Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Ray Kinsella, Call Your Wife

If we build it, they might come.

That's the advice I offer to the Bring New Orleans Back Commission and their proposal to think big in order to revitalize Storyville and its jazz community before it was chased away after to 1917. What is needed to bring back jazz music that neighborhood is not a massive construction boondoggle with pretty rebuilt music halls but a new environment where political cronyism, police corruption and street crime are not the typical way doing business in the city.

If the city wants a jazz music district, business owners need to know that "friends of the Mayor" will not be the first one at the door asking for protection money, likewise that police wont be asking for the same. That potential patrons shouldn't expect to get mugged or see the friendly neighborhood drug dealer or hooker standing on every other street corner. Also, musicians should expect that most of their night's earnings will not be confiscated by the city government to help pay for the next construction boondoggle.

In the article the commissioners were told not to worry about how much their ideas will cost. Ideally this is correct because it shouldn't cost any extra revenue to make sure that New Orleans is a safe place to spend one's own hard earned money.

Make it safe, and they will come.

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