Volume 75, Number 19 | Sep. 28 - Oct. 04, 2005

We can rebuild it

Mitchell Landrieu, Louisiana’s lieutenant governor, spoke Sept. 16 at Milano The New School on the challenge of rebuilding New Orleans. Despite Hurricane Katrina’s devastation, Landrieu said it’s the hope of his and others that the city in “the deepest of the Deep South” can become “a beacon of the New South.” His family members personally lost five houses and a summer camp of theirs was underwater, he said. Of the state’s 8,500 National Guardsmen, 5,000 were deployed to the disaster immediately, while 3,500 are in Iraq, he noted. The major breakdown during the hurricane and flood was in communications, he added. He stressed the city must diversify beyond tourism, oil and film. “No place can duplicate the taste, the smell, the sounds of this great city,” said Landrieu. “Nothing can duplicate the feeling of walking through the French Quarter on a misty morning after having a beignet at Dumond’s and a café au lait — with chickory…. There’s no doubt that we will rebuild,” he said, “and we can.” As for Reverend Jesse Jackson’s criticism of their sending refugees to far-off Utah, Landrieu noted that he told him, “I was wet, in the water, in my boots, and I was handed a phone and the governor of Utah said he could take people and put them in a dry, comfortable place. And I said, O.K.”

Lincoln Anderson

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