A week after mentioning the lack of development at the World Trade Center when being questioned about the lack of development in post-Katrina New Orleans, Mayor Ray Nagin is in New York City to bring attention to his city's redevelopment needs. But first, Nagin had to apologize for his remarks on 60 Minutes ("You guys in New York can’t get a hole in the ground fixed and it’s five years later."). From the AP:
"I want to say to all New Yorkers that I love New York City and have been here on many occasions," Nagin said. "We as New Orleanians and as New Yorkers understand what tragedy is all about and understand the difficulty of recovering from tragedy." He also said he especially regretted the term he'd used to describe ground zero, where more than 2,700 people died after terrorists piloted two commercial flights into the twin towers, causing the buildings to collapse.
"I will never again refer to that site as a hole," Nagin said. "It's a sacred site that's currently in an undeveloped state."
We still don't think Nagin was wrong to note the slow rebuilding process downtown - the political bureaucracy has been stifling, but given how many residences were affected during Hurricane Katrina, you'd think more would have been done to get people back in homes and back to their lives more quickly.
The Reverand Al Sharpton was on hand, and said that though Nagin's comments were "intemperate," he asked, "Will we dwell on where we differ? Or will we rise up and show the real spirit of America?" And Deputy Mayor Dennis Walcott, who appeared on behalf of Mayor B, said, "Mayor, it’s an honor to be here with you and to pledge our support in working with you and your city to make sure that we work together to bring New Orleans back. We are with you hand in hand as you rebuild New Orleans." (Mayor bloomberg was in NJ for rookie firefighter Michael Reilly's funeral; Reilly died during Sunday's Bronx fire.)
Photograph of Mayor Nagin, Rev. Al Sharpton, and NYC Deputy Mayor Dennis Walcott by Diane Bondareff/AP