06 March 2008

Be Quiet; I'm Speaking For You.

Remember back before Christmas all those "housing advocates" in New Orleans who tried to stop the demolition of four run-down housing projects? They got a lot of moral support, and a lot of air time, claiming they were "speaking for" the displaced residents. One small problem: When someone finally asked those displaced residents what they wanted, more than 80% of those responding didn't want to go back into those projects the advocates wanted to save.

Read the whole thing, and you'll see two other interesting facts: First, more than half of the HANO families are living back in the New Orleans - so much for that "keeping the poor away" meme. And second, this was the "housing advocates" own survey! (Done in collusion with their chief ally in Congress, Rep Maxine Waters, D-CA.) Oops!

I have said this before, I'll say it again: I think the only interests all those "advocates" were advocating was their own, and the residents were just a vehicle to that end. It was all about the exposure, and proving a pre-determined point.

Full disclosure: My firm is the architect for the demolition of the four housing projects. I am from New Orleans. I knew early on taking those projects down - and replacing them with more livable, humanly-scaled housing in a neighborhood setting - was the right thing to do. Anyone with an ounce of compassion for the residents, and who knew the facts, would reach the same conclusion.

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