Thursday, November 23, 2006

11/25/2006 Community Gumbo

audio Democracy Now

audio Participation in New Orleans' planning process encouraged
The latest process underway to plan the rebuilding of New Orleans neighborhoods will be tested again on December 2nd. Residents and observers will be watching to see if the demographic composition of participants at the second citywide Community Congress more closely reflects the actual pre-Katrina population of New Orleans.

Some groups of residents were grossly under-represented at the first Community Congress on October 28th, a fact which could be used to label the process illegitimate in the future if New Orleanians decide they don't agree with the final plans.

A majority of the participants voted to finance rebuilding projects in dry neighborhoods before projects in more flooded neighborhoods. Not only was attendance at the first Congress extremely low - approximately 200 participants - but the demographic makeup of the group was more than three-quarters white, compared to a pre-Katrina population which was 67% black.

In order to raise the level of participation at the second Community Congress, planning organizers will offer a live simulcast of the New Orleans planning presentations to displaced residents in Baton Rouge, Atlanta, Houston, and Dallas. Organizers are also promising to provide child care, meals and transportation.

Making sure all groups are adequately represented was the message conveyed by Dawn Loebig, a Mid-City resident. She was interviewed at an November 11th planning meeting.

audio Citizens more unified around planning issues (re-broadcast)
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. Deborah 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.

Unified New Orleans Plan Community Congress #2

Neighborhood planning links

11/4/2006 Community Gumbo


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