Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Katrina's Still A Disaster

Months later, the hurricane Katrina continues to be a disaster. Of the 400,000 population of New Oeleans before the hurricane, only 100,000 curently live in New Orleans. Some businesses such as bars claim to have only 10% of the business before the hurricane. There is a severe labor shortage due to a lack of housing in New Orleans.

Yet the Mayor of New Orleans, Ray Nagin has done little to bring new housing units to storm damaged New Orleans. FEMA finally has come through with 125,000 trailers for use by disaster victims. Yet Mayor Nagin has failed to sign the needed papers that would allow those who lost their homes to live in these FEMA trailers. In other cities, victims of Katrina are housed in expensive cost hotel housing. Some have been moved to apartments, but many city managers and mayors have failed to sign the paperwork that would allow storm victims to move into the trailers that FEMA has that remain unoccupied.

Some cities cite "zoning" concerns or local concerns of crime from moving large groups of unemployed poor persons into areas and creating a "homeless camp" problem. One cannot help but feel that an element of racism may be a factor in some of this.

But regardless of the reasons that New Orleans Mayor Nagin has not signed the FEMA papers to allow for many of the storm victims to move into FEMA trailers, the Mayor has concerned a local judge for other reasons. The Katrina disaster has delayed the election for Mayor, and no eelections have been held, and a judge has promised to take over the election process and to declare a set election date. The current Mayor may not simply remain in office without standing for election.

Mayor Nagin seemed like an involved leader during the Katrina disaster, but his failure to sign needed paperwork for the FEMA trailers or to declare a new election, date are beginning to set a different standard of leadership. The Mayor may have his reasons, but both housing and elections need to be arranged in the long road toward returning his city back to normal.

In another Katrina related problem, 49 Red Cross subcontracted workers have been indicted for theft of Katrina relief funds.

It seems like months later, Katrina continues to be a disaster.


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