Saturday, November 18, 2006

11/18/2006 Community Gumbo

audio Democracy Now
  • Argentine Torture Survivor Patricia Isasa Returns to Police Station Where She Was Imprisoned and Abused
  • LA Times Editor and Publisher Forced Out For Resisting Job Cuts: A Look at the Effects of Media Consolidation on America's Newsrooms

audio "Stay Local" this holiday season
With half of the New Orleans population still displaced outside of the city, many local businesses are struggling to survive with a reduced customer base. The struggle can be particularly difficult for hardware supply stores which were fast to return to re-open after Hurricane Katrina, but which now have to compete with big box retailers doing a record business as a result of one of the largest urban rebuilding projects in American history.

The Stay Local campaign is asking New Orleans residents to commit to spending at least 25 percent of their holiday shopping in local businesses.

Closing track: “Baby Won’t You Please Come Home,” performed by New Orleans trumpeter Kermit Ruffins, one of a number of New Orleans artists featured on a Basin Street Records release being offered as a premium for Urban Conservancy supporters who pledge during their online fundraiser.

audio Citizens more unified around planning issues
The Unified New Orleans Plan process became somewhat more unified as neighborhood planning organizations assembled around the city on November 11th for district-level meetings. Participation is still low, but most people felt that the process is starting to make sense.

Mid-City resident Laureen Lentz, who blogs at Metroblogging New Orleans, said that what was once a laundry list of infrastructure development in the 4th Planning District is now becoming focused into specific project areas. Citizens are starting to wrap their heads around more targeted anchors of development, like apartment developments and hospitals, and what the infrastructure needs will be to support those areas.

Residents of the 7th District Planning are inspired by infrastructure projects like a return of the Desire streetcar to revitalize neighborhoods.

Meanwhile, Deborah Davis felt that her concern about affordable housing is finally getting some traction. Davis lived in the Desire public housing development, and still feels like she has to fight for the rights of all citizens who need subsidized housing assistance, including herself, but she felt optimistic about the mood of other citizens involved with her in the planning process.

Ms. Davis drove in from Houston to attend the 7th Planning District meeting on November 11th.


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