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"Study Says 80% of New Orleans Blacks May Not Return"

WASHINGTON, Jan. 26 - New Orleans could lose as much as 80 percent of its black population if its most damaged neighborhoods are not rebuilt and if there is not significant government assistance to help poor people return, a detailed analysis by Brown University has concluded.
Combining data from the 2000 census with federal damage assessment maps, the study provides a new level of specificity about Hurricane Katrina's effect on the city's worst-flooded areas, which were heavily populated by low-income black people.
Of the 354,000 people who lived in New Orleans neighborhoods where the subsequent damage was moderate to severe, 75 percent were black, 29 percent lived below the poverty line, more than 10 percent were unemployed, and more than half were renters, the study found.
The report's author, John R. Logan, concluded that as much as 80 percent of the city's black population might not return for several reasons: their neighborhoods would not be rebuilt, they would be unable to afford the relocation costs, or they would put down roots in other cities.
For similar reasons, as much as half of the city's white population might not return, Dr. Logan concluded...

Jackson, Sharpton, AFLCIO complain about "low-wage workers" at rally

From Governor faults White House over rebuilding:

Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco, flanked by veteran Democratic activists and a union leader, criticized the Bush administration on Saturday for allowing hurricane rebuilding contracts to go to out-of-state firms and low-wage workers.
Speaking to a rally of about 1,000 union members and activists from the steps of the state Capitol, Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton also charged the White House with using the crisis to remake the state's political map by discouraging the return of displaced blacks...

I don't know if anyone there said it, but those "low-wage workers" are, in fact, mostly illegal aliens. The article goes on to quote some race-baiting from Jackson, and I'm sure that from Sharpton was even worse. Perhaps they should concentrate on rebuilding jobs for Americans instead of their usual BS. I'm sure they'd get much more support from the rest of the country if they just concentrated on that.

50,000 New Orleans households could leave area

A USA TODAY/CNN/Gallup Poll phone poll of "1,510 of the 470,000 people from Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama who registered for help after the storm". They asked if they were going to move back, and:

Among New Orleans residents, 39% say they definitely or probably won't move back. The Red Cross registered more than 132,000 of the city's 180,000 households, which translates to about 50,000 households planning to relocate.

"Storms Alter Louisiana Politics"

WaPo:

The massive population shift caused by hurricanes Katrina and Rita holds seismic political implications for Louisiana, which faces a near-certain reduction of its congressional delegation and a likely loss in black-voter clout that could severely affect the state's elected Democrats.
Less than two months after Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast, leaving much of New Orleans and surrounding areas unlivable, Louisiana officials are beginning to grapple with the bewildering new political landscape. The storms and resultant flooding caused more than 1 million residents to flee their homes, many for far-flung destinations from which they may never return...

The politics of the demographic changes

In "Population Loss Altering Louisiana Political Landscape" the NYT reports that LA might lose a Congressional seat. And:

If evacuees from the Ninth Ward in New Orleans - a reliable bloc of 30,000 black voters that is traditionally easy to mobilize - choose suburban or rural areas over their urban roots in coming years, it could be a political blow to Democrats, said Roy Fletcher, a political consultant from Shreveport who helped elect former Gov. Mike Foster, a Republican.

Blanco's political future in doubt; demographic shifts

I guess we already knew that, but the Houston Chronicle tells us again in "Louisiana governor's political future in doubt":

...Republican lawmakers, such as U.S. Sen. David Vitter, were quick to criticize the immediate federal response but also took pains in television interviews to say there were problems at the local and state level as well. Conservative bloggers have been more insistent, calling for her impeachment.
Silas Lee, a New Orleans political analyst working these days at his satellite office near Washington, said it is too early to write Blanco's political obituary.
"There's enough blame to go around," Lee said in a telephone interview today.
Aside from voter satisfaction or dissatisfaction with her performance after Katrina, there is also the question of who is left in the state to vote for her. New Orleans is predominantly black and low-income, an important part of the Democratic governor's base, and most of the black and low-income population of the city was hit hard by Katrina. Many have relocated out of state and the question now is whether they will return.
"After the city returns to some semblance of normalcy, we'll have to see what the demographics look like," Lee said.
Another Louisiana political analyst and pollster, Elliott Stonecipher, agreed that a big question is who returns to the city and who doesn't. Still, without that knowledge, and in the current absence of any statewide polling data, Stonecipher said he believes it will be tough for Blanco to win re-election. He believes news accounts of her handling of state military and her dealings with the federal government do not make her look good and will be exploited by an opponent...

There's more on the demographics in "Katrina exodus could change political mix".

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