Friday, August 06, 2010

Night Out Against Crime

A few nights ago, I attended my neighborhood's "Night Out Against Crime" event. It just so happened that the event in my neighborhood took place at the Catholic elementary school that is literally right across the street from my house, so it was very convenient and easy to attend. It also happened that the event in my neighborhood served as the overall kickoff location for what was a city-wide initiative that featured some 200 neighborhood gatherings like the one in my neighborhood. So, I got to see up close and personal just about every major political personality (at the local, state, and federal levels of politics) that have any connection to the City of New Orleans. Of course, Mayor Mitch Landrieu was there along with his Chief of Police Ronal Serpas. Other local politicians included city councilwomen Susan Guidry and Jackie Clarkson. New Orleans District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro was there, along with his Federal Counterpart, US Attorney Jim Letten. And US LA District 2 Congressman Anh "Joseph" Cao was in attendance. Along with a fair number of other folks. All in all quite an event, and I'm gonna put some pictures that I took of all these folks at the end of this posting. But before I do, I just want to make one comment/observation about the event. The event seemed to me to be too staged and too orchestrated. The politicians who got up on the stage to speak went through the standard boilerplate routine of thanking every other politician in attendance and for expounding general platitudes about fighting crime. It seemed like just another "all talk, no action" speechifying and the leadership there just didn't seem to have their hearts into it as one might have hoped they would. And you just knew that every single one of them was going to go to as many other neighborhood gatherings and say the exact same thing with the exact same amount of measured and choreographed "rah-rah enthusiasm." I stood there with my camera wishing that, for once, just one of the many politicians there would break from that tired scripted pablum they feed us and really just give us a frank, honest-to-goodness and heart-to-heart invocation. To put some real emotion and feeling into their speeches. I walked home from the event with my kids in tow thinking that for all the grand display of police and politicians there, that nothing really was going to come of it. It was a nice diversion for a couple of hours, and that was about it. And meanwhile, the bullets would continue to fall from the sky and put holes in our roofs. This was probably the first time that I ever really felt like the life of a politician was both a bore and a waste. Don't get me wrong. I wasn't angry or disgusted or negative about the profession; just kinda unenthused and a bit disillusioned by the malaise and boredom projected by the political leadership under a veneer of what seemed like a forced and strained cheerleading. Anyway, here are some of the pictures I snapped of the event:

Mayor Mitch Landrieu

Police Chief Ronal Serpas

US Attorney Jim Letten

Other Politicians: Jackie Clarkson, Susan Guidry, Anh "Joseph" Cao, and others.

Perhaps the best part of the event, though, was that Squirrelly Girlie the Younger got to meet some Police horses:

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