Last evening, for the first time in a long while, I exited the expressway at the Tchoupitoulas exit, the same exit used by thousands of visitors to access the cruise terminals, the Convention Center, and the Downtown tourist areas, the same exit used by citizens of Louisiana to access the core of its once blossoming economic and cultural hub.
Before my eyes was a sea of tents of all sizes and shapes, surrounded by a mounds of garbage and debris. The occupants, many young, healthy looking folks, were wandering about or begging at the traffic signals.
I hear, though haven’t seen, that under the Claiborne Ave overpass is worse.
I doubt that the homes of city leaders are filled with garbage, I doubt the they allow human jettsom to loiter on their streets. So, why do they think that human detritus accumulating in prominent locations is acceptable for our citizens? Why do they claim to feel sorry for the homeless (or whatever brings them here), as they ignore the prosperity and sensibilites of those who elected them? What is it in the nature of Left Wing politicians and the NGOs that feed at the public trough that makes them believe that living in third world encampments would ever improve the lives of these castoffs?
Here’s my suggestion, clear out these encampments, offer the unfortunate occupants a place to live in some out of the way part of town and provide them food, water, sanitation, and healthcare. Enforce zoning, sanitation, and public safety codes and laws. That is why such were enacted in the first place.
I know, local leaders would never do this, as all sorts of activists (one has to wonder where these activists get their funding) would make politicians’ lives miserable, even as the media would rush out to show how cruel the city was if lts laws were enforced. But no politicians and no media ever asks tourists what they think when they descend into our city, none ask residents why they don’t visit downtown, or why businesses have left the once thriving business district. Liberal cities all over America are crumbling under the burden of Left Wing policies. Where is it written that New Orleans has to blindly fall in line behind them. Can’t we for once lead in the long overdue rejuvenation of American urban centers?
Managing a well run city, and making it a place appealing to tourists and citizens alike means that they don’t have to be faced with the wreckage of human society. I am sorry that these people are drug addicted, mentally ill, or just don’t want to fit into society. But because these people have, by force or by choice, dropped out of society, the limit of public tolerance should be to give them a place to camp and offer them reasonable free services. It should not extend to committing economic and quality of life suicide for the majority, or in keeping the vagrants trapped in a cycle that only ends in prison or in death.
Cities have no obligation to let themselves become obsolete simply to salve Left Wing sensibilities, or to finance the NGO industry that thrives off of the weak and outcast.
If we want to stave off the absolute collapse of our urban heart and save our tourist industry we must insist that politicians enforce our laws.