I Guess I Don't Understand Home
As we mark the three year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, we must remember that New Orleans is still the "home of the homeless" as Harry Shearer says every week. I think back to the late 1980s earthquake in San Francisco, and remember that the city was much better off in 1992 than New Orleans is today. Why do we still have people sleeping in trailers in New Orleans? There were no trailers used in San Francisco. Why are large numbers sleeping in tents in New Orleans? Why has the infrastructure not returned? Why haven't the levees been replaced by a solid concrete levee system similar to the one used in Holland?
I find it amazing with Gustav bearing down on the region how attached people are to the city of New Orleans. I love Cleveland, but if a tornado destroyed my house, and there was a high likelihood that it would happen again, I would be outta here. I talked to a number of people who said that they would have never returned to New Orleans after Katrina and the rest said they would never return if they were forced to evacuate a second time in three years. I guess that I do not understand the value of "home." Will this be the knock out punch for New Orleans? What is so attractive about a place that a person would risk repeated property destruction in order to live? I admire that kind of loyalty, but I do not understand it.
I do not understand how anyone, Republican or Democrat, can say that they want smaller government after witnessing the results of small government in the Gulf Coast. We could have used a bigger government forcing the improvement of the levees. We needed a bigger government to evacuate and deploy resources after a crisis. We need government to provide a safety net and to provide for the common defense. Those who preach smaller government during elections, should be consistent and say, "Hey, New Orleans this is a new era of small government. All of you will have work through this disaster by yourselves. Why should all the rest of the United States taxpayers have to help one region?"
Posts by Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless staff and Board.