We at the Unified New Orleans Plan would like to thank all of the participants of the Community Congress II for their contribution to the success of the event.
On December 2, 2006, more than 2,500 New Orleanians gathered with the common goal of having their wants and needs heard in reference to the rebuilding process of New Orleans. On this great day in our history, we proved the cynics wrong! The sounds of democracy in practice rang throughout the Morial Convention Center as well as Dallas, Baton Rouge, Atlanta, and Houston and apathy was repelled by selfless investment in a vision for our city's future.
We were all pleased to find that the demographic profile of participants closely resembled the pre-Katrina census data, allowing us to feel confident that those from all walks of New Orleans life would be heard.
Each topic that was discussed will help in the effort to discern the true priorities of the citizens. The day also allowed New Orleans citizens to be updated on the current recovery efforts already being applied. In the end, much was discovered about the main concerns of our citizens. It was a tremendous success, which could not have been achieved without the diligent contribution of the participating New Orleanians and the unparalleled professionalism of AmericaSpeaks.
Most of us suffer from planning fatigue and levels of frustration which have barely subsided since August 29th, 2005. Nevertheless, we persevere in reverence to our ancestors and in faith for our descendents.
We are in the midst of an historic citizens' movement, one which demands equitable investment in our city, its facilities and citizens.
UNOP's citizen movement, prompted by the most destructive natural disaster in American history, is imperfect. In years to come we will have the luxury of looking back with romanticized memories of rallying the people and delivering a comprehensive, inclusive city-wide recovery plan; today our objective is simple, continuing working with integrity, compassion and an unrelenting sense of purpose, “Let's go get the money”!
Facing the daunting challenges to rebuild our city requires mental fortitude. Each day New Orleanians' must remind ourselves that commitment will be rewarded with progress.
Thank you all,
Chair, Community Support Organization