Friday, May 18, 2007

5/19/2007 Community Gumbo

audio Democracy Now (5/16/07)
  • Studs Terkel At 95: “Ordinary People Are Capable of Doing Extraordinary Things, and That’s What It’s All About. They Must Count!”

audio Jerilyn Perine: Lessons for New Orleans in the Renaissance of New York's Blighted Neighborhoods
On May 17th, the New Orleans City Council voted to grant New Orleans Redevelopment Authority (NORA) limited legal authority to seize abandoned or blighted property without court approval. Its members appointed by Mayor Nagin, NORA has been criticized for its inability to move 1500 pre-Katrina blighted properties off of its rolls and into the hands of private owners who would develop them. Meanwhile, NORA officials recently enacted a hiring freeze because it’s so starved for cash.

In coming months, NORA will enter into an adjudication process perhaps tens of thousands of blighted, once-flooded properties. At the same time, Mayor Nagin’s appointed recovery director, Ed Blakely, is saying that NORA will lead the New Orleans rebuilding effort, placing NORA in charge of overseeing a $1 billion plan to invest in 17 targeted redevelopment areas.

The challenges to successfully stimulating a renaissance of rebuilding which will bring back the most devastated areas of New Orleans is daunting. Fortunately, there are models of success.

The Harlem neighborhood of New York City, for example, was a crime-ridden neighborhood of dilapidated tenement buildings. Now, it’s one of the most-celebrated, vibrant communities in the city.

One of the people who led that remarkable transformation was Jerilyn Perine, a former commissioner of the New York City Department of Housing, Preservation, and Development. Over a span a quarter century, Ms. Perine and her colleagues pioneered the development of public-private-community partnerships to invest billions of dollars in tens of thousands of blighted buildings. At the same time, she fought for the right to affordable housing for working class New Yorkers.

At the start of the process, the outlook for New York was as bleak as it appears for New Orleans. And yet, now, land which the New York City once couldn’t give away is viewed by private developers as worth investing in. In no small part, the work of Ms. Perine and her colleagues led the renaissance of New York City.

Jerilyn Perine is now the Executive Director, Citizens Housing and Planning Council of New York. She was invited by the Rockefeller Foundation to speak in New Orleans.


Frank Donze, "NORA granted 'quick take' power," The Times-Picayune, 5/18/05.

Gordon Russell, "Blighted Hope," The Times-Picayune, 5/06/07.

Frank Donze, "Agency Tackles a Handful of Properties," The Times-Picayune, 5/06/07.

Frank Donze, "Recovery financing strategy falls flat," The Times-Picayune, 5/11/07.

Stephanie Grace, "NORA inherits a mess," 5/20/07.

"Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg Announces the Resignation of Housing Preseravation & Development Commissioner Jerilyn Perine," Press Release, 1/12/04.

About CHCP.

Amy Waldman, "Homes and Shops to Rise on Abandoned Harlem Properties," New York Times, 12/27/00.

Jerilyn Perine, "Eminent Domain is a Tool, Not a Conspiracy," Gotham Gazette, 12/12/05.

Susan Fainstein, "Eminent Domain Benefits Developers, Not the Public," Gotham Gazette, 12/12/05.

Michael Cooper, "City Is Selling Symbol of Its Troubled Schools," New York Times, 7/09/03.

Amilda Dymi, "Creating a ‘Common Ground’ in NYC," National Mortgage News.

"Cities Exchange: International Brownfields Exchange,"

Brad Lander, "Eminent Domain: What The Supreme Court Ruling Means To NYC," Gotham Gazette, 7/12/05.

Mark Berkey-Gerard, "42nd Street," Gotham Gazette, 8/29/05.

Daniel Goldstein, "Life in the Atlantic Yards Footprint," Gotham Gazette, 12/09/05.

Gus Garcia-Roberts, "The Battle Over the Iron Triangle," Gotham Gazette, 12/09/05.

Joshua Brustein, "Columbia Expansion and Eminent Domain," Gotham Gazette, 12/09/05.

Mark Berkey-Gerard, "Eminent Domain Revisited," Gotham Gazette, 12/12/05.


Big Easy Rollergirls, New Orleans' only all-female, flat-track roller derby league, hosts the Memphis Roller Derby on Saturday, May 19 at Blaine Kern's Mardi Gras World in Algiers Point. The doors open at 6 PM, the action starts @ 7PM.


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