As the clock begins to run out on Mayor Ray Nagin’s tenure as the leader of New Orleans, he is starting to look back at his time running the city during one of its most difficult stretches.
A series of articles by CNN looked at the recovery of New Orleans under Nagin and the city’s future, as the mayor answered questions from how his legacy will be viewed to the infamous ‘Chocolate City’ remark.
While Nagin stressed his administration’s achievements, such as bringing 80 percent of the city’s residents back, a strong economy and one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country, Clancy DuBos, WWL-TV political analyst, is quoted as saying that Nagin will leave office with an abysmal approval rating, matching the disgraced days when Richard Nixon left the Oval Office or President George W. Bush’s woeful approval rating when he left office.
Nonetheless, Nagin portrays himself as a man misunderstood, scorned by the media and insisting that the recovery is still continuing despite citizens’ frustration with the glacial pace.
"I was beaten on for almost four years and that takes its toll," Nagin said.
Not a Man of Many Regrets
“I don't have many regrets because I make decisions and move on,” Nagin replied when looking back and asked if he would have done anything different.
But mayor said he did regret not having recovery money come directly to the city, which delayed the recovery by more than two years.
“CNN: Were there moments when you wished that you weren't mayor at that time?
“RN: I had my moments when I said a little prayer – ‘why me God, why do you have me in this moment of all the mayors?’ But when I started interacting with people after the disaster and doing town hall meetings I knew that I was here for a reason and I had to see it through.”
When asked what his future holds when he leaves City Hall, the mayor was unsure, only saying that a “long vacation” was in order.
Despite the polls and residents' frustrations, Nagin believes that history will look upon him favorably.
"People will probably remember me for being the Katrina mayor, a guy who never gave up and spoke up for the city when it was at its darkest moments," Nagin said when asked about his legacy.
"I think that my legacy will evolve over time -- whatever it will be, it will be distinctive."
Nagin leaves office May 3, when Mitch Landrieu is inaugurated as the new mayor.
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N.Y. Times: Want to Use My Suit? Then Throw Me Something
Love taking pictures of Mardi Gras Indians? Well, if you sell those pictures, one day, it could break copyright laws. Campell Robertson of N.Y. Times takes a unique angle on one of New Orleans unique traditions: The Mardi Gras Indians.
On St. Joseph’s Night or Super Sunday or Mardi Gras, not only are streets flooded with the enormous feathered costumes of the Mardi Gras Indians, photographers – professional and amateur – hit streets to get that perfect picture. But it is where the pictures end up -- sometimes on billboards or in ads without the approval of the photographed person -- and who is profited of the them that has caused a stir.
“He (Tyrone Yancy, member of the Yellow Pocahontas) is also one of a number of Indians who have become fed up with seeing their photographs on calendars, posters and expensive prints, without getting anything in return,” writes Robertson.
Some Indians have begun to file copyright protection for the iconic suits which cost thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours to make.
Fear not, if you only like taking pictures for your own pleasure. The copyright would only impact those that try to make a profit off the suits: “Anyone could still take their pictures, but the Indians, many of whom live at the economic margins, would have some recourse if they saw the pictures being sold, or used in advertising,” writes Campell.