February 07, 2006

THE LOWER 9TH WARD





Yesterday, I went with a team to the Lower 9th ward of New Orleans to help gut houses for the residents. It looks like a bomb hit but there are homes which are salvageable. Common Ground has 1,000 homes on their list, so more volunteers are always welcome!

The problem lies in the fact that the city of New Orleans wants to bulldoze ALL the homes in the lower 9th ward by an unjust application of 'eminent domain' that is shutting many residents out of the decision making process. Many of the residents, living in shelters across the country with nowhere else to go, are not even aware of the imminent destruction of their homes.

Another group of residents are the elderly who are still living in the 9th ward without power, water, or medical treatment. Federal agents patrol these streets at night and threaten to arrest any resident that stays in this curfew area for trespassing in their own homes.

Common Ground recently set up in the 9th ward in the blue house, offering aid. And yesterday, as it happened, Governor Blanco came to the 9th ward with several political people and news crews. Some of the residents were prepared with signs and were able to share their great concerns with her one-on-one. Time will tell if the governor's promises to help will come to pass.

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