparency. I don't at all see how the two would be mutually exclusive.

But does anyone really believe that there will be "mixed" housing put in place after the demolitions of this public housing? Would anyone be surprised if instead these areas are completely gentrified?

Is that the kind of redevelopment that would be good for New Orleans?

I think this issue is dividing folks who ought to stand together. The enemy is not folks who live in public housing and wish to return to their homes.

Nor is the enemy sane redevelopment. Or even better social welfare laws.

The enemy is folks who would profit off the suffering of others. I know the NOLA bloggers are not of that number.

But seriously, do you think poor folks and the way they have been treated, is just? And if their issues become unimportant and irrelevant, do you think it will stop there? Do you think you won't be affected as well?

Sorry to ramble like this -- I have a great deal of respect for you, osyter, as well as adrastos and pistolette and so many others in the NOLA blogosphere.

But this is not an issue that should be responded to by sitting on the fence.

What happens to those most vulnerable (and sadly, these folks don't have a whole lot of influential lobbyists and activists working for them, they never do, it seems) is always a harbinger of what will happen to the rest of us.

By Blogger Nightprowlkitty, at 6:13 PM  

Erster,

How much on those units, my bro keeps telling me to move back to NOLA, but I'm scared of the rent!

By Anonymous ricky p., at 6:18 PM  

If there are thousands of people waiting to return to the projects and there are hundreds of available units, wouldn't it be politically savvy for protesters to force HANO to fill these dwellings ASAP? And if HANO didn't move lightning quick to do so, wouldn't this be an effective and media-friendly angle to press in the public housing debate?
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Yes that would be an extremely appealing tactic.

By Blogger E, at 6:26 PM  

Hey, e --

You are absolutely right, it would indeed be an extremely appealing tactic. Something smart savvy people would think up if they wished to help these folks.

And everyone in NOLA, all the smart, savvy folks, not rich, but not in poverty, have worked long and hard and through heartbreaking events and I find the fact there's this level of blogging in the midst of that truly remarkable, it touches my heart deeply, can't help but say that.

Problem is, folks in poverty rarely get smart, savvy folks to represent them with government. They get the rabble rousers, the agitators, the good Samaritans, the great-hearted, but rarely the smart and savvy. And I doubt these folks read the blogs.

That's always the case for folks in poverty, wherever they may live, they usually get lousy representation, they don't have the dough to hire lobbyists, heh. They get the saints, but not the strategists, or only in very rare cases.

Again, I ramble. Yes, it is an excellent tactic, what oyster says. How can we get this tactic to those folks so they can confront politicians better?

lol, I think I've just answered my own question. Thanks, e - oyster has given just the right strategy. I think it was the "sitting on the fence" part that threw me for a loop.

Cognitive dissonance -- because this strategy is not something one could come up with by "sitting on the fence."

Well I'll leave this comment for an entry in the "most incoherent comment I've ever received" contest, if one ever appears.

By Blogger Nightprowlkitty, at 6:42 PM