Sunday, June 24, 2007

Rally at the Louisiana Capitol Building

Click in the image to begin Video. The images are grainy and unsteady. Kind of like the City in some ways, I guess.

Video #1: New Orleans' Mayor C. Ray Nagin
Video #2: A 18-year-old New Orleanian on his way to Tulane University in the fall.

New Orleans’ Rally
June 13, 2007
Louisiana State Capitol Building
Family and Friends—

Disclosure: This was a political rally and since I have employment ties to the Mayor’s Office, I will not comment directly about the videos.

It’s 80 miles to Baton Rouge. Organizers of the rally procured 20 brand new bright yellow school buses to take New Orleanians to the Governor’s mansion.

These buses were beautiful. “At least the schools have new buses,” I thought.

I walked behind one. “Mississippi” the plate read. And the next one, “Mississippi” and the next “Mississippi.”

“We can’t even get Louisiana buses to transport our citizens,” a resident said to himself but loud enough for me to hear.

It was the first hot day of the Louisiana summer. Pants stuck to men’s legs by nine a.m., sweat beaded while standing, and ladies’ nylons must have been bordering on unbearable. I wonder why women still wear nylons.

We made the drive to the Governor’s mansion and state patrolmen, politicians and news cameras greeted the New Orleanians. Signs lamented about the broken Road Home and poor medical conditions. The people talked about how their state had failed them. News reporters asked what they thought the rally would do for the future of their City.

People cheered, laughed and smiled. This wasn't an angry crowd. People walked and hugged all the way to the Capitol steps.

Leaders and residents from St. Tammany, St. Bernard, Jefferson and Orleans’ parishes spoke. The laughter turned serious. Their voices trembled. Their voices carried. And politicians were concerned little about following protocol.

And after standing for an hour in the Louisiana heat, the people went inside. They walked by docents and security guards, lawyers and legislators, all enjoying the comfortable capitol air conditioning.

The Mississippi buses pulled away at 2 p.m. People were hot, but happy, all wondering what the gathering might accomplish.


No comments: