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Notwithstanding the highest turnout of any UNOP meeting thus far, the second Community Congress ironically lent an air of legitimacy to a process which remains obscure. Although citizens expressed their belief that it is essential they be allowed to participate in the plans to rebuild their city, many complained about the fact that they still have no sense about how the Unified New Orleans Plan process will take their input into consideration in the final citywide master plan scheduled to be released in January. Citizens may not be savvy enough to know how to work within the rarified circles of political deal makers at the local, state, and federal levels in order to achieve their goals. Almost without exception, however, citizens from various neighborhoods, of various backgrounds, races, education, and experience, are generally far better informed than public officials about what’s happening in their neighborhoods, and speak passionately about how government is failing them, because they’re living and feeling the post-Katrina crisis every minute of their lives. A conversation with Rev. Lois Dejean, Deborah Davenport, and Joan Smith. 27:43, 13.6 mb, 64 kbps.

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