I’m tempted to call today “Ray Nagin Faces Federal Charges Day.”
Just a week after celebrating the inspiring life and legacy of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, and reliving the messages within his memorable sentences, comes the beginning of a high-stakes public corruption trial against former New Orleans Mayor C. Ray Nagin.
Nagin, who was the mayor that faced the fallout following the 2005 levee failures and flood in New Orleans, now faces a different sort of fallout. And we’re considering the message that might be contained in a different sort of memorable sentence. (Here’s a neat timeline of how Nagin got to this moment.)
Nagin was also the mayor who presided over a ravaged New Orleans that didn’t exactly welcome its indigenous jazz culture back in the wake of the flood. If you’ve been reading me, you know that I’ve stayed pinned to that story. (Here’s one chapter, from 2007.)
So today, I’ll not follow Nagin’s drama and instead stay glued to my screen, watching live online coverage of a different kind of public hearing in New Orleans—a meeting of the city council’s Housing and Human Needs Committee, to discuss a hot-button issue of vital importance: a revision to the city’s sound ordinance.
Here’s my most recent post on that issue. And here’s Richard Webster’s piece for Nola.com.
The sausage-making of public policy can be ugly and tedious. Yet this matter will directly affect the lives and livelihoods of musicians and others in the cultural community. You can tune into, even after the fact, here.