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Pres. Obama to commemorate Katrina Anniversary in N.O.

24th August 2015   ·   0 Comments

Residents reflect installment personal loans on struggles, ‘progress’ in post-Katrina New Orleans

In his latest Katrina Pain Index report, civil rights attorney Bill Quigley shared statistics that paint a grim reality facing the city’s poor and working-class residents.

Quigley points out, for example, it costs 33 percent more to rent a one-bedroom apartment than it did in 2005 and 41 percent more to rent a two-bedroom apartment.

With sky-high rental rates, ever-rising property taxes, Sewerage & Water Board fees, insurance rates and energy bills, life is anything but easy for most of the residents of this majority-Black city.

While Katrina recovery was supposed to make things better for residents, Quigley’s Katrina Pain Index makes it clear that the benefits of living in a “new New Orleans” have not trickled down to the Black masses.

For instance, he reported that the median income for white families is $60,553, compared to a median income of $25,102 for Black families. Those numbers explain why 50 percent of the city’s Black children live in poor households. The Data Center reported that 37 percent of New Orleans renters spend more than 50 percent of their income on rent, leaving very little money for other expenses. Before Katrina, the average renter spent 19 percent of his or her income on rent.

Making matters worse is the ics payday loans fact that there are 9,000 fewer New Orleanians receiving food stamps than before Katrina and 6,000 fewer people receiving Social Security than there were before Katrina.

Despite these numbers, the Landrieu administration and non-profit groups have touted the city’s progress in transforming New Orleans into a world-class city.

“I’m not buying any of that,” Ramessu Merriamen Aha, a New Orleans businessman and former congressional candidate, told The Louisiana Weekly Thursday. “What they’ve done is corral poor Black people into poverty zones to clear the way for whites to gentrify virtually every neighborhood in New Orleans.

Aha said he was not impressed with the mayor’s trips to Atlanta and Houston last week to tell displaced residents that they were still wanted in New Orleans.

“That’s a slap in the face to all of the people who have been unable to get back home over the past decade, as well as to all of those whose hearts and spirits were broken by the city’s refusal to lift a finger to help them to return home,” Aha told The Louisiana Weekly.

Daryl Collins, a former Virginia resident, moved back to New Orleans just before Katrina and remains here as he helps his mother and sister to rebuild their homes. He says they hasn’t received much help payday advance in erie pa from the Road Home program, FEMA or the City of New Orleans.

“It’s pretty much been ‘survival of the fittest,’” he told The Louisiana Weekly. “New Orleans is a much colder and more unforgiving city than it was when I grew up here. Students are treated like prison inmates in schools, cops get away with violating the constitutional rights of Black people on the regular and homeless people are treated like cattle.”

“I plan to drown it all out, pardon the expression,” Collins says when asked how he will commemorate Katrina’s 10th anniversary.

“Listening to all the lies and mistruths from local elected officials will only make me more bitter and angry, so I will take some time off and shut it all out.”

“I don’t know about you, but I can’t take much more of the Katrina remembrances, anniversaries and celebrations,” 7th Ward resident Tootie Francis told The Weekly. “Everybody has jumped on the K10 thing. Never mind those of us who are still suffering, still feeling like strangers in our own land.

“How does the ‘new’ New Orleans feel?” she asked. “It feels like apartheid!”

Francis added that she is weary of the way some neighborhoods’ stories take precedence over others and the fact that very few elected officials or media organizations are payday loan anaheim ca talking about the racial injustice and economic inequity that continue to fester in New Orleans.

“We saved ourselves, no local, state or federal presence on my block,” she told The Louisiana Weekly. “No search and rescue here, no emergency broadcast system, no Katrina tattoos.

“We are not poor, we are not illiterate. We have multiple vehicles and we did NOT evacuate. No one is telling our story.”

Francis said she, like many of her neighbors, are tired of being overlooked for recent transplants to the city and treated like she is invisible until it is time to pay property taxes for lackluster city services.

“We rebuilt ourselves — no FEMA , no ‘cheap’ or undocumented laborers,” Francis told The Louisiana Weekly.

“It was like building a house in the middle of a graveyard. There was no plan or revitalization strategy for our neighborhood. There was nothing but the same old, same old — bad streets, nuisance businesses, checkerboard re-population. We get to pay top dollar for it all.

“We have shacks, mini-mansions and boat houses…..all occupying the same block.

“We who are still here can barely afford it,” Francis continued.. “You won’t find many locals able to participate in or enjoy the ‘festivities.’”

Dozens of events, ranging from community service projects to personal loans regina prayer services, panel discussions and second lines, will mark the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, including visits from Presidents Barack Obama, Bill Clinton and George Bush.

One Gentilly resident who spoke to The Louisiana Weekly on the condition of anonymity said that she does not plan to spend the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina listening to people who weren’t negatively impacted by the devastating storm and the subsequent flood talk about bouncing back from it. “I’m sick of it— I’m just sick of all of it,” she said. “I’m sick of hearing about all of the progress we’ve made as a city when so many people are still trying to put their lives back together. All of the injustices and inequities that Katrina revealed are still here.

“The business community, so-called policy planners and elected officials tore this city apart and did more damage than Katrina ever could. They destroyed Black neighborhoods, refused to give Black homeowners what they needed to rebuild their homes and lives and did not lift a finger to help tens of thousands of displaced Black New Orleanians to get back home.”

“Black people in New Orleans are still hurting and struggling to make ends meet in New Orleans,” Aha said.

This article originally published in the August 24, 2015 print edition of The Louisiana Weekly newspaper.

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