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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Save Our Shipyard

Dear Greater New Orleans Neighborhood Association,

I'm writing to you because you and the community you are a part of are concerned about and active in making your community the best it can possibly be.

As someone who has been working with Avondale SOS--the campaign to save Avondale shipyard and the 5,000 jobs of the workers at the yard, as well as the 6,500 jobs that rely on the yard--I thought you would be interested in the recent survey about how housing prices will be decimated by the slated closure of the shipyard. 

A study conducted by UNO professors released this week found that the proposed closure of the Avondale Shipyard "will depress housing values by more than 20 percent in the West Bank communities close to the shipyard. One quarter of real estate professionals surveyed in the study also said values could decline by more than 20 percent for communities throughout the entire New Orleans region." The full study is available here.

In an interview with the Times-Picayune, Professor Steve Striffler, who worked on the survey said, "I think we were surprised that almost uniformly, Realtors not only saw this as a problem in the area right around Avondale, but more broadly."  You can read the full Times-Pic article here.

This closure is not a done deal.  In fact, there is a much better option for the workers, our neighborhoods, and for the Greater New Orleans area as a whole.  Avondale shipyard could move from producing Navy ships to producing commercial ships, which gives New Orleans thousands of middle-class jobs that will be around for years to come.

This Saturday, October 1, there is a Rally and March to keep the shipyard building ships and for us to show that we will not stand by and let our communities suffer a loss that does not need to happen.  We are assembling at 10am at the Superdome, marching down Poydras at 10:30am, and rallying at the Hale Boggs Federal Building (500 Poydras at Camp St.) at 11am for an hour of speakers. 

The speakers at the rally show that this is a moment where everyone in the Greater New Orleans community is coming together, and include Congressmen Cedric Richmond and Steve Scalise, as well as Jefferson Parish President John Young and New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu, as well as the Chairman of American Feeder Lines--a company that wants build commercial ships at Avondale, which will help maintain the $2 billion/year that the shipyard provides to our economy.

I'm asking you to please send this information on to the residents of your community, and let them know that their voices will be heard and that their attendance will make a difference.

If you have any questions, please contact me at or give me a call at 504-564-3153.

Thanks, and hope to see many, many concerned citizens voicing their opinion at the rally on Saturday.

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