Wednesday, August 19, 2015

What New Orleans Post Katrina Shows About Urban Class and Race

What New Orleans Post Katrina Shows About Urban Class and Race 
by Drew Altman //Kaiser Family Foundation
Blacks and whites in New Orleans have very different views of the opportunities available to young people and whether the city is a good place for children to grow up, and the racial divide in how residents view these basic measures is widening. These and other findings of a comprehensive study of New Orleans a decade after Hurricane Katrina highlight the progress that can be made in urban America and the issues underlying our debates about race.
Last week the Kaiser Family Foundation released its fourth comprehensive survey of New Orleans residents since Katrina hit and the levees failed 10 years ago. This fourth survey was conducted in partnership with NPR, which has been reporting the results. Kaiser also conducted a survey of evacuees in the Houston shelters with the Washington Post in 2005.
There is a remarkable sense of progress in New Orleans, with a majority of residents saying the city has mostly recovered from Katrina. Seventy-three percent of residents say the city is moving in the right direction and 78% are optimistic about its future. When asked about a broad range of challenges to recovery, residents gave New Orleans the highest marks for repairing the levees, attracting new businesses, and making health and transportation services more available. Fifty-nine percent of New Orleans residents said a lot or some progress has been made improving schools, while 38% said not too much or no progress has been made. Crime was the issue for which residents say there has been the least improvement, with 64% saying not too much or no progress has been made. Mistrust of the police by African American residents–a national issue after racial incidents in Ferguson, Mo.;Baltimore; and other places–emerged as a raw nerve in the survey.

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