Here’s about as perfect a description of modern Democrat governance as you can get. From Fox 8 in New Orleans…
Due to the rise in crime in New Orleans, a local business owner decided to move her business out of Orleans Parish.
Kim Martin, the owner of Textures Warehouse, captured surveillance video of a carjacking on Saturday, May 28. Just steps away from the front door of her old warehouse on Ninth St. near Tchoupitoulas St.
“Oh, it terrified me. It really did,” said Martin. “It was horrible. I felt horrible for the women and they look like they were out shopping… It’s just sad to see something like that.”
For Martin, she said carjackings and crimes like this not only affect the victims but also the community. She said there have been several incidences near her warehouse over the years, including car break-ins, theft, and carjackings.
“We have 800 people through our door on a Saturday, so people would be parking up and down this road. A lot of women with strollers, and carrying things back and forth from their car,” she said. “We noticed slowly a decline in people coming and they were telling us, ‘We don’t want to park three blocks away in the daytime. We’re nervous. We’re scared. There is no other parking.’”
So Martin and her team packed up the warehouse and moved her furniture and home goods business to another space in Elmwood.
“It’s hard. You establish a business here for three years and you have to relocate because of something like that. That’s pretty sad,” she said.
One block away from where the carjacking took place is Disco Warehouse, another textiles and furniture business. Employee Tyla Maiden feels like the carjacking on Saturday could have easily happened to her.
“It’s really unsettling, especially because it happened in broad daylight,” said Maiden. “It really makes me think that I need to be a lot more aware of my surroundings while I’m pulling up to park going to work.”
The carjackings, shootings, pandemic of robberies and other criminal activity even in the good neighborhoods of New Orleans are things which aren’t an accident.
There was a time not so long ago when, while New Orleans had always been a brutally violent city and there were parts of it you simply didn’t visit if you valued your life or possessions, the “good” places in the city were more or less safe. The New Orleans Police Department has never had enough cops on the beat to properly patrol the whole city, but the parts of it where money resided had enough police protection that, outside of the occasional high-profile home invasion/murder which scandalized all the best people, mortal danger wasn’t the rule.
But that changed in the past 10 years. And now there are drive-by shootings in front of popular establishments on Magazine Street and carjackings in front of retail places in the Irish Channel.
You can’t run a business in a high-crime neighborhood. Particularly not a restaurant or a retail outlet. You can’t operate anything where cash commonly changes hands, because that’s a magnet for muggers. If the cops aren’t there all the time to provide security, the crooks will knock over your customers or your store, and even if they don’t wipe you out the word will get around and your store will be empty.
And that’s what happened to the furniture store. They thought they’d get in on the hippy-dippy Irish Channel vibe and convert an old warehouse into a cool retail place, but nobody wants to get carjacked on the way to the store. And being smart businesspeople they cut their losses and moved to Elmwood, in Jefferson Parish, where there is a functioning government and a functional local law enforcement agency.
Do you think that’s an isolated case? You think wrong.
Crime like New Orleans has results in empty storefronts. Eventually it results in empty houses. It absolutely results in an exodus of money and economic activity.
You know all this. What we want you to understand is that this dynamic isn’t just the product of negligence or incompetence. It’s purposeful.
New Orleans has the resources for a much larger police force, one which could keep the peace in the commercial areas and make for a safe marketplace in the Irish Channel or Magazine Street. But the NOPD has been gutted by stupid hug-a-thug consent decrees, idiotic hiring requirements and morale-killing personnel and policy decisions. It’s spread too thin because it’s “racism” not to provide extra protection in the most valuable areas, so the French Quarter is now a crime-ridden sewer where it used to be somewhat safe.
Do you think that LaToya Cantrell, Jason Williams and the rest of the Marxist clowns in charge of that city don’t understand this cause and effect? Of course they do. They just aren’t bothered by it.
Williams won’t prosecute anybody. Cantrell won’t listen to the business people. They get plenty enough feedback to know what’s going on.
They choose not to do anything about it. Why?
Because if Kim Martin stays in Orleans Parish and keeps her business there, then Kim Martin is going to be in a position to have a little political influence. She might give money to someone who might run against a LaToya Cantrell or Jason Williams. She might even run herself. Kim Martin might get with other people like herself and organize some political opposition to City Hall around the awful job it does.
But when Kim Martin throws up her hands and moves away, she’s no longer a problem for LaToya Cantrell, and LaToya Cantrell’s job gets easier. All she has to do now is cut little favors for the blue-blood, old-money rich in the Garden District and Audubon Place, and throw some table scraps to the masses of New Orleans’ poor. The fewer middle- and upper-middle-class Kim Martins around trying to run their small businesses, the better. The Kim Martins of the world complain about carjackings in front of their shops, they raise hell about potholes, they don’t want tax increases.
They’re a pain in the ass for LaToya Cantrell because they insist on her doing her job. And there is no benefit in that for LaToya Cantrell.
But, you say, New Orleans has to have Kim Martins. How will it survive without them?
Easily, is the answer, because for all the loss of its tax base to the suburbs New Orleans can compensate with the magic of federal dollars flowing into the city’s coffers. That hardly makes for much of a private-sector economy, but that grant money will prop up all the non-profits greasing the local pols and “community organizer” crowd, and it’ll make for plenty enough swag to keep happy the mobbed-up government contractors who are Cantrell’s friends and allies.
And that’s really all she cares about.
They rule over a ruin, but they rule.
That’s weaponized governmental failure, and it rules New Orleans. As Kim Martin has now realized.