Saturday, April 22, 2006

Election for Mayor in New Orleans ...

Voters in New Orleans today are selecting the candidate they want to lead one of the biggest reconstruction projects in U.S. history.

Lots of questions about the outcome of the election. How many of the Diaspora will participate? Will the changed demographics of the city have an impact on the results? Will Mayor Nagin survive despite the criticism of his post-Katrina performance?

A number of civil rights groups had argued that the election should have been postponed until more residents had been able to return to the city. Others argued that a newly elected mayor with a mandate from the people was what the city needed to deal with state and federal funding sources.

It is likely that no candidate will get over 50% of the vote and this will mean a runoff on May 20th.

One thing is certain. The winner faces a host of politically sticky and racially charged decisions about where and what to rebuild in a city where whole neighborhoods remain unhabitable.