Despite living in Atlanta after Hurricane Katrina, and becoming more of an expat than a native, New Orleans is still the place I call home. New Orleans will always be the most important place in my heart, and I want to do everything possible to protect New Orleanian culture, and the people that create it. The purpose of this editorial is to reiterate that mission here at Roulé,
New Orleans holds a special place in the United States, and in the hearts of those who live there and visit. The Crescent City has made lasting cultural influences from its founding to this day with heavy influences on music, art and food. This level of influence is unique for a city that would otherwise be considered small in comparison to cities like New York, Los Angeles or Atlanta. This cultural influence on society is continually built by the natives and the New Orleanian culture that cannot be faked or synthesized. Despite the importance of genuine culture in New Orleans, it is in danger due to numerous issues ongoing in the city.
These issues include failing infrastructure with historically bad roads, and deteriorating bridges. There is also the issue with the rising cost of living coupled with a lack of opportunity, and the fact that musicians in the city still live on below average show payments. New Orleans is facing a lot of problems that hold it back from becoming the great city that it could be. Not great in the sense that people love it, because people already love New Orleans, but great in an economic sense. New Orleans should be bringing outsiders in to live and make a living, while also providing equal opportunities for those raised there.
In terms of the infrastructure, Mayor Cantrell is making efforts to provide the city with the funds necessary to deal with the problems. It seems like an easy solution to help New Orleans by providing the city with a percentage of the locally generated sales tax that is currently going towards four other entities located in the city. The mayor hopes to receive a piece of the $200 million that is going towards New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corp; New Orleans & Co.; Mercedes-Benz Superdome; and the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, but there is some push back from Louisiana legislatures.
The Music & Culture Coalition of New Orleans(MACCNO) is conducting studies to show the economic importance of live music and musicians, and places like Frenchmen Street in New Orleans. The organization hopes that these studies will bring in needed help from the city government that would support the live music scene. Young entrepreneurs are also utilizing their talents to inspire others, and show that New Orleans is a place that people can build businesses. This is an important action in light of the lack of jobs (especially one in the hospitality industry), because it keeps hope alive for people who would otherwise think that the only way to be successful is moving away from New Orleans.
So even though problems are looking bad in New Orleans at the moment, people are always working diligently to come up with answers. There is always going to be something to fix, but it is about coming up with solutions and working together that make those solutions a reality. Roulé focuses on those solutions rather than the problems. Roulé represents New Orleans, and making sure that New Orleans remains culturally important for another 300 years.
Cites and Extras
88 Bridges Deteriorating in New Orleans - WDSU
Protecting Black Culture in New Orleans - Noir Nola
Musicians Deserve More - Guest Blog - Offbeat
Cantrell's Plan For Infrastructure - The Advocate
Researching Frenchmen Street's Cultural Economy - MACCNO
Hospitality Jobs are Fewer Than Industry Claimed - The Advocate
Can Musicians Make a Living Wage in New Orleans - Offbeat
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