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Outsourcing Democracy - How an Election is Being Stolen as You Read

New Orleans parishes are in the process of choosing the planners that will guide the rebuilding of the city. These are people who will be tasked with urban planning, clean-up, and spending millions of dollars in federal aide money.And they're choosing these people via an online poll. You read that right, an online poll. It gets better. Want to qualify to vote in this election? Guess what, since you're online, you already do! Oh yeah, the only qualification to vote is a valid email address.  And, the kicker, the poll is being run by a local architectural firm. Hm, wonder if they stand to gain by, say, having one of their own become the planner for the old French Quarter?

This is a travesty of a election, hardly worth the use of the word. Between this website, my ISP, work, and Google, I could easily vote over 50 times in an election for New Orleans. No one would ever be able to verify that I was, in fact, a resident of Michigan. No one would ever be able to verify that isn't being used by a legitimate New Orleans resident (hey, I just host email accounts for displaced residents). And worst of all, the poorest and hardest hit of residents aren't likely to have email addresses, internet access, or even computers. Where is their voice in this process?

This is your money, your tax dollars, that are going to be spent to rebuild New Orleans, not just the residents of Louisiana or New Orleans.

The word needs to get out. Tell a friend, call a paper, submit this to every political site you can. Digg the story, it's been submitted to Slashdot, hell, go read the original article yourself.


  1. Ryan save us! move to New Orleans

  2. I bow to the wisdom and dedication of Alan Gutierrez (; he's stirring up the locals better than I ever could.

    So, unless that was sarcastic, thanks for the invite. I would love to come down sometime.. just gotta get that ole vacation thing settled.

  3. No not sarcastic. Karen, is off for a much needed vacation from rebuilding and community involvement.

    We are seriously considering you for the Community Support Organization, which will be formed as soon as they decide how many people need to sit on it to have it stuffed correctly. Heh.

    Seriously, thanks for stopping by, thanks for Digging, and thanks for showing people in New Orleans that people in a far off place called Ann Arbor are engaged and paying attention.

  4. Y'all are making me blush. You're welcome, but I'm hardly doing anything remotely on the scale that the two of you are doing. I'm flattered that you're considering me for anything, but I will publically wonder how much I can do from over a thousand miles away.

    Not that I won't do what I can; I get angry every time I see the state of your city after a year. It's criminal, or should be, especially that Walgreens cum industrial dump Karen blogged.

    Too bad the busy-bodies in Ann Arbor can't direct all that righteous anger somewhere it deserves to go; this Green Belt BS is so meaningless in the face of, you know, real problems.


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