Saturday, August 25, 2012

District C's Budget un-meeting

Just a couple of comments to go along with this Lens account of the District C bonus community budget un-meeting hosted by neighborhood groups on Thursday.

Because District C includes neighborhoods on both sides of the river, the Mayor had scheduled 2 separate meetings in previous years to accommodate residents who are reluctant to leave the West Bank as well as those with the good sense not to go there.

This year, when the Landrieu's staff decided to trim the number of meetings to one per district without adequately explaining their reasoning, the lone District C meeting was set in the Federal City area of Algiers where very few East Bankers are likely to have ever been or will ever go. This seemed like a bit of a dodge since two of the Mayor's most controversial initiatives this year, the Hospitality Zone legislation, and the crackdown on live music venues, greatly affect the East Bank of District C.  Which is why it would have been interesting to see the Mayor address these sorts of questions in person.
Predictably, the topic that drew several comments was tourism.

Speakers from the Marigny and the Quarter alike said the city should put aside money not just to draw tourism, but to manage the effects of tourism on residents and to properly market the city’s culture, not just its party scene.
Keep in mind, that's not just some half-cocked complaint fired off by local cranks.  The Boston Consulting Group report on which the whole Ho-Zone concept was based explicitly recommended that the city concentrate on "authentic bawdiness" as a major selling point to visitors.

New Orleanians have been dealing with the negative effects of the dominant tourist trade for years. Their communities are presented to the world as marketing stereotypes ripe for exploitation. After a time, it becomes less and less clear just who these neighborhoods even belong to anymore. 

The French Quarter is a Neighborhood

FYI: A separate discussion on these "Community vs Commodity" matters is scheduled for September 22.  Pretty sure the Mayor won't make it to this one either but you never know.


jeffrey said...

I agree. Totally not necessary to make the point. Sort of thing that typically goes without saying anyway.

Golfhack said...

I really don't understand your unkind comment of "as well as those with the good sense not to go there" and feel it was not needed to make your point.