Video: Did the Super Bowl hold back recovery in the Lower Ninth Ward?

posted at 2:51 pm on February 4, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

CBS’ James Brown takes a critical look at the impact of the Super Bowl on the progress of recovery in New Orleans’ Lower Ninth Ward, both the poorest part of the city and the hardest hit by the flooding following Hurricane Katrina. More than seven years later, the city put plenty of resources into sprucing up its tourist centers and transportation assets, in anticipation of Super Bowl XLVII, played last night.  The Lower Ninth has not seen nearly as much attention, which has some local leaders questioning the priorities of the political class in the city and state:

Community leader Patricia Jones told CBS News’ James Brown that in New Orleans, it is a tale of two cities: the city characterized by a refurbished Superdome and the tourist-jammed French Quarter versus the Lower Ninth Ward, the city’s poorest area. She says the Lower Ninth is making a slow recovery in part because the city government and other authorities are dragging their feet.

“Count the years, eight. For us, that’s real. For every apology, it’s not enough. All we know is that we’re not home and these are people making decisions at the policy level that trickle down to regular folks and it hurts.”

Pastor Fred Luter, who grew up in New Orleans and leads one of the city’s largest churches, “For those of us from there, it’s disheartening, discouraging, and a lot of us ask, ‘Why?’” Luter said of the slow pace of progress in the Lower Ninth Ward.

Luter added that he believes the delayed cleanup is a not a matter of economics, or race necessarily. “I think it’s priorities, I really do. We made it a priority to re-do the airport, we made it a priority to clean up downtown. It was a priority because the Super Bowl was coming, well, the Super Bowl is just one day, it’s going to be gone. Let’s make that same priority now for other areas of the city that need it really bad.”

Undoubtedly, the city needed to rebuild its commercial base in order to provide a steady tax stream to proceed with the rest of the repairs needed.  But Brown asks a pretty tough question about whether the city put the game ahead of its people, and the answer isn’t terribly complimentary.  It’s a good segment for CBS and for James Brown, and kudos for raising the question — although I notice they didn’t raise it last week before the game, which CBS televised.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

This pretty much went uncovered.

Schadenfreude on February 4, 2013 at 2:55 PM

Makes more sense to blame it on Mardi Gras, as there have been seven in NOLA since Katrina, versus only one Super Bowl.

Christien on February 4, 2013 at 2:58 PM

Because everybody knows that government spending is precursor to economic recovery. It’s a fact.

Fenris on February 4, 2013 at 2:59 PM

All we know is that we’re not home and these are people making decisions at the policy level that trickle down to regular folks and it hurts.”

Hmmmmm…..so “not home” means the people who used to live there haven’t returned, and won’t until somebody else cleans up there old stuff and builds a new house for them?

Should we leave the lights on for you in case you get here late?

BobMbx on February 4, 2013 at 3:00 PM

Nagin

Nuff said

cmsinaz on February 4, 2013 at 3:00 PM

The “media” never has reported the Grand Sum Total of federal money poured into the mafia graft corruption New Orleans since Hurricane Katrina (> $ 150 BILLION)…

… but it might make an interesting Update to give people some perspective on how when Democrats have a disaster the “gravy train” never ends.

PolAgnostic on February 4, 2013 at 3:13 PM

Also hit by Katrina: Mobile, Alabama.

Don’t hear a lot of sobbing from them

ss396 on February 4, 2013 at 3:14 PM

All we know is that we’re not home and these are people making decisions at the policy level that trickle down to regular folks and it hurts.”

Hmmmmm…..so “not home” means the people who used to live there haven’t returned, and won’t until somebody else cleans up there old stuff and builds a new house for them?

Should we leave the lights on for you in case you get here late?

BobMbx on February 4, 2013 at 3:00 PM

THIS.
They don’t want the ninth ward inhabitants back in NOLA. The rest of the country is picking up their welfare checks and dealing with their criminals wherever the trash landed after the swamp was drained.

RovesChins on February 4, 2013 at 3:21 PM

It’s a good segment for CBS and for James Brown, and kudos for raising the question — although I notice they didn’t raise it last week before the game, which CBS televised.

We want our Super Bowl and our righteous righteous moral outrage too….. we just gets to say what order we has them in.

/CBS

ted c on February 4, 2013 at 3:28 PM

More than seven years later, the city put plenty of resources into sprucing up its tourist centers and transportation assets, in anticipation of Super Bowl XLVII, played last night.

Let me guess, they could find transportation to take folk into and outta the game, but they couldn’t find bus drivers, nor bus keys, to evacs the peeps from the 9th ward????

/priorities (and they thought Bush was baaaad)

ted c on February 4, 2013 at 3:29 PM

But it’s a CHOCOLATE CITY, right??

ToddPA on February 4, 2013 at 3:30 PM

Why are we spending a huge amount of money rebuilding an area that is 8 feet below sea level? It would be better to buy them out, plow it over and let them move to higher ground.

Sparky on February 4, 2013 at 3:30 PM

Here’s a simple solution. Let’s just plan the next hurricane like we plan this year’s Super Bowl…..maybe then the folks there in the city hall will begin to take the folk in the lower 9th seriously, eh?

ted c on February 4, 2013 at 3:31 PM

Maybe the name “Katrina” wasn’t enough to get Ray Nagin to do nothin’…. the next one they should call it Hurricane “Ray Lewis” and maybe the folks would get up and move a lil’ more quicklier? if that’s a word…../

ted c on February 4, 2013 at 3:32 PM

Why are we spending a huge amount of money rebuilding an area that is 8 feet below sea level? It would be better to buy them out, plow it over and let them move to higher ground.

Sparky on February 4, 2013 at 3:30 PM

True but of course, racist.

CorporatePiggy on February 4, 2013 at 3:39 PM

Here we go again with the poor L9W. Hard working people were just as devastated in generational neighborhoods such as Lakeview and St. Bernard; just the MSM can’t stop feeding their racial fetish.

Jocundus on February 4, 2013 at 3:42 PM

The story was a little vague.
Who is Patricia Jones and what exactly makes her a “community leader”?
Is she a home owner.
A renter?
Is she employed?
Is she implying the govt. is supposed to build brand new houses for people and just give them to them?
What exactly is she asking for?
What does she actually do?

Anybody can point to an empty lot but who owns that lot?
Where is the owner?
Did they receive a settlement and just decide not to return?

NeoKong on February 4, 2013 at 3:55 PM

Obama hates black people!!eleven1!

LoganSix on February 4, 2013 at 3:58 PM

oh my

SparkPlug on February 4, 2013 at 4:00 PM

Sparky on February 4, 2013 at 3:30 PM

hi.

SparkPlug on February 4, 2013 at 4:04 PM

There is no rate of return for Section 8 ghettos.

Hence why tourism spots – and venues have been rebuilt.

Obama has now been in office longer than Bush – post Katrina. Square that one race-baiting liberals.

Odie1941 on February 4, 2013 at 4:06 PM

I was home on leave(Houston) when Katrina hit.My wifey’s church took in around 400 9th Warders.At her request and the good man in me I bought 40 cases of Charmin and took them to the church.The men were hanging around playing bones and wouldn’t even help unload the truck.That did it for me,forever.

docflash on February 4, 2013 at 4:06 PM

But Brown asks a pretty tough question about whether the city put the game ahead of its people, and the answer isn’t terribly complimentary.

Bloomberg was planning the same after the hurricane…just had to have his marathon. Until he was shamed into canceling it.

GarandFan on February 4, 2013 at 4:08 PM

$150B free money, crooked politicians, docile poor citizens = The Lower Ninth Ward today.

But of course to the media it’s just racism.

PattyJ on February 4, 2013 at 4:09 PM

Bloomberg was planning the same after the hurricane…just had to have his marathon. Until he was shamed into canceling it.

GarandFan on February 4, 2013 at 4:08 PM

good point!!

ted c on February 4, 2013 at 4:16 PM

“For those of us from there, it’s disheartening, discouraging, and a lot of us ask, ‘Why?’” Luter said of the slow pace of progress in the Lower Ninth Ward.

We haven’t seen ‘yo dollah’ yet.

BobMbx on February 4, 2013 at 4:24 PM

Why are we spending a huge amount of money rebuilding an area that is 8 feet below sea level? It would be better to buy them out, plow it over and let them move to higher ground.

Sparky on February 4, 2013 at 3:30 PM

Exactly! Why are people even thinking about rebuilding this, when it’s just as vulnerable to future hurricanes?

NbyNW on February 4, 2013 at 4:35 PM

They should have bought everyone out and made it a park. Why rebuild on land 8 feet beneath sea level?

warren on February 4, 2013 at 4:44 PM

But it’s a CHOCOLATE CITY, right??

ToddPA on February 4, 2013 at 3:30 PM

Maybe Hansel and Gretel will move into the ward.

mechkiller_k on February 4, 2013 at 5:10 PM

They should have bought everyone out and made it a park. Why rebuild on land 8 feet beneath sea level?

warren on February 4, 2013 at 4:44 PM

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/05/opinion/krugman-sandy-versus-katrina.html?_r=0

heh.

unclesmrgol on February 4, 2013 at 5:15 PM

9th ward, recovering still? After 71/2 years???? Is it a chocolate recovery?

jake49 on February 4, 2013 at 5:36 PM

I was home on leave(Houston) when Katrina hit.My wifey’s church took in around 400 9th Warders.At her request and the good man in me I bought 40 cases of Charmin and took them to the church.The men were hanging around playing bones and wouldn’t even help unload the truck.That did it for me,forever.

docflash on February 4, 2013 at 4:06 PM

You saw this on television at the time. A bunch of layabouts sitting on their fat a**es while white people scurried around trying to provide for them.

And they wanted me to take these people in? Keep dreaming!

Dack Thrombosis on February 4, 2013 at 8:10 PM

…democrats are in charge!…what was the question?

KOOLAID2 on February 4, 2013 at 10:12 PM

The Louisiana Superdome is just that a state built and owned facility. New Orleans doesn’t have that much say in the matter.

Might want to ask former governor, Blank Zero that question.

Kermit on February 4, 2013 at 11:47 PM

I lost almost everything I owned in Katrina. Almost everything; I still have my self-respect and pride.

The Lower 9th was HORRIBLE before Katrina and now the trash that did remain behind has migrated to St. Bernard. It was so bad that if you drove back through it from the Quarter on a weekend night, you were pretty much expected to not stop for red lights, stop signs, whatever. Whatever it took to get you out of there fast.

Now St. Bernard has more crime and drugs than ever before, multi-income housing, which is just a nice way of saying ‘projects that are subsidized at different levels according to your income’ and a whole lot of people who refuse to move back because it’s so terrible now.

I wouldn’t move back to da parish if you built me a palace and paid me to live there. It doesn’t even feel like home when I have to go there for work. It used to make me sad, then I got angry, now I’m just nostalgic for what it was.

LickyLicky on February 5, 2013 at 2:43 AM

I lost everything I owned living in Lakeview except my self worth. The problem no one even reports on the inhabitants of the lower 9th Ward is that the money was available to the homeowners to help them rebuild. One problem, most of the residents of the Lower 9th Ward were not legal owners of their property. The houses belonged to their parents, grandparents, aunts uncles, etc. but successions were never opened deeds were never transferred so there was no way to find the rightful owners of the property. Those houses will sit abandoned because the squatters will not come back because they cannot legally claim the property as theirs. After time, the properties will be reclaimed by the city and/or state and sold off. The neighborhoods will eventually come back, most probably as low income housing.

GregM on February 5, 2013 at 10:44 AM

Luter added that he believes the delayed cleanup is a not a matter of economics, or race necessarily. “I think it’s priorities, I really do. We made it a priority to re-do the airport, we made it a priority to clean up downtown. It was a priority because the Super Bowl was coming, well, the Super Bowl is just one day, it’s going to be gone. Let’s make that same priority now for other areas of the city that need it really bad.”

Makes more sense to blame it on Mardi Gras, as there have been seven in NOLA since Katrina, versus only one Super Bowl.

It’s New Orleans people. Different priorities. Come on over to Galveston which was hit just as bad if not worse by Ike than New Orleans was by Katrina. You can’t even tell the city has had a disaster.

georgeofthedesert on February 5, 2013 at 5:34 PM