Race And Class In Katrina's Aftermath

There are a lot of people involved from the governor to the mayor to the federally appointed people, the senators, the congress people, local business people, everyone is involved. As I said this so unprecedented that making a decision is a monumental thing. To make a decision to rebuild a particular section of town or not, you don't make those decisions lightly, and so that falls on the shoulders of the mayor and at the moment he's basically claimed that every section of the town is going to be rebuilt. It would be very, very difficult for him to come back and say we're not going to rebuild this area or that area. There are people who think places shouldn't be rebuilt. If swamp land was built on twenty or thirty years ago and was completely devastated, many people wonder what the wisdom of rebuilding that area is. There in many ways might be too many leaders and not enough single point leadership, but again it's a monumental task and I don't know that any one person can take on this entire project alone.

There are many here who believe the federal government has not responded quickly enough. Certainly everyone believed that during the storm, but after the storm people believe that the federal response is still slow. Generally speaking people believe that all forms of government are acting too slow, and there's a contingent of people that believe if a CEO with the likes of Jack Welch came down here to help organize and lead the effort side by side with someone like Mayor Nagin that that could be the kind of thing that's needed. You need a very, very strong business minded CEO that could really help execute the plan and make decisions. At the same time Ray Nagin has business experience, he was in the private sector and he certainly has the skills and knowledge of the culture of New Orleans. So there's some people that have said wouldn't it be great to have two side by side leaders like that one helping really execute while the other helps execute and also help preserve the city's heritage. I think the government in general is acting very slowly.

I believe that we have to start making some decisions. We have to start making decisions we have to start executing them. You can paralyze a process with indecision, and all of us who led through Katrina in our respected businesses or institutions, we all had to make split second decisions that we never ever made.

So what people have to do now is collect all the information, study it and then execute it, but by holding off in over analysis, and trust me these are very tough things to decide on and using the word over analysis is maybe a bad choice of words, but we have to start making decisions, and we have to start implementing them, and we have to start moving forward more so than we have been.

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