Recently, Russ Wise, a retired journalist from LaPlace, decided to offer his opinion on our demand for a fully funded relocation by making another recommendation. The problem is that his idea is not in alignment with our demand.
Like politicians who have always purported to know what’s best for residents, Wise appears to have the solution. This is particularly interesting since he is not connected to those who have been disenfranchised, in this case, Black first-time homebuyers in New Orleans.
Here are the facts: The city of New Orleans knowingly marketed and sold homes to Black citizens on toxic land. In discovering the truth, the city fought against making the residents of Gordon Plaza whole and did not pay the $40 million it was ordered to when it lost in court. Now, the city is proposing construction projects, like solar energy farms, on the very same land on which we still live.
Because elected officials are failing us, it becomes critical we advocate for our health, justice and well-being. Furthermore, this disaster demonstrates how citizens are not of value in the community. When an environmental injustice such as this is brought to light all citizens of New Orleans should be enraged and willing to work toward solutions that support tax-paying homeowners, not government.
Thus, if Wise or others would like to support our effort, he can begin by echoing our clear demand for a fully funded relocation: full compensation of “replacement” costs (not a devalued unfair fair-market value), full moving expenses before/prior to any future development projects in the area, to prevent further jeopardizing our safety and health. Now is the time for a fully funded relocation.
secretary, Residents of Gordon Plaza Inc.