Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Formal redevelopment begins

Yesterday, Governor Blanco announced the establishment of the Louisiana Recovery Authority. Speaking of the LRA, Blanco said:

It will be a unified voice with the single focus on rebuilding. It will show the nation that we can work across all of the old boundaries that once kept us apart.
That's a giant task, but it's an important one for state leadership to undertake as evidenced by today's report in the New York Times about the LRA:
In a state known for its bitter political rivalries and history of corruption, the board is intended to set priorities for restoring housing, jobs, transportation, health care and education to New Orleans and other Gulf Coast areas struggling to recover.
As a reader observed in an email yesterday:
By its very nature, plans for rebuilding and the rebuilding/building anew process by government and private sector are given timeframes of 9months-5 or more years. The timeframes that people need for rebuilding and restarting their lives, however, is only a matter of weeks-3 months.
I can add nothing to this except perhaps the additional observation that since Katrina hit the Gulf Coast it's been painfully clear that some governments (local, state and national) are better equipped to respond than others. Look east to Mississippi and see that the governor has already signed Katrina-inspired legislation. Does Louisiana have any such legislation? Not yet. Sadly, what all this means is that the LRA, as bold and important and dramatic and all-encompassing as it is, may be too little too late for the hundreds of thousands who have left the affected areas and have no intention of ever coming back.