Ray Nagin- Driving New Orleans to Oblivion

Well, Hizzonor the Mayor has establish a panel to rebuild New Orleans. The newspaper report does not give all the names of those involved but from what they do list, I think I’ve heard enough to know how this is going to turn out.

Nagin introduces city’s rebuilders
Group called on to shape N.O.

With much of New Orleans still in shambles and a national debate growing about the cost of rebuilding the city, Mayor Ray Nagin on Friday introduced a panel of movers and shakers who he hopes will be the architects of a new and better Crescent City.

The 17-member group faces the gargantuan and unprecedented task of returning parts of the city nearly annihilated by Hurricane Katrina to their pre-storm condition, while simultaneously addressing chronic problems such as New Orleans’ deplorable public school system.

Nagin’s team includes attorneys, academics, business people and church figures, many of them lifelong residents. …

The commission will be co-chaired by two native New Orleanians: community activist Barbara Major, executive director of the St.Thomas Health Clinic, and Mel Lagarde, chief executive officer of HCA Delta Division, a major health care provider.

Mel Lagarde and who? Lagarde is well known in the city and probably a good choice, the other name I had not heard of so I was off to google where I found this not-so-confidence-inspiring resume.

Barbara Major is a community organizer and trainer with over twenty years experience in many local, national,  and international community development efforts.  This work includes everything from nurturing leadership development efforts [What? ed] within local communities to assisting institutions in developing strategies to de-institutionalize racism. [Both useful skills when building a city. -ed]

Originally trained in social work, Barbara is a native of New Orleans.  Her home base is in the St. Thomas/Irish Channel area where she formerly served as the chair of the community driven  St. Thomas/Irish Channel Consortium, a nationally acclaimed model for holistic community and institutional transformation.

She is a core trainer for The People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond and for Crossroads Ministries where she connects her local organizing to teaching anti-racism to people and institutions that live in or work with struggling communities. [What does the verb “connects” mean here exactly? ed]   Presently, she is the Executive Director of the St. Thomas Health Clinic, a non-profit health clinic providing services to the underserved and uninsured population of the St. Thomas/Irish Channel community.

OK, so her primary qualities are that she has in incomprehensible resume and she is a black female. GREAT! Letting people like this run New Orleans has worked so well in the past! But maybe I’m judging her too fast…. Let’s get to know her better in her own words.

“I am honored to have been asked to be a part of this commission,” Major said. “I don’t know if I’m more scared than honored. But fear is a good thing because it brings about caution.”

Major said she is committed to rebuilding a New Orleans “with the inclusiveness that it never had before in terms of equity and access. That everybody has a right to return to New Orleans. Not to the old New Orleans but to a better New Orleans where there is decent housing and quality schools and health care for all.”

Rudolph Giuliani she ain’t.

What we really need in oversee arguably the largest business and cilvil engineering project ever undertaken is a social worker who has no apparently applicable job skills. Wonderful.

You would think after the failed Louisiana politics on display this past month, that this commission would be made up of people who -you know- had some talents we could apply and not some politically correct nonsense appointments.

New Orleans does not need social workers with psycho-babble resumes, we need capable leaders.

Update: Oh great! From another TP story (not worth linking)

Nagin on Friday named the 17 members of a blue-ribbon panel that will serve in an advisory role on rebuilding efforts. The City Council, not to be outdone, is establishing a similar body. And Gov. Kathleen Blanco has set up her own rebuilding team.

We’re officially doomed.

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