New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin spoke in Atlanta Dec. 3 pleading with his constituency to return to the city that was ravaged by Hurricane Katrina.
"I miss y’all," Nagin said. "I want y’all back in the city of New Orleans. Red beans and rice just ain’t the same without you. I want you back."
In a two-hour town hall meeting, Nagin told the crowd of more than 2,000 that he was working for a better New Orleans, including stronger levees, economic opportunities for citizens, restoration of utilities and an improved education system, the Associated Press reported.
Despite his efforts, residents are still rightfully frustrated. Some complained that coming back home is pointless-especially when there is no home to come back to.
The Washington Post reported that the displaced New Orleanians described in detail the toll the disaster has taken and the difficulty in trying to decide where to go next. Many complained that the lack of housing was their biggest hurdle in getting back to their lives.
Nagin has been working to get residents to come back for the past few months by visiting re-opened business in New Orleans and traveling to locations where hurricane evacuees have been staying since the disaster.
In the wake of the hurricane, Nagin blamed the government for lack of timely aid. Then the blame from the government slowly shifted to Nagin and residents complained about what he did, or did not do, to prepare for Katrina.
"The Big Easy is not very easy right now," said Nagin
It won’t be easy to get evacuees back to New Orleans to repopulate the city as Nagin acknowledges his mistakes and ventures further into his campaign.