Some recent reading of mine - and observing that not even a fifth of the goal of 1000 signatures has been reached by these folks (come on, people! October 1st is around the corner!!!) - has me wondering:
Out of my own pocket, I paid for the following message, booked via our ad agency, at half a dozen north and central Louisiana TV stations, markets where Edwards needed help the most: "I'm Dave Dixon, I want to tell it to you just the way it is. It's goodbye LSU Tigers or it's goodbye David Duke. Take your choice. If David Duke is sitting in the Governor's Mansion, how can we recruit the best football talent in America to come to LSU? Take your choice: LSU Tigers or David Duke."
Thirty days later Edwin Edwards came into our office on Royal Street to show me a Mason-Dixon poll. "Here I am thirty days ago, actually a little bit behind this clown. Today we're 250,000 votes to the good and we're going to win by 350,000 votes on Election Day." He actually won by 384,000 after trailing at the beginning of the runoff. "You know what all of this tells me?" he questioned. Dutifully I asked,"What?" Edwards continued,"This tells me that 250,000 Bubbas, Rednecks, and ex-Ku Kluxers have suddenly decided that they like LSU football a whole lot more than they dislike blacks. Do you have any more ideas?" We laughed together.*
The biggest problem with the Master Plan is that it is still highly dependent on the whims of two people - those Paultards, Vallas and Pastorek - who hold a lot of sway over whether or not the recommendations coming in from the public will be fully included or not. Yes, they will be filed and catalogued, but will the parties whose votes count the most in the acceptance or rejection of this giant rotten egg of a plan be able to get those things into the plan before Thursday? As one concerned citizen at the past emergency meeting in Mid-City noted, if the plan is accepted as-is, this city is stuck with it for the next 25-40 years.
When even the planners are admitting the numbers they had been working with were wrong, when the vote on this is being rushed into being before the votes the city will cast that will change most of the make up of the Orleans Parish School Board (October 1st for the SFMPOP, October 4th for the OPSB district member elections), when complaints/concerns/questions are not being accepted by the current school board members at their community review meetings on the Master Plan - bottom line is, this city needs more time on this.
And, if Dave Dixon is right and football is still king in this state, how can we get to the hearts of more parents on this one through the gridiron?
Oh, yeah, sure, we still want a good education for our children. But with so many school facilities slated for demolition and landbanking being a rule rather than an exception, one has to wonder if our more athletically inclined sons and daughters will even have places to play on which they can improve their skills. We'll probably have to keep paying for it at schools like De La Salle, at which point those skills honed at a private school will enable the kids to be taking their skills anyplace, which they are certainly entitled to do. And, if they do decide to come back and raise families of their own, what will keep them here the most? By then, the cost of those private schools will most likely be astronomical.
Soooo - good athletics at no cost, or good athletics highly dependent on money that could be going towards the astronomical costs of a college education as tradition would dictate, but is instead going to the private school for your children from pre-kindergarten onwards?
And people wonder why there is a serious financial crisis hitting this country.
We must get our priorities straight...
...and hey, if this has to be done through sports, then so be it.
Sign the petition. Flood the email account at firstname.lastname@example.org. Even if you are NOT a parent. Because this does affect our whole city.
*Dave Dixon, The Saints, The Superdome, And The Scandal: An Insider's Perspective