Sunday, June 26, 2011

Landrieu's Blight Campaign For a Neo-Liberal City: Code Enforcement Attacks on The Poor

The Neo-Liberal Model is Being Imposed Worldwide
 When the city announced it would be stepping up code enforcement as part of Mayor Landrieu's campaign against "blight" (did anyone tell him there was a flood here a few years back?), somehow it seemed there was no way it could be a good thing. Now we know for sure, as this article from The Lens about a mid-city man's desperate plea to save his home from demolition in front of the Code Enforcement Board at City Hall clearly shows.

Landrieu's anti-blight campaign, seen in the context of his attempt to re-make New Orleans into a neo-liberal city (a city for private profit, not for people, where the enrichment of private capital will somehow trickle down to everyone else), and especially the idea of increased code enforcement actions, would inevitably lead to more attacks on the poor and working class majority.

We wrote the Code Enforcement people at City Hall after Landrieu's announcement a few months ago, asking who exactly would be targeted, and explaining that in other cities Code Enforcement has been used to harass and displace the poor, and asking that this not occur here, because if the problem is empty blighted buildings, displacing people will only create more blight. We need people living in our neighborhoods, not empty neighborhoods more amenable for the interests of private capital (you can't have new condo developments with poor people around, right?). We were assured in a response e-mail that Code Enforcement would only take action against empty buildings and slumlords, not owner-occupied homes. Well, big surprise, they were lying.
Poster to print and distribute.
Mere months after that response letter to us, The Lens reports attorneys for the city are examining whether it is possible for the city to expropriate/demolish an occupied home for blight, giving the man targeted a short, 30 day reprieve while they make this determination. The fact that they are even asking this question shows they consider targeting the poor in their own homes a possibility. And, considering our city's neo-liberal overlords and their constant attacks on anything unprofitable to private Capital, the outcome will surely be bad news unless, through our anger and organized resistance to these attacks, we can force the creation of a future where the people who live in the city matter more than profits, property values, and tax revenues.


  1. Call the head of the Code Enforcement office, Jeffrey Hebert, and demand they stop attacking the poor and leave Lane Hughes at 1924 St. Louis Street alone!
    (504) 658- 4301

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