Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Hands Off Iberville, Bus Transfers on Canal St., and Kawana Jasper!

The local and national 1% are stepping up their racist, capitalist offensive in New Orleans. Not content with having demolished four public housing developments and 5,000 little damaged and badly needed apartments (in addition to destroying public schools and Charity Hospital), the real estate vultures (Kabacoff, Baron, and others) and their state agents (Gilmore, Landrieu, Obama and others) are trying get their hands on the Iberville public housing community. But they don’t stop there! To further the class and ethnic cleansing of the city, the Downtown Development District, an arm of the real estate industry, is trying to remove bus transfers from Canal St. This is a thinly veiled attempt to drive out, in particular, working class African Americans from the area. On the top that the 1 %’s enforcers, the NOPD, are stepping up murders of local workers, such as Justin Sipp, who cops murdered as he was driving to his job. They are also unleashing more repression against fighters like activist Kawana Jasper, a tireless defender of public housing and oppressed people, who is now facing fabricated charges. Come out Saturday March 24 to denounce the 1%’s agenda of more misery and repression, and to fight for our own, one that calls for a mass, direct-government-employment public works program at union wages, open for all, to rebuild public services from housing to education to health care. All out!

Saturday, March 24
1 PM
Iberville Public Housing Development
Meet @ corner of St Louis and Basin St.

Sponsor: C3/Hands off Iberville. For more information call 504-520-9521

Benefits for Who?

Benefits for Who?

A Critique of the ‘Community Benefits Agreement’ initiative for Iberville peddled by real estate lawyer David Marcello

Jay Arena, C3/Hands off Iberville

C3/Hands Off Iberville has worked for years, both before and after Katrina, for ‘Community benefits’ by defending all 800+ public housing apartments at Iberville, those throughout the city, and the communities that reside there. We have consistently fought against any destruction of public housing and have instead demanded that the government undertake a massive expansion of well built and maintained public housing in New Orleans and throughout the country as part of a new massive, direct government employment public works program.

Now real estate lawyer David Marcello has come upon the scene posturing as friend of the community and public housing by touting a so-called ‘Community benefits agreements’ in which everyone—including PH residents and developers-- win. Below are three important issues that should be raised with Mr Marcello regarding his initiative and purported benefits at the Thursday, Feb 9 ‘information session’ he will be holding on CBAs at the Candlelight Lounge at 925 North Robertson, from 3-4:30 PM.

I. On May 11, 2011 the New Orleans area chapter of the Urban Land Institute (ULI) hosted a meeting at Dillard University where David Marcello, director of the Tulane Public Law Center and lawyer with the real estate firm of Sher Garner, led a workshop on community benefits agreements (CBAs), entitled ‘Win Win Win: The Advantages of CBAs for Community, Developers, Government and You.” The origins of the forum lie with the local ULI’s recently formed “Cross –Reach Committee”, designed, according to committee coordinator Steve Bingler, an architect and head of Concordia Architecture and planning, to link real estate players and architects with community people “so they can learn from each other”. Appropriately, Bingler, representing ULI and the committee, was the MC of the CBA forum. Others supporters and sponsors of the event included Joe Canizaro’s Columbus properties, Pres Kabacoff of HRI, and the McCormack Baron and Salazar firm (who along with HRI has the contract to ‘redevelop’ the Iberville public housing development), among others. One of the Cross –Reach Committee’s first public events was at the Ashe Cultural Center, graciously hosted by Carol Bebelle. At the meeting Marcello intervened and said ‘we don’t have CBAs in New Orleans, but we should’. He then began working, according to Marcello and Bingler, with the ULI to organize and hold the forum at Dillard.

Marcello views on CBA’s are outlined in his article “Community Benefits Agreement: New Vehicle for Investment in America’s Neighborhoods,” published in the Urban Lawyer (Summer 2007). He touts the benefits of CBAs for the community, developers, and government, but he places special emphasis on the benefits that accrue to developers. “A successful CBA negotiation,” he emphasizes, “wins support for a proposed new development from community groups that might otherwise challenge the project.”

Yet, while he sings the praises of CBA’s, and the “win win win” provided for all sides, the supporters and sponsors of the CBA forum have created only “lose lose lose” results for working class communities in New Orleans. The Urban Land Institute, of course, worked with Joe Canizaro at the St Thomas public housing development to cook up a privatization and demolition deal that, importantly, was crucial in getting residents into negotiations and away from protests where they would have some power. The results were “win win” for real estate sharks like Kabacoff and Canizaro, their allies in city government, and some payoffs for co-opted tenant leaders, while it was ‘lose lose’ for most residents and others in need of public housing.

ULI was also the outfit that came out with the infamous green spacing plan for New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, that was all win for developers, and lose for low income folks. The outfit, which was brought to town by Joe Canizaro of the BNOB, cooked up a ‘redevelopment’ plan that proposed green spacing-demolishing—mostly black neighborhoods.

In his presentation at the May 11, 2011 forum (see the link below) Marcello emphasized that with a CBA agreement “peace and harmony go up, creating a partnership among developers, city government, and community groups,” which he emphasizes “ is a good step, with value to all three communities.” Yet, the record shows that when working class communities cooperate with the ULI, developers, and local officials, “peace” has certainly been created, but not any justice.

(May 11, 2011 forum at Dillard on CBAs:

II. The fried of the community that wants to demolish their homes: More reasons to be wary of Marcello’s seemingly good intentions.
In an article entitled “Housing Redevelopment Strategies in the Wake of Katrina and Anti-Kelo Constitutional Amendments: Mapping a Path Through the Landscape of Disaster,” published in the Loyola Law Review (2007), Marcello outlined a method for the city to more effectively condemn and appropriate the properties of low income people in New Orleans. He bemoaned the fact that in 2005 Louisiana voters approved a constitutional amendment that restricted the powers of state and local governments to appropriate private properties. He sees this as a major problem in condemning ‘blighted” properties in post-Katrina New Orleans, which are overwhelmingly inhabited or owned by low income folks.

In the article, Marcello, the CBA advocate and self-proclaimed friend of the “community,” recommends using aggressive enforcement of health and environmental code violations to ‘fast track’ the demolition and acquisition of blighted properties. Instead of a plan to help poor communities rebuild, he instead advocates a strategy to more easily take properties from, in practice, working class communities . He explains that “Code enforcement offers the best mechanism for processing tens of thousands of noncompliant properties within a reasonable time and for a reasonable cost. Code enforcement will also maximize private recovery responses by creating incentives for individual owners to repair their own properties or by allowing new purchasers to obtain the properties at auction.”
Marcello, as co-chair of the Landrieu administration’s transition task force on blight, outlined a plan to put his ideas into practice. The task force report (Blight Strategy, City of New Orleans, September 30, 2010) identified some 60,000 blighted structures in the city. He set an ambitious goal of demolishing and expropriating 10,000 structures over the first three years of the Landrieu’s first term. As in the Loyola Law Review article, the report called for using stepped-up health and other code enforcement to condemn, demolish and acquire properties and get around the obstacles created by the 2005 constitutional amendment protecting homeowners. “In order to streamline code enforcement hearings and increase their capacity,” the report explains “all hearings will be managed and staffed by the newly consolidated Department of Code.” (p.30). After this the cases pass through the administrative hearings they would be moved to the sheriff for sale.

The report also makes clear that developers, not low income folks , will be prioritized in the eventual return of the acquired properties to ‘commerce”.
“The City [through NORA]’, the report explains, “will need a means to take control of properties, cluster them, and package them with subsidies in order to make them more
attractive to developers” (p. 32).

III. A third basis for concern is Marcello’s employment with law firm of Sher Garner.

The firm specializes in assisting developers getting around regulatory hurdles and community protests that block their projects and the realization of profits. The firm has been, in particular, a big promoter of public housing demolition and privatization through HOPE VI. As Rich Richter, a lawyer with the firm complained, “We cannot have a HOPE VI project bogged down for years and years in a political process,” i.e. community resistance.

Monday, May 2, 2011

The New York Times’ Nicolai Ouroussoff: Architecture Critic or Real Estate Publicist?

The New York Times’ Nicolai Ouroussoff: Architecture Critic or Real Estate Publicist?

Jay Arena
C3/Hands Off Iberville

“[A] human and architectural tragedy of vast proportions”, is the words New York Times’ architecture critic Nicolai Ouroussoff used in 2007 to denounce George W. Bush’s demolition of New Orleans’ historic Lafitte public housing development. At the time he issued his critique, Ouroussoff was joining a host of others in condemning the Bush administration’s bulldozing of 5,000 badly needed and little damaged public housing apartments in post-Katrina New Orleans.

Yet, in 2011, as Barack Obama fires up the bulldozers to finish off New Orleans Iberville public housing development, Ouroussoff has changed his tune. Rather than expressing indignation over this crime, he instead expressed concern that Republican budget cutting efforts could nix a program--the so-called “Choice Neighborhoods Program”--needed to demolish Iberville! In his April 6th piece, entitled “To Renovate, and Surpass, City’s Legacy”, he shamelessly claims that not demolishing one of the few sources of housing for poor people would actually “be a significant backward step in the rebuilding of New Orleans”. A backward step? For who? Certainly not for poor people, whose lack of affordable housing has wrecked havoc on their lives. A recent report by University New Orleans Business professor Ivan Miestchovich underscores the dire market poor, working class people face in securing affordable housing in post-Katrina New Orleans.

Before Katrina, 78 percent of apartment units had rents under $800: some 28 percent had rents under $500, and 50 percent had rents between $501 and $800. Today, only 29 percent of apartment units charge rents less than $800: only 12 percent of units carry rents below $500, and only 17 percent have rents between $501 and $800.”

The demolition of Iberville would only further reduce the stock of affordable housing, and add to the obstacles that have kept over 100,000 displaced African Americans from returning to the city, and kept the city’s homelessness rate at record levels. In fact, Housing Authority of New Orleans’ (HANO) director David Gilmore, on behalf of his developer pals, is already closing the doors of Iberville to the homeless. On April 26th a homeless mother, Irvian Wells, was refused entry into both the Iberville development office, and later the central HANO office, by the HANO police. Her crime: the temerity to apply for housing at a public housing development that Ouroussoff and other voices of gentrification have called to be demolished.

All the News that Fits the Gentrification Agenda

Ouroussoff published his impassioned defense of demolishing Iberville in the country’s leading newspaper. Nonetheless, this piece of “journalism” actually reads like a brochure put out by Pres Kabacoff or Richard Baron, the two real estate moguls overseeing the “renaissance” at Iberville. As with most public relations pieces, if you scratch below the surface you discover some serious flaws and half truths. Let’s review a few.

First, Ouroussoff takes as good coin claims by the developers that their plans guarantee “one for one “ replacement of all of the 821 public housing a apartments now at Iberville (In fact Iberville had 858 apartments until a year ago, when over 30 were demolished in anticipation of the planned redevelopment). Under the current plans being floated by developers—which, as of yet, do not have funding--only 300 of the 830 planned on-site units will be public housing, in which people pay 30% of their income for rent (although they will have to pay utilities, which current residents do not). In addition, developers promise another 1600 units of housing will be built “around the site”, over 500 of which will be public housing, resulting in no loss of public housing units.

There are some obvious facts, the Ouroussoff conveniently ignored, which lead many in New Orleans to question the promises of one-for one replacement. For example Pres Kabacoff, one of the two developers in the Iberville deal, oversaw downsizing of the city’s St Thomas public housing development, shrinking it from 1,510 units, to only 182 public housing apartments. He touts St. Thomas--now renamed “River Gardens”-- as one of his grand successes. Furthering adding to consternation among those concerned about racial and economic justice is that in 2001Kabacoff had promised to build 100 three and four off-site bedroom public housing apartments in return for the city approving various tax changes needed to float his deal. The city complied, but Kabacoff did not. A decade later not one of these apartments have been built, and this is same developer that Ouroussoff wants us to believe will guarantee one for one replacement at Iberville.

Another issue left totally unaddressed by Ouroussoff, and one that further questions developers promises of “one for one” replacement, is how “off-site” units are defined. The public housing rights group C3/Hands Off Iberville, at a February 14th protest, highlighted that the New Orleans housing authority (HANO) and their developer partners have a very broad definition of promised units “around the site”. In fact a major portion of the promised 500 off-site units would be in an isolated, run down, abandoned property located on the city’s west bank side of the river, miles from the Iberville neighborhood. Finally, Ouroussoff, who was incensed over the destruction of the architecturally significant Lafitte, has no qualms with plans for bulldozing 2/3rds of the existing, sturdy red brick buildings that make up Iberville.

Choice Neighborhood Program: Old Wine in New Bottles

A second shaky claim made in Ouroussoff’s brochure--that he passed off as journalism--is that failure to fund Obama’s Choice Neighborhood Program (CNP) would mean “short circuiting a promising new model for housing the poor in cities in across the country”. In fact the same hype used to push the Obama’s CNP is eerily similar to that used to sell the now disbanded HOPE VI public housing program--which Richard Baron, Kabacoff’s developer-partner at Iberville, helped establish. During the 1990s and 2000s, HOPE VI “redevelopment” led to the net loss of tens of thousands of badly needed public housing apartments across the country, and fueled gentrification in the surrounding neighborhoods, leading to further losses in affordable housing. Like CNS, HOPE VI was also sold as a “bold” new way to address poverty. In practice it operated as simply the new packaging for the same old policy of poor people removal.

Class and Ethnic Cleansing: Then and Now

A final claim that Ouroussoff trots out to put a progressive spin on demolishing the homes of poor people is that the CNP, and its implementation at Iberville, will allow for “undo[ing] a pattern of racial discrimination that extends back decades”. In fact what the plans for Iberville represent is not a departure from racism in the United States, but rather a change in the form in which it is imposed. A brief excursion into Iberville’s history is revealing in that respect.

In 1897--only a year after the Supreme Court ruled against nearby Treme neighborhood resident Homer Plessey’s challenge to segregation laws--the area where Iberville now stands was designated as the Storyville red light district. The ensuing increase in land and housing costs led to the displacement of many residents of this long-established black community. After the closing of the district during World War I, housing and rents became affordable, and by the 1930s it was again a predominantly low income back community--but not for long. In 1937 the newly created Housing Authority of New Orleans appropriated the property through eminent domain for the then-new--and white-only--Iberville public housing development. Black families were forced to pack-up again. It was not until 1965, following passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, that black working class families were again able to reside in the area. Since then there has been an incessant campaign by real estate interests to seize this valuable property for their profit-making ventures, rather than to meet human need.

The only difference with the contemporary eviction plans are the faces and pretexts. Expulsions are no longer carried out under a Jim Crow, all-white officialdom as before, but instead in a post-segregation context, in which some African Americans are in positions of authority. A second difference is that in the past cases of ethnic and class cleansing there was little or no effort to legitimate the initiative. In contrast, developers and public officials--and journalists like Ouroussoff-- now expound on theories of “deconcentrating poverty,” drawn from academic sociology, to explain why driving poor people from their homes is actually a benevolent enterprise. What ties the different historical periods together is that power and profits--despite all the benevolent rhetoric--are still the driving forces behind the racist land grabs.

Ouroussoff, NGOs, and the Progressive Cover for Political Reaction

The political cover Ouroussoff is providing for Obama’s agenda at Iberville reflects a broader political tendency in contemporary U.S. politics. While Bush’s liberal opponents denounced illegal detentions and torture at Guantanamo, endless wars, bailouts of Wall Street banksters, and public housing demolition, they have become silent or apologetic when carried out under the direction of his much more eloquent successor, Barack Obama. This pattern is particularly evident in New Orleans where many “grass roots activists --especially those in the non-profit-foundation funding orbit--that had vocally opposed Bush’s demolition of public housing, have now become silent about Iberville. Challenging this layer of progressive apologists for the new CEO of American capitalism will be required to mount an effective defense of Iberville and other facets of the rapidly expanding racist ruling class offensive.



Today, April 26, 2011, HANO police prohibited two homeless mothers and one infant child seeking to apply for housing assistance from entering first the Iberville Development Office on Treme Street and, shortly afterwards, the HANO Building on Touro Street. Chesnian Rixner, Chesnian’s ten month old daughter, Irvian Wells, and Irvian’s one and a half year old son arrived noon today at the Iberville Development Office to apply to live in an apartment in the Iberville Development. The mothers and children are homeless. Disgraceful is the word that best describes how HANO treated these New Orleanians.

When Chesnian and Irvian attempted to enter the Iberville Development Office four HANO PD officers, under the command of an Officer Mercadel, formed a human wall in front of the doors to the office. Mercadel told the homeless mothers that they could not enter the building despite the fact that the office was open for business. When Chesnian informed Mercadel that she and Irvian had come to apply for an apartment at the development the officer told them that they could not enter the building. Instead referred the mothers to the HANO building on Touro Street.. At this point Chesnian, Chesnian’s infant daughter, Irvian and three supporters traveled in the car of a friend to the main HANO office on Touro.

When Chesnian and company arrived at the Touro HANO building, about seven miles from the Iberville Development, four HANO PD officers formed a line front of the Senate Street entrance to the housing authority structure. These were the same four HANO PD officers who had prevented Irvian, Chesnian and infant from entering the Iberville Development Office. Upon approaching the entrance to the HANO building on Touro Irvian, Chesnian, Chesnian’s infant and three friends were told by Officer Mercadel that they could not enter the building! Mercadel and the other three HANO officers situated themselves between the entrance to the office and Irvian and company. Mercadel responded with silence when Chesnian pointed out that he was the one who had just told her to go to this address to apply for public housing assistance.

Mercadel did tell Irvian and Chesnian that a HANO spokesperson would speak to them outside the building. That promise was made at 1:05 pm. The mothers waited in the hot sun till 1:35 pm for the spokesperson but to no avail. At this point Chesnian, who was holding her ten month old, decided it would be best to leave. Chesnian and friends promptly left the scene of the degrading standoff.

Anyone who feels that this injustice should not go unanswered is invited to the 7pm Thursday meeting of C3/Hands Off Iberville in St. Jude’s Basin Hall. The time for silence is over.

Mike Howells 504-587-0080

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Rally for Housing and Justice

Rally for Housing and Justice

Saturday, April 23

12 Noon

Corner of Conti and Basin Streets

New Orleans, in front of the Iberville Public Housing Development

We say no demoltion of the Iberville public housing development. Instead of demolishing public housing, and destroying other public services, we need a massive expansion of the public sector through a new public works program--Jobs for All, Legalization for All. Sponsors: C3/Hands off iberville, rev Raymond Brown, Eloise Williams, Coalition for Change, May Day New Orleans. For more info call 504-520-9521.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011



The people of Egypt have rights that are universal.
Barrack Obama, January 28th 2011.

Attention President Barrack Obama: yes, the people of Egypt have rights that are universal. What you fail to recognize is that the poor people of New Orleans have universal rights too.

That poor people who live in or want to live in public housing in New Orleans have universal rights is clearly an incovenient truth for you. Your committment to freedom of speech doesn't extend to the Iberville Development where HANO police, your police, use the threat of arrest to stop the distribution of fliers in the neighborhood that criticize your government's latest scheme to "redevelop" poor people out of the area. Your committment to universal rights is not so deep as to compell you to mention even a word of criticism when the New Orleans Police Department trampled on the freedoms of assembly and speech of public housing supporters, outside and inside New Orleans City Hall, who attempted to peacefully voice their opposition on December 20, 2007 at a "public" City Council meeting during which Council members voted to authorize the demolition of 4,500 of the city's public housing apartments. You, then a candidate for the U.S. presidency, responded to requests from the movement to condemn that brutal repression in the Crescent City with silence. And your administration continues and deepens the post-Katrina housing "redevelopment" initiatives of the Bush Administration that UN investigators and many others note effectively violate the universal right of return of low income, mostly African-American Katrina Survivors. These are but a very few of the violations of the human rights that public housing residents and supporters in this city have endured in Lousiana's largest city recently. Violations of universal rights that produce not so much as word of concern from you.

And Mr. President, you've said that the people of Egypt have a right to free and fair elections. Agreed. But what about the right of the people of the Iberville Development in New Orleans to have free and fair elections? The U.S. Code of Federal Regulations has clear guidelines regarding what constitutes fair and legal residents council election in an American public housing development. Yet, your appointed agent, Housing Authority of New Orleans Receiver David Gilmore, orchestrated a residents "election" at Iberville that clearly violated the guidelines that U.S. Code sets for residents council elections in the U.S. Only a handful of Iberville residents, instead of all of them, were given the opportunity to consider participating as candidates in last year's "residents" election. And Iberville residents were given no more than four days advance notice insteaded of the legally mandated thirty days advance notice.

How is last year's residents "elections" in the Iberville development under the direction of your government any less a rigged election than the elections held in Egypt under the direction of Hosni Mubarak's government? Poor people in the United States, including the poor people of New Orleans, have a right to free and fair elections too!

Mr. President. Have you ever consider that the use of police intimidation to prevent the distribution in Iberville of materials critical of your government's housing policies there is of one and the same spirit as the use of police intimidation to stop the distribution in Egypt of materials critical of Mubarak's government? Have you paused for even a moment to acknowledge, if only to yourself, that the tear gassing and tasering of public housing residents and supporters in New Orleans puts people here in just as much danger as the tear gassing and tasering of protesters in Egypt puts people in that country? And do you even realize that a government sponsored rigged election in Iberville is the moral and legal equivalent of a rigged election in Egypt? Are you oblivious to the reality that your government systematically violates the universal rights that thousands of displaced Crescent City public housing residents have as internally displaced persons just as the Mubarak government systematically violates the universal rights that Egypt's internally displaced have as internally displaced persons? Mr. President what blinds you to injustice in New Orleans, ignorance of hypocrisy?

The poor people of New Orleans have rights that are universal!!

Mike Howells C3/Hands Off Iberville

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Mike Howell's commentary on tragic 9th ward fire of 12/28/10

December 30th post on the C3 list on tragic Tuesday, Dec. 28 fire in an abandoned warehouse that killed 8 young people:

Hi Elizabeth,

While Landrieu is forced by circumstances to acknowledge that New Orleans suffers from a homelessness problem, he is also proposing "solutions" to the social problems highlighted by the Ninth Ward fire that in effect trample on the human rights of the city's homeless. Today's Times-Picayune reported the Mayor as saying, "It is, just from my perspective, if someone's in a dwelling and they're putting themselves and other people in danger, it's better for them to be on the street". That people who live on the sidewalks and streets of the city are in danger of dying from exposure to the elements apparently does not register with Landrieu. Another one of Mayor Landrieu's "solutions" to the dangers confronting the homeless who squat in abandoned homes is to have those who are fortunate enough to reside in safe, sanitary and affordable housing to rat out their squatter neighbors to the authorities. Just what the homeless need, new enemies in the form of neighborhood vigilantes! Yeah, you right Mitch. And, finally, another one of Landrieu's "solutions" to problems confronting the homeless, in particular those homeless drawn to squatting, is to step up the mass demolition of the city's true shelters of last resort-abandoned homes. These "solutions" collectively sound like a final solution to me.

So what can those of us who are in a positon to challenge the narrative on squatting and homelessness being spun by Landrieu and the gentrifiers in the wake of the Ninth Ward fire do? Bill Quigley and World Socialist Website have provided a progressive analysis of the tragedy for a national audience. I think it would be a good thing to network with the Crescent City Anti-Authoritarians and interested housing activists to see if there is intererest in organizing collective resistance to the most heinous of the Mayor's proposed "solutions" to the problems facing homeless squatters. Perhaps this networking will lead to a meeting, an educational, a press conference, a protest or something else. Whatever, I do have a gut feeling that the tragedy on Tuesday in the Ninth Ward is putting some fire into the bellies of the often beaten beaten down people of New Orleans.

Any feedback?
Mike Howells

December 29th post on the C3 list:

Today Mayor Landrieu put forward his solution to the acute problem of poor people in New Orleans being compelled by force of circumstances to find shelter in abandoned structures, demolish the abandoned structures! This is the same mayor who would like us to believe that the proposal to destroy the Iberville Housing Development, the city cente'rs single most important source of affordable and safe low-income housing, is an anti-poverty measure. Don't get the wrong idea though. Landrieu is not against all low -income housing close to the city center. He is a booster of that one form of state owned public housing for the poor that every member of the local ruling class supports, Orleans Parish Prison. Sadly, but not surprisingly, the Mayor is now attempting to use the tragic fire in the Ninth Ward as a pretext to promote "anti-bilight" measures that promise only to worsen the city's horrific shortage of low-income affordable housing.

If anything approaching a humane solution to the problem that forces thousands in New Orleans to take shelter in abandoned and unsafe housing here everyday is to be achieved, the first thing that needs to be demolished is the unspoken rule that as far as housing policy goes the government is only in the business of promoting gentrication. As part of this process well intentioned people need to come to terms with the reality that charity and self-help measures are band aids that do little more than partially cover the growing social cancer of homelessness. This is clearly a very hard lesson to learn for the people of a city who have given so much of themselves to self-help initiatives and charitable activities. Still, this is a lesson that needs to be learned. This is a stepping stone to the building of a movement that demands, fights for and achieves the addition of the tens of thousands of units of safe, sanitary and affordable units of housing that New Orleanians need but that politicians like Landrieu and his corpoarate paymasters don't want.