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February 22, 2006

Welcome Back To Chocolate City, As Long As You're Wealthy!

New Orleans doesn't want the riff-raff back:

New Orleans doesn't want its poorest residents back β€” unless they agree to work.

That was the message from three New Orleans City Council members who said government programs have "pampered" the city's residents for too long.

The news that some New Orleans City Council members weren't keen on the city's poorest returning home added another layer of discomfort in Houston, where local residents and elected officials alike have stretched to meet the needs of thousands of Louisiana residents in the months after Hurricane Katrina.

...

"We don't need soap opera watchers right now," said New Orleans City Council President Oliver Thomas, during a housing committee meeting. "We're going to target the people who are going to work. It's not that I'm fed up, but that at some point there has to be a whole new level of motivation, and people have got to stop blaming the government for something they ought to do."

...

Some residents who lived in public housing before the storm will be able to return. Future residents, however, will have to comply with new restrictions, including a series of questions about employment history and job prospects.

In other words, people will have to express a willingness to work to qualify for public housing, officials in New Orleans have said.

Later in Monday's meeting, Thomas, who is black, reiterated that his remarks were intended for African-Americans.

"There's just been a lot of pampering, and at some point you have to say, 'No, no, no, no, no.' ... If our legs don't hurt, you can walk somewhere," he said. "I'm saying these things to motivate my people."

The idea that able-bodied people should, get this, at least try to work in order to qualify for public assistance is a good one, but can a city really pick and choose who it allows back? And dump all of its undesirables on Houston?


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posted by Ace at 02:26 PM

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