Sunday, September 20, 2009

Political New Orleans

Po Boy Views
Phil LaMancusa
Common Sense
The Unsent Column
Dear New Orleans: The next Mayor, if they have any sense, will not welcome your input into legislation, policy or decisions. The next Mayor will also tell you the truth, whether you like it or not. These two basic tenets will lead to a smoother run government. We will not mention the current Mayor.
The next Mayor will, flat out, tell you that no, we do not want poor people in New Orleans, nor do we welcome their return from wherever they’ve been. It will be a crime to be poor punishable by education and employment. Charity or dependency will not be available to able bodied citizens. Homelessness and poverty will be met with training and education. Your participation in the betterment of yourself and your family will be mandatory and there will be no supplemental income available for anyone offering the same lame excuses that have worked the system in the past. We’re here for solutions.
The new mayor will not take any days off until these issues and the ones that follow are addressed and dealt with. Neither will the City Council who will meet constantly without public input. If you want to have your councilperson do something, you’ll need to tell them so yourself in your own forum; after all, you voted for them didn’t you? And if you didn’t, you’ll just have to suck it up and vote someone else in.
Councilpersons will meet with their constituents at neighborhood forums and then bring those opinions and options to the Council table. Your responsibility as a citizen stops and your councilperson (elected by you) takes over from there. New Orleans will be run for the common good whether you like it or not.
Which brings us the subject of voting. Anyone who misses three consecutive elections will have to re-register. Lack of interest will not give you a say in the new administration which will have it’s terms cut in half (Mayor especially) so that you will have to vote them in more often or vote them out while the wounds of their misdeeds are still fresh in your mind.
This city is not losing money; this city is hemorrhaging money. We are sending money out of town in outside contracts when the money should be spent here on our own companies to aid in our rebuilding and it’s a shame and the new mayor will stop it. We waste money paying ineffective and extraneous government committees and personnel instead of putting our money in jobs, small businesses and infrastructure.
Here’s some other things that need addressed: The dollar an hour raise that we voted in but the current mayor vetoed. The economy of the city being based on low wage tourism jobs. The labor force being down by over 100,000
Overall unemployment climbing to 8%, with 25% unemployment in young people and 15% in African Americans. Highest High School dropout rates. Highest teen pregnancies. High infant mortality. 71% illegitimacy rates among children being raised in poverty (right here in River City). I group these together because they seem to relate.
Solutions may come via focusing on paying attention to (and throwing employment at): the deplorable condition of our streets, public transit shortages. The need to establish recycling, real cooks in public facilities, more (and better qualified) teachers in our school system. Why should we have volunteer construction people from out of town helping to rebuild our houses, Americorps personnel coming for a tour of duty and Teach for America teachers in charge of our children’s education? Is it because we lack something in our own citizens? You bet your sweet ass. Maybe we should outsource our city government as well. Let’s get Chicago to take over; they do a heck of a job up there.
Onward. Did I mention quality of life and the environment? Did I mention schools and how parent s will be held responsible for their children’s grades, attitudes and actions? A child in trouble will be required to have their parents attend school with them, full time, until problems evaporate. Did I mention that a child’s parents needs to participate in their upbringing and behavior? Did I mention that a child’s parents need to participate in their own upbringing and behavior? Did I mention the child’s need to participate? Did I mention that you need to pay attention?
Other things that need addressed: Crime. Ah yes, crime. ‘Fighting crime’ is just an ambiguous statement as ‘petitioning the Lord with prayer’. Crime cannot be fought, crime can only be eliminated or left to flourish. Period.
Eliminating crime starts with employment, fair housing regulations, health facilities and education. Jails, courts and police forces are not effective
The ban of assault weapons in city limits. And blah blah blah…..
Housing. 63,557 vacant or abandoned homes
Rents up by 50% due to no rental guidelines
Blah blah blah…. And frigging blah
Consider that this is a rant has the future of falling on deaf ears and the city will go on and on in moral morass because anyone that unselfishly would like a change for the better around here has a the same chance of being heard as gas passed in a strong windstorm.
I’ll give you the definition of the word that typifies our situation and then bury this in the blog archive and not even submit it for publication. And then I’ll leave you alone. Apathy and impotence doesn’t deserve my rage. Here’s the word:
Morass: “1. an area of low-lying ground that is soft and wet to a great depth and therefore difficult to walk on.
2. A frustrating, confusing or unmanageable situation that makes any kind of progress extremely slow”. It’s hard not to notice, isn’t it?
But, hopefully now I can take a deep breath and write something upbeat for next month.

1 comment:

top o me head said...

You know how France has always been there when they need us...
Could Paris rebuild Sister City? Oh it would be a Grand sight to behold!