New Orleans parishes are in the process of choosing the planners that will guide the rebuilding of the city. These are people who will be tasked with urban planning, clean-up, and spending millions of dollars in federal aide money.And they’re choosing these people via an online poll. You read that right, an online poll. It gets better. Want to qualify to vote in this election? Guess what, since you’re online, you already do! Oh yeah, the only qualification to vote is a valid email address. And, the kicker, the poll is being run by a local architectural firm. Hm, wonder if they stand to gain by, say, having one of their own become the planner for the old French Quarter?
This is a travesty of a election, hardly worth the use of the word. Between this website, my ISP, work, and Google, I could easily vote over 50 times in an election for New Orleans. No one would ever be able to verify that I was, in fact, a resident of Michigan. No one would ever be able to verify that email@example.com isn’t being used by a legitimate New Orleans resident (hey, I just host email accounts for displaced residents). And worst of all, the poorest and hardest hit of residents aren’t likely to have email addresses, internet access, or even computers. Where is their voice in this process?
This is your money, your tax dollars, that are going to be spent to rebuild New Orleans, not just the residents of Louisiana or New Orleans.