The land grab (here and here) is on. There is widespread concern that history will repeat itself and the land of black homeowners, who are now scattered throughout the Katrina Diaspora, will be seized under eminent domain and New Orleans turned into another Disney World.
According to state Rep. Charmaine L. Marchand, who represents the Lower Ninth Ward, her district has the highest level of black homeownership in New Orleans. Most of the homeowners are senior citizens who are living on fixed incomes and must depend on FEMA to rebuild their homes.
Black state legislators in the Gulf Coast region plan to introduce legislation to redefine “public use” in the wake of the Supreme Court's controversial 5-4 ruling in Kelo v. City of New London. But they need assistance in drafting model legislation that will protect their constituents from eminent domain abuse (and here).
The National Bar Association and the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund have stepped up to the plate. But their plates are overflowing as they provide legal assistance to Katrina survivors. So I want to give a shoutout to George Washington University law professor Spencer Overton and his colleagues over at BlackProf.com. I hope they will also pitch in to help ensure that black landowners don’t drown in their own tears (and here).