After nearly nine years of residency in Atlanta, Yours Truly CCG maintains his unfettered love affair with his hometown of NEW ORLEANS!!!
YES, Ya Boy CCG does know what it means, to miss New Orleeeeeeanz... WHO DAT, Ya Heard Me!!!
However, CCG also maintains his anger, distrust, and overall disgust at the historical institutions of classicism, nepotism, and racism that STILL turn the wheels of the city's political machinery.
June 2014 has BLACK-OWNED New Orleans Newspaper, THE NEW ORLEANS TRIBUNE, to give strong commentary on said machinery, with particular emphasis on the NEW ORLEANS AVIATION BOARD and the ORLEANS PARISH SCHOOL BOARD accepting bidding for and rewarding construction contracts that will affect LOUIS ARMSTRONG NEW ORLEANS INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT in KENNER, LA, and EDNA KARR HIGH SCHOOL in ALGIERS, WESTBANK NEW ORLEANS.
THE NEW ORLEANS TRIBUNE tells:
"We can only assume the two giant conglomerates—Hunt-Gibbs-Boh-Metro and Parsons-Odebrecht, whose battle for the $546 million construction project has unfolded in headlines, will once again make their bids for the lucrative job to build a new terminal and runways at the Louis Armstrong International Airport.
Despite the Aviation Board’s decision to issue a new request for proposals, we don’t see things playing out any differently—no, not all. One of the groups will get the half billion dollar job. One of the groups won’t. One will be excited. The other might call foul and file a complaint. There may be more news reports of alleged racism on the part of one or more of the firms involved. We won’t be surprised if we see more efforts to reveal links between some of the firms bidding on the airport project and their questionable business dealings on projects completely unrelated just to muddy the waters.
To be sure, we can’t help but question the timing of reports about Orleans Parish School Board President Nolan Marshall’s half siblings’ business, Nolmar Construction, essentially being awarded a school board contract as a subcontractor with Woodward Design+Build. So back in May, when Woodward was announced as the winner of the school board contract to build Edna Karr, no one realized that Woodward’s bid was not a good one because the Marshall family firm signed on as a DBE? Wait, no one figured this out when the bid was first submitted? You mean to say this doesn’t make news until June—perfect timing to throw shade on Parsons-Odebrecht local partner in the winning bid for the airport contract.
Speaking of dealmakers, regardless of which of the groups gets the contract, let’s make sure workers at the airport construction site mirror the city’s population: local jobs for local workers and real consequences for the prime contractor that does not follow through. We are tired of driving by construction sites across this city and counting on one hand the number of Blacks we see working or checking out all of the cars and trucks with the Mississippi plates or non-Orleans Parish brake tags in the front windshields, each one representing a worker that will drive back to a suburban hamlet while violence and mayhem—tied directly to the lack of economic opportunity and equity—play out on our city’s streets.
We would do cartwheels here at The Tribune if a Black-owned construction company were awarded the airport project as the prime contractor and did not have to be brought in just to meet the DBE goals—scratching and scraping or running interference for the same White business owners who are the architects and perpetrators of the institutional racism responsible for creating and maintaining an environment in which there is not one Black-owned general construction or design and build firm with the capacity to bid on a major project.
For us at The Tribune, that real issue is economic parity. It is 2014, call us what you want. Send your stupid jokes by e-mail. Put a sign in your front yard. Hell, get caught up in a taped telephone conversation like Donald Sterling for all we care. Just make sure that we have the opportunity to participate in the economic growth and progress taking place with the professional regard due any capable and accomplished expert in our given fields. Oh, and make real sure that no matter what undignified, detestable words you might call us out of ignorance or in hate, that you get our names right on the contracts and the checks.
We ended our first editorial on the subject of the airport contract this way:
“We fear that even as the sounds of construction fill the space above ol’ Moisant Field, little will change for most New Orleanians unless and until this $546 million project and others like it result in real economic opportunity for a range of legitimate Black-owned businesses and good-paying jobs for Black workers. Unless and until that happens, jackhammers will pound in Kenner; but the only sound that will fill the air in New Orleans—all through the East and the Ninth Ward, in the Third Ward, Seventh Ward, and Eighth Ward, in Hollygrove and in Gert Town, in Pilotland and in the Algiers Cutoff—is the steady wails of despair.”
Our fears have not changed!!!"
Get more New Orleans News at THE NEW ORLEANS TRIBUNE.