What happened Sunday.
There were many issues out of the control of the UN OP event coordinators that led to Sunday's event being where it was. The location, set-up of the room and how quickly it was scheduled seem to be the biggest complaints so let me try and explain these.
There was the need to find parking that was free for 500 people. Hotels were out of the question. But City Park had ample space.
The event needed to be a location that was accessible by most citizens and public transportation.
UNOp was turned down by most city venues because they were booked. The convention center had no workers to handle the event. The event was planned at very short notice and most places needed more notice.
Why so quickly put into action? Why now? Go to the site and look at the Planning timeline. Nothing in history of this magnitude has been done this fast, with this turn around.
I wish, and in hindsight, all those organizing wish, that the event could have been planned and publicized weeks in advance so both a venue could be found to hold a larger audience and people could make plans to attend.
In hindsight also a communications team should have been put into place earlier. But the reality is that there was nor is enough time. The January deadline is set and we have to work within it. Teams need to be brought on board now. Should this have been started 2 months ago, say when Nagin was elected? Of course. But it wasn't. But now we have the funding to do the planning TOGETHER. We have an opportunity for all neighborhoods to participate with planners and with their neighbors.
The critical part of the process is what is next, the Planning. It will be rewarding to everyone to participate and it will mean that all neighborhoods can say they have ownership of the final master plan to go to the LRA and be funded. If we do not particpate and get on board we will never have a plan until one is forced upon us and none of us want that.
It is fine to be angry and to be critical of the process so far, but if this leads to apathy and lack of participation, all of this will fail.
UPDATE: Here are some stats on advertising the event: Ads running 5x in each Times Picayune and Baton Rouge Advocate. Radio running 52x in New Orleans, 126 times in Baton Rouge, 77 times in Lafayette, and 111 times in Shreveport.
My wife attended and got a bit out of it in her district group but said it took a little while to get going. A co-worker left after 30 minutes pretty frustrated.
I wish I could have made it but I am in Houston.
Why could this not have been done starting in January?
If this has been signed off on by the Mayor and City Council why are they fighting it or not supporting it. I saw that Council meeting. What is that all about?
Posted by: | Jul 31, 2006 2:04:57 PM
I was there but arrived there late and had missed some people talking on their soap boxes. Didn't we get that out of our system during the BNOB meetings. So tired of seeing the same angry people.
Posted by: turk | Jul 31, 2006 2:09:32 PM
Easy to defend a process when you are being paid to create their website! I'm disapointed in you beyond repair.
Posted by: nothoodwinkedbyU | Jul 31, 2006 8:03:45 PM
I was waiting for that comment. Knew it was coming.
So let me respond in a post.
Posted by: humidhaney | Jul 31, 2006 8:09:39 PM
Sunday was no different than any other informational gathering since Katrina. I'm sure everyone did the best they could with what was available; time, space. etc. I learned nothing. However, I did see that people really care about is going to happen. That was rewarding. Whoever has the funding in hand knows they are being closely scrutinized. I hate that we are put in such hurried predicaments. But this is an emergency. It would be fine if the responders feel the same urgency once the chosen “group” is “voted” in and $$$$’s have been designated. But like the insurance companies, FEMA, and SBA, this time next year we will want to sue the Planners. See you Tuesday!
Posted by: Dorothy | Jul 31, 2006 8:28:22 PM
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