Saturday, April 4, 2020

New Orleans Needs a Mayor that is Progressive & Native.

February 13, 2020 by  
Filed under News, Opinion, Politics, Weekly Columns

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( It is important to understand we can champion progression while protecting culture. There are places that are not cookie cutter. Cities are not the same, and we should be able to celebrate the difference as it has something to do with why we visit said places. It’s fair to say natives understand the why’s of a culture…they are the culture. Culture is very hard to preserve, even when it is perceived as celebrated when the heart of it is not understood…and it’s siphoned out under the guise of “progression”. People come to New Orleans for various reasons, and many of them fall in love with the culture of the city. In that space they feel drawn enough to this magical place to re-locate. The problem is they don’t realize that the magic isn’t for a holiday or season…it’s every day.

The problem New Orleans has faced in the past, as have many other cities, when dealing with a mayor is corruption and too much talk…not enough progress. The culture was intact but there was problems with police, violence, education, infrastructure, employment, and we aren’t going to get started with the levees. Everything wasn’t the mayor’s fault, but they didn’t do enough. Now under LaToya Cantrell we have a mayor that seems to want to address issues that would move the city forward, but it’s done at the expense of the culture and that is not necessary.

We don’t want to resemble another city. That is not throwing shade it’s having pride in your culture and where you are from. We don’t want to be Houston, or Atlanta. They are great cities, but we want to remain New Orleans in spirit. No one is against people deciding to move to the city, but if they do so the established culture should be respected. Don’t ask us to suppress the second line because you don’t want to hear live music on your street during the week. If that’s a problem continue to visit. We need a mayor that is going to couple progress with fighting the gentrification that threatens the soul of this city.

I don’t doubt that Mayor Cantrell cares about the city of New Orleans; I don’t doubt she loves this city. We just need her to understand we don’t want to lose a culture older than us, and native to a place to moved to. New Orleans would not be the attraction to tourists it is without the natives of this city. We are the heart, soul, and rhythm of this place we call home. Fixing New Orleans is more than just a question of the physical place. If she’s going to allow natives to be pushed out of neighborhoods that our families have lived in for generations to feed the transplant agenda she’s not fighting for us. She must understand this city is only as good as its culture…literally. I voted for progress, and transparency. However, I didn’t vote to have my heart cut out…to feel that I am being pushed to the edges of my home to make room for those that wouldn’t mind only seeing the real New Orleans on occasion. We need someone that is going to fight for all of this city.

Staff Writer; Chelle’ St James

May also connect with this sister via Twitter; ChelleStJames.

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