Monday, December 26, 2005

This is Happening in My Backyard?

A selection of quotes from the Times-Picayune article “‘Not in my back yard’ cry holding up FEMA trailers.”

(Read the article for context, but don’t expect the quotes to look any more justified or less sad.)
“It's a nice and quiet and safe neighborhood, and that's how I'd like to keep it,” Galatas said. “I don't want my neighborhood ruined because theirs is.”


“It makes me feel like a second-class citizen, like we're diseased or we're some kind of criminal because we don't have normal housing.”


“We're not trying to be obstructionist,” Councilman Jay Batt said. “We just want this done intelligently and methodically.”


Councilwoman Jacquelyn Brechtel Clarkson, whose district includes Algiers and the French Quarter, said she has fought for trailer parks in her district to be in locations that “don't intrude on our lifestyle.”


“Nobody can guarantee that the price of my property won't be affected,” Meskill said. “Compassion is all right, but compassion can't be at the expense of my property.”


“You used to have murders on the news every night. Nobody would want to live next to that.”


“That's what they forgot about. We weren't the enemy, but now it seems that we are. My city appears not to want me. That's the worst part.”
Where did the forest go? I can’t see it through all these trees.


Polimom said...

Yes, I'm particularly fond of the "compassion can't be at the expense of my property".

Really appalling, particularly for those who think of Algiers as home (or used to). I think they're failing that "No NIMBY" test I wrote about.

Mr. Clio said...

Every freaking neighborhood ought to get a minimum of 50 trailers. No concentrations of 200 trailers and the like.

Screw NIMBY. Hail SIEBY (something in EVERYBODY's backyard). We all need to share in this.

Tara said...

I live in Birmingham, Alabama and I am a once, former and hopefully future, adoptee of NOLA. I completed grades 4-12 and a bit of college there, so basically I grew up in New Orleans and I am pretty much ruined for all other places. She'll always be home.

I am sickened and saddened to hear this NIMBY talk. If I could take on trailers for the the people of NOLA I would. This is out of control - I can't believe these are the voices of New Orleanians -- in many cases people's lives are built by the hands and backs of the poor and the working class, and now they are being shut out of their own cities...even middle class families in racially diverse neighborhoods are fighting for trailer placement.

Just fucking do it -- the sooner it's done, the sooner these people can rebuild or gut or whatever they decide to do, and then get on with it.

The clock is ticking down to the next hurricane season. Open your hearts people.

What can I do from afar? I feel helpless -- if anyone has any good ideas as to how I can help, let me know. I can travel a bit. I have been to New Orleans since its "reopening," and I have stayed abreast of the politics, etc. If anyone reads this and has suggestions for me, please elave a comment or follow through to my unused blog and leave a comment...