Thursday, February 23, 2006

New Orleans: Work or don't come back.

Nation: Now I can take this one of two ways. Way to go Council people for setting the government is our parent set and telling them what New Orleans need right now is not them. The other way is this gung-ho attitude is to get New Orleans back on its feet, then get the shiftless back for votes while they leech off the workers in the future.

The president of the New Orleans City Council is on the defensive Tuesday after he and two other council members said they don't welcome displaced public housing residents who are unwilling to work. During a meeting Monday, Council President Oliver Thomas said the city doesn't need what referred to as "soap opera watchers" right now. Thomas said government programs and agencies have "pampered" people for too long, rather than actually improving their lives. He stressed that former public housing residents who are unwilling to roll up their sleeves are work are better off staying away. Thomas was on national television Tuesday explaining his comments. "Anyone that wants to come and help with this recovery, you know, we want them to come back and participate," Thomas stressed. "What's the one thing we've learned? We've learned we can't count on the federal government. We can't count on the state government. And we can't count on the local government. So we need as many residents in this community, so that we can count on ourselves."
Houston Chron has the "clarification"
"....During that same meeting, according to the newspaper, officials with the Housing Authority of New Orleans shared their plans. Some residents who lived in public housing before the storm will be able to return. Future residents, however, will have to comply with new restrictions, including a series of questions about employment history and job prospects. In other words, people will have to express a willingness to work to qualify for public housing, officials in New Orleans have said. Later in Monday's meeting, Thomas, who is black, reiterated that his remarks were intended for African-Americans. "There's just been a lot of pampering, and at some point you have to say, 'No, no, no, no, no.' ... If our legs don't hurt, you can walk somewhere," he said. "I'm saying these things to motivate my people."
This part should give the workers pause.
Efforts to reach Thomas were unsuccessful Tuesday, but Clarkson said she and the other elected officials aren't targeting the elderly or disabled who once lived in New Orleans public housing. "But it is an indictment of those who can work, but don't work," she said. Clarkson also said the city eventually wants to bring everyone back, but needs to start with workers first, to create a tax base. Then, eventually, she said, New Orleans will have the resources to support everyone, including the unemployable.
So I am leaning to the second way of thinking.

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