Monday, February 22, 2010

The Fight for Charity Hospital Continues

Local activists are continuing to organize for tomorrow's public hearing of the City Planning Commission, which represents another opportunity in the fight to save both Charity Hospital and Lower MidCity.

According to one organizer,
The public hearing of the Commission will first take up zoning changes, and this portion will probably last less than 45 minutes. The big item of the hearing is labeled "Property Disposition #2/10." This is Mayor Ray Nagin's plan to begin the demolition of Lower Mid City. We urge people to get to City Hall well before 1:30pm. To get on the list of speakers for "PD #2/10," sign the list on the table at the front of the City Council Chamber. We urge everybody to sign up, even if all you are going to say is "Save Lower Mid City," or "Renew, Restore, Reopen Charity Hospital." The time limit for audience speakers is 2 minutes.

If you get there after 1:30pm, after the meeting starts, when PD #2/10 comes up, the chair will ask for more speakers, that's when you raise your hand and get on the list. At the point that PD #2/10 comes up for audience discussion, the CPC will first hear the pro-speakers - all those who support the Mayor's plan to demolish Lower Mid City (LMC). Afterwards, the con-speakers - those who oppose the demolition of LMC.

If the sentiment of the metro area is reflected in the public hearing, there will be a flood of speakers agitating and educating on Lower Mid City and Charity. Remember, this hearing will be televised, we want to explain what's at stake to the vast public at large. The Commissioners are secondary. If we do our job, we could possibly get across to the CPC that his meeting format is inadequate for the popular expression of opinion on the hospital proposals. A public hearing in the evening at 6pm would be better than one at 1:30pm, when most people are at work. To make this point overwhelmingly, everybody must be there who can make it at 1:30pm. We will not pack the hearing at this time slot. But, if we can get close to 100, with 30 or 40 speakers, I think we will have made our point.
The hearing will be tomorrow, February 23, in City Council Chambers, City Hall, 1300 Perdido St. We hope to see you all there!

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