New Orleans residents need to mentally buckle up because change is on the horizon. The city released its list of people appointed to the city council-created Street Renaming Commission. With nine people chosen for the commission, the council, mayor, and City Planning Commission entirely ignored the preservation community.
Like it or not, change will probably happen, although the city’s elected officials NEED to hear opposition. Whether 2020 or 2021, the city of New Orleans will undergo a major revision.
The Jefferson Davis statue no longer stands on Jefferson Davis Parkway. The rewriters–yes, Clancy Dubos, that’s what they are: rewriters–want to change the street name to honor Norman Francis. This does not seem fitting for the cesspool that is New Orleans. No, New Orleans needs something more appropriate and visionary. New Orleans needs a name that it can truly build into the future: Indictment Avenue. Each time an elected New Orleans official gets indicted on criminal charges for crimes committed while holding public office, a memorial should be added. If convicted, they could earn a statue. This concept provides long term development, planning, and proper recognition for those that helped drive New Orleans into the ground.
2020 alone shows the decline in elected leadership. Jared Brossett, in his second term on the city council, is believed to be in rehab following his arrest for driving under the influence and the resulting automobile accident while driving a city vehicle. Jason Williams, in his second term on the city council, was federally indicted on 11 charges involving taxes. Williams maintains he will remain a candidate for District Attorney of New Orleans in November. LaToya Cantrell, former council member and current mayor, owes back taxes to the city and IRS. These are the leaders of New Orleans. If Williams stays out of jail, he has a chance to win the D.A.’s office. These people have zero integrity. None of the three have even hinted at the idea of resigning from public office despite their public embarrassments. The city is going down the toilet.
Among the list of streets expected to be targeted by the commission are throughways named for the early governors of Louisiana. These people are the reason that anyone lives in New Orleans today. They faced real challenges unlike today’s malcontents vulgarly expressing their sensitive feelings and emotions, constantly seeking reasons to be victimized. The men who founded and maintained western civilization in a swamp along the unsettled Mississippi River should have their names on streets in New Orleans. They earned that recognition.
As to the idea of actually renaming public streets in New Orleans, the commission’s proposals should be put to a vote of the people. It’s 2020, Americans are over-stimulated with information through technology. Citizens are fully capable of voting on their city themselves. The mayor and council were not elected on the platform of altering New Orleans’ history. This is new territory and the process created by the council stinks like Mitch Landrieu’s 2015 monument review process. They are only elected representatives temporarily holding office. It is the people’s city and the residents of New Orleans should have a say in the ultimate decision.