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Watch Video: Residents of Gordon Plaza in their current fight for a FULLY funded relocation, with two clear outcomes needed: (1) a line item in the city budget for $35M that we can see (2) and immediate timeline for the distribution of funds. Until the funds clear and residents are safely able to move into their health homes of choice, the fight is on!
Watch video of most recent step forward in the fight for a FULLY funded relocation, as of December 16. We are going back on January 6, because actions speak louder than words!
Ms. Lydwina speaks at Gordon Plaza City Council Hearing, Dec. 1, 2021
Watch video of Ms. Marilyn address City Council about current Call to Action!
This is NOT complicated. After years of protesting, organizing and demanding what is rightfully long over-DUE, the Residents of Gordon Plaza have demanded to be included in the immediate budget for FULLY funded relocation. The money has already been identified and secured in the City of New Orleans. The City of New Orleans has gone on record indicating that it has the funds, and that there is a line item in the budget. Therefore, it only makes sense that we all be able to SEE the line item at $35 million in the budget (which includes non-devalued property buyouts and moving expenses for the entire community), and that there be an immediate timeline for the distribution of funds. All of the Mayor’s priorities are reflected in the budget and therefore, since Gordon Plaza has been named as an “absolute priority”, the line item should be evident in the budget. Addressing issues of environmental injustices is URGENT, and the actions to resolve such issues ought to be urgent also. The Residents of Gordon Plaza will fight until this is FULLY resolved! #GordonPlaza
1) The Demand is a FULLY funded relocation, which includes:
- A buyout for each property owner demanding a fully funded relocation at the replacement cost, had our homes not been built on toxic soil by the City of New Orleans (not a devalued amount).
- This buyout must include moving expenses, to honor our right to live in healthy homes of our choice, without having to incur any debt as a result. Each day that goes by, the cost and our associated moving expenses increase.
- This buyout must occur BEFORE / PRIOR to any future project or construction begins to ensure our safety, health & dignity as human beings (particularly during this time of a global health pandemic of COVID-19, while many of us are already immune compromised).
Should a solar energy farm or other project be built in or near this area, it only makes sense that such construction occurs after we have been safely and FULLY compensated PRIOR to the relocation. This is why we have such a persistent demand that this happen with the urgency that all climate and environmental justice leaders are saying now is needed.
We have already suffered innumerable health effects, including cancers, and lost loved ones. This location is in a census tract with the second highest cancer rate in the state of Louisiana. This is a part of Cancer Alley, and our time for a FULLY funded relocation is NOW!
During this month’s New Orleans City budget hearing meetings, we have raised our voices loud and clear to state that we demand to be included in this budget. We experienced a breakthrough moment on Thursday, November 4, when the New Orleans Chief Administrative Officer Gilbert Montano stated in regards to Gordon Plaza: “There is a line item in the budget.”, referring to the $300 million funds that came as a result of the New Orleans City bonds sale.
Then, this past Saturday, November 13, the Mayor refers to Gordon Plaza in her second term acceptance speech. She said, “This is our time. We can turn around the injustices like environmental injustices like our Gordon Plaza community. I’ve heard you over the 3 and half past years.”
We appreciate the words, but what we need more than ever is an URGENT, and we mean URGENT commitment to follow through in action toward resolve. The actions we need will result is us having the ability to:
1. SEE the line item (that was stated by Mr. Montano) in the budget for $35 million. We have seen all of the other mayor’s priorities in a budget proposal to be approved by city council. It only makes sense that if there is a line item for our FULLY funded relocation, that we be able to see that as well, and that is read for the amount that will secure our community at $35 million, which includes our moving expenses.
2. HAVE an immediate timeline for distribution of funds for the FULLY funded relocation, followed by CONFIRMATION that funds have cleared.
Stay tuned for more updates!