Today's Date: April 15, 2021
Asbury United Methodist and St. Andrews United Methodist Host Oklahoma Chapter Conference on April 18 for Wesleyan Covenant Asso   •   Four African American Sisters Launch 'No Limit International' to Uplift U.S. and Sub-Saharan Communities During the Pandemic and   •   FedEx Office, Vericast Unveil Branded Product Marketplace   •   InventHelp Inventor Develops Eye-Catching Skirt for Women (CKL-1418)   •   Celebrating 100,000 COVID-19 Doses at Minnesota’s Community Health Centers   •   Statewide Business Community Launches PSA to Encourage Vaccinations   •   EyeBuyDirect Donates 5,000 Blue Light Blocking Glasses to Under-Resourced Students   •   College Consensus Publishes Aggregate Ranking of the Best Historically Black Colleges & Universities for 2021   •   New Initiative to Combat Anti-Asian Violence Launched by Major Law Firms and Advocacy Organizations   •   San Antonio Nonprofit Receives Funding for Affordable Housing Remix   •   Feel the Rush and Live the Drama in F1® 2021 – A Next-Gen Experience From Codemasters®   •   The World Stroke Organization Advises Public to be Vigilant for Symptoms of Rare Stroke Linked to Johnson & Johnson and Astr   •   Ancestry Appoints Gene Alston to its Board of Directors   •   Woman-Owned Startup Focused on Bias in the Workplace Acquires DBE Certification   •   Jumpstart for Young Children Welcomes Dr. Thomas A. Parham to its National Board of Directors   •   Gynesonics Announces Publication of SAGE Global Registry Preliminary Results: Real-World Usage Corroborates the Safety and Appli   •   Women in Manufacturing Education Foundation Now Accepting Nominations for the 2021 Women in Manufacturing Hall of Fame   •   Los Angeles Latino Chamber Of Commerce Announces The Addition Of Three New Board Members   •   Core™ Now Available for Free Exclusively on the Epic Games Store   •   Child vaccination rates declined during COVID-19 pandemic
Bookmark and Share

New Orleans, A City Rebuilding Itself

by Marc H. Morial, President and CEO, National Urban League and former mayor of New Orleans



NEW ORLEANS - Last week, I joined the people of my beloved hometown of New Orleans in commemorating the fifth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, a natural and manmade disaster of biblical proportions that claimed 1800 lives and caused more than $100 billion in damages.  Katrina V, as this year's remembrance has been called, is a tale of two cities.  According to a new report from Brookings and the Greater New Orleans Community Data Center, "Despite sustaining three shocks in the last five years [Katrina, the economic downturn, and the Gulf oil spill], greater New Orleans is rebounding and, in some ways, doing so better than before."  

There is no doubt that due to the extraordinary resilience of New Orleans citizens, coupled with sustained assistance from a steady stream of volunteers, and a more effective response from all levels of government, large parts of the city are coming back. Signs of hope include the allocation last week of $1.8 billion in federal funds for New Orleans schools damaged during Katrina, notable improvements in the levee system, and a sweeping overhaul of the New Orleans police department whose actions after Katrina earned it the label as one of the worst and most corrupt in the nation.  This is especially painful for me because my successor Ray Nagin's inept leadership completely dismantled the remarkable police reform that took place when I served as Mayor of New Orleans from 1994-2002.  In an 8 year period of reform crime dropped by 60% and corruption was snuffed out.  This will hopefully begin to change due to the renewed confidence in government that will come with the election in February of a capable new mayor, Mitch Landrieu.  But in places like Pontchatrain Park, where I grew up and in the Lower Ninth Ward, which suffered the worst damage from the storm, progress has come much too slowly, and much more needs to be done.

I saw some of these disparities first-hand last Sunday during my attendance at a rally and memorial for the people of the Lower Ninth who lost their lives during the storm.  While the high spirit of the community remains unbroken, there is no doubt that the pace of the neighborhood's recovery is lagging behind.  By most accounts only one-fifth of the Lower Ninth's 20,000 residents have returned since 2005.  There is evidence that inequities in reconstruction funding along with arduous bureaucratic hurdles and the exclusion of many of the neigborhood's surviving and displaced residents in recovery planning has resulted in large patches of the community still languishing in shambles. So, even as we celebrate New Orleans' remarkable resilience, this is no time for "irrational exuberance."  As I told the crowd at the rally, "Until the Lower Ninth is back, New Orleans is not back." 

It is remarkable that a hard-hit neighborhood like the Lower Ninth Ward is still standing today.  There were calls by some after Katrina for it to be abandoned and never rebuilt.  But the people there and throughout New Orleans have never given up hope.  That is what struck me most about my visit back home last week.  While New Orleans is grateful for more help from the government and the continued goodwill of a nation, its citizens are no longer standing on rooftops of despair waiting to be rescued.  In the spirit that is New Orleans, the city is rebuilding itself.



Back to top
| Back to home page
Video

White House Live Stream
LIVE VIDEO EVERY SATURDAY
alsharpton Rev. Al Sharpton
9 to 11 am EST
jjackson Rev. Jesse Jackson
10 to noon CST


Video

LIVE BROADCASTS
Sounds Make the News ®
WAOK-Urban
Atlanta - WAOK-Urban
KPFA-Progressive
Berkley / San Francisco - KPFA-Progressive
WVON-Urban
Chicago - WVON-Urban
KJLH - Urban
Los Angeles - KJLH - Urban
WKDM-Mandarin Chinese
New York - WKDM-Mandarin Chinese
WADO-Spanish
New York - WADO-Spanish
WBAI - Progressive
New York - WBAI - Progressive
WOL-Urban
Washington - WOL-Urban

Listen to United Natiosns News