I've been blogging for a long time, two mayoral terms to be precise. I started my first blog right when Ray Nagin was first elected mayor of New Orleans. I was very optimistic about having him as a mayor, and I think he did a great job his first term. Katrina was a different story.
I vigorously supported Mitch Landrieu in the mayor's race that was held four years ago, right after Katrina. To say I was disappointed when Mitch lost would be a gargantuan understatement. Today, Mitch will be sworn in as the new mayor and I have high hopes. No, make that 'high expectations.'
I went to law school with Mitch, and then worked with him for a year as a co-clerk for the same federal judge. I know Mitch has great character, and will work tirelessly to make our city better. Will he be a great mayor? I don't know because that's a 'judgment' that is made collectively by many people, and depends a lot on circumstance. But I know that having a great character is part of being great at any challenge.
It's easy to say someone has great character when they are winning and things are going well. But that's not the best way to spot great character. The best way to spot someone's true character is when they have just suffered a major loss.
Today, New Orleans is making an important step and I know that we are going to be on a much better path. It won't be an easy path, and it won't be all roses for any of us. Least of all Mitch. But we're all in this together and we have a lot going for us right now.
So let's make the most of it.
P.S. If you want a better practice, check out this Ultimate Guide.
The best! I so love the lines.. :)The best way to spot someone’s character is when they have suffered loss.
As a fellow classmate, I agree with you regarding Mitch’s character. I also agree it won’t be an easy path. For those who think they can simply sigh with relief upon Mr. Nagin’s departure, listen closely to what our new mayor said in his inaugural speech. He said each of us needs to create the New Orleans we want. No one man or administration can do it for us. He may own every pothole today but they are in our streets. Just as much of the rebuilding has come from the ground up, the re-creation of our city must start there as well.
I’ve got a routine which I’ve talked about on my own blog which is largely symbolic but is also practical. Just about every morning I walk my block and pick up whatever doesn’t belong on the ground, street, sidewalks and lawns. It takes five minutes. I use the plastic bag my newspaper comes in to gather the litter. As I said, it’s largely symbolic. But it’s my street, and just as I keep up my yard and house, I feel responsible for my street. Further, it’s something I can do even with my meager training as an attorney.
So, welcome the new mayor but don’t sit back and say, “Well, we know it can’t get any worse than the last administration.” Yes, it can if you don’t roll up your own sleeves.