Katrina op-ed still drawing fire

Katrina op-ed still drawing fire

NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - Days after a controversial editorial written by Chicago-Tribune editorialist Kristen McQueary, more city leaders are responding to the writer's column and subsequent response.

In the article, McQueary wishes for a storm of Katrina-like proportions to hit Chicago in hopes of wiping the slate clean and allowing the city to enact sweeping reforms the way New Orleans did following Katrina.

So many people have said so many stupid things about us, starting with the speaker of the house who said we shouldn't rebuild, and people always take the wrong message. And I understand now that she's retracted a bit and sort of apologized, but if you're not from here, you really can't kid about stuff like that,” Mayor Mitch Landrieu said.

Arnie Fielkow, a former New Orleans councilman who now lives in Chicago working for the NBA Retire Players Association, wrote McQueary a letter in hopes of encouraging her to visit New Orleans and learn more about the reforms.
“The wording of the article was horrendous, both as a show of disrespect for the people of New Orleans and those who lost their lives, but also the people of Chicago, to wish upon them the events that happened in New Orleans 10 years ago is just foolish,” Fielkow said.
“These are the kind of reforms that could take place in any major American city, and to say you want a shortcut doing reforms by wishing death and destruction on the populace where you live is kind of ridiculous,” State Sen. J.P. Morrell said.
Morrell thought McQueary’s subsequent response to the article was elitist and hardly offered an apology, but warns residents should prepare for more National coverage that could rub some the wrong way.
“They're gonna focus on the fact that the city hasn't come back well or they're gonna focus on the fact that the city is better than ever and really it’s somewhere in between,” Morrell said. “I think it's really incumbent upon the local media who've been embedded and went through Katrina to really carry that message.”
In his letter, Fielkow invited McQueary to attend a luncheon in September involving multiple New Orleans figures.

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