On Wednesday, advocates for the re-opening, refurbishment, and restoration of Charity Hospital presented the case for saving the iconic building before the Healthcare and Social Services Committee of the New Orleans City Council.
The video of the presentation is available here. Footage starts at 1 hour and 27 minutes and is broken down by individual speaker.
Information presented to the Health Care and Social Services Committee on September 22, 2010 revealed that moving forward with demolitions and acquisitions for the proposed LSU/VA hospitals in historic Lower Mid-City could put the city at risk both legally and financially.
Among other things, advocates discussed the fact that the Cooperative Endeavor Agreement between the Nagin Administration and the state, which was never approved by the City Council, leaves the city vulnerable for any expropriations that are challenged. On August 11, 2008, at a public meeting to discuss all possibilities for the location of the VAMC, Ed Blakely used federal funds to influence the selection by saying the city would only use its CDBG dollars to support the VA if they chose the site designated by the Nagin administration. Additionally, a HUD Administrative Complaint, currently under review, documents the administration's material misrepresentations in their application for federal funds.
Our political leaders, who represent the city, should not look away from these new revelations. The city is liable - and has its hands in every level of this. The city needs to place a moratorium on the dismantling of the Lower Mid City neighborhood until the full legal and financial ramifications are known.