Friday, April 07, 2006


"some of the worst slums in America”


As former gubernatorial candidate and state Senate President Randy Ewing reminded listeners at a recent meeting of the Baton Rouge Press Club, he has no plans to run for governor again.

That fact gives Ewing, who recently left his voluntary post as head of the Louisiana Family Recovery Corps, the freedom to speak his mind without regard to opinion polls.

Avis Jones-DeWeever, who tracks poverty issues for the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, told The Associated Press that many Americans believe most poor people are poor because they have something wrong with them.

Sometimes, people remain in poverty because of consistently poor life choices, such as having more children than they can afford or refusing to take advantage of educational and employment opportunities.

But during his time at the Recovery Corps, Ewing said he’s also met many diligent Louisiana residents who can succeed if provided with better tools to do so, such as job training and quality education.

If the FEMA villages are left on their own, “I think we’re going to be left with some of the worst slums in America,” said Ewing.

It’s a warning worth considering as Louisiana tries to rise from the bottom of national rankings.

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