City Council Ignores Housing Crisis, Discriminatory Vote Set

Coalition to Stop the Demolitions
Date Published: 
December 20, 2007
New Orleans City Council will vote to continue the displacement of Black and working class families Thursday [December 20, 2007] when it rubber stamps the demolition of almost 4,000 desperately needed apartments. The City Council plans to conduct a sham meeting. They will go through the motions of the required public comment, but their vote is already determined.

Council members engaged in ongoing discussions with residents and advocates have plainly stated their position: There will be a vote on Thursday. There will be no moratorium. They will approve demolition of all the developments.

“We finally cleaned up public housing. We couldn’t do it, but God did.” Senator Baker’s comment shocked the nation in 2005. Thursday New Orleans first majority white city council in over 30 years will vote to execute this blatantly racist vision.

Not only does this racism halt the democratic process, but there are serious conflicts of interest, misrepresentation of facts, lack of consultation with the public and a pending federal investigation of HUD Secretary Alphonso Jackson. The Council’s deliberate disregard of these factors makes their vote illegitimate.

New Orleans already has a homeless population in excess of 12,000, and by March there will be more than 50,000 families evicted from closing FEMA trailer parks. The only legitimate solution is to reopen all available housing now.

“The City Councils vote to demolish in the midst of the ever-growing housing crisis is an egregious violation of human rights. It is beyond callous, and can only be seen as malicious discrimination. It is an unabashed attempt to eliminate the Black population of New Orleans.” said Kali Akuno, of the Coalition to Stop the Demolition.

The Coalition stands by its positions that HUD/HANO end all demolition attempts, reopen all existing housing, begin building new housing on property cleared decades ago, guarantee one-for-one replacement once resident input controls renovation, and revoke the illegal contracts made under Jackson.