New Orleans ACORN celebrates rebuilding victory

ACORN members pose with Josephine Butler outside of her new storm-resistant home on Feb. 22.

New Orleans ACORN has been a driving force in the rebuilding, recovering and organizing of the 9th Ward ever since Hurricane Katrina. The work persists nearly two years after the storm.

New Orleans ACORN fought for residents of the 9th Ward to visit their devastated communities after the storm, and when there was talk of not repopulating the area, home to mostly low-to-moderate families, New Orleans ACORN stepped up once again and began working to save those neighborhoods. New Orleans ACORN fought to save many Lower 9th ward homes from being razed by waging the “No Bulldozing” campaign as well as fighting to restore potable water and phone services to the area.

And on March 29, when the city of New Orleans announced a plan that counted the Lower 9th Ward as one of two neighborhoods targeted for major rebuilding, splitting $145 million with New Orleans East, New Orleans ACORN counted this as yet another victory in the fight for the rights of low-to-moderate income residents to return and rebuild post-Katrina.

Vanessa Gueringer, ACORN chairwoman of Lower 9th Ward chapter, said she believes the plan will crush concerns that politicians intend to abandon her neighborhood.

“This is awesome,” she said. “It says to the Lower 9th Ward: You can come home!”