Keeping an eye on the rebuilding process
Here at AlterNet, we've been consistently on top of our continuing coverage of the Katrina aftermath, and over the holiday weekend, I've discovered another resource for tracking the happenings in the area -- the Gulf Coast Reconstruction Watch, a project of the Institute for Southern Studies. From full-length articles and reports to blogs and voices to a contracts database that lets us find out just who is getting the money to rebuild, this site is the ultimate one-stop site for those looking for answers.
Just this morning, there's an article about a group with ties to prominent local developers calling for the creation of a "super-government" in Louisiana to take away reconstruction powers from local authorities:
ULI called for the creation of a Louisiana Recovery Authority, a state-chartered corporation with broad authority over the city's finances, including authority over all recovery funds, the city budget, and taxation. The proposed seven-member panel would have only two locally appointed members, with three to be named by the President and two by the governor. The mayor and city council would each be allowed one seat to fill.
For all of the failings of New Orleans' government, it is ironic that--at a time when Americans are dying to try to bring democracy to a devastated Iraq--the ULI would propose the imposition of a non-democratic super government, largely appointed by outsiders, in New Orleans.
Bottom line? The Reconstruction Watch is a daily must-read.