Vitter Stands Up for Charity

Louisiana Republican David Vitter recently sent out a strongly worded letter expressing concern over the continued difficulties facing the rebuilding of Charity Hospital in New Orleans. Writing to Bobby Yarborough, the Chairman of the University Medical Center Board, Vitter argues that the sudden "decision to postpone the University Medical Center Board's May 5 meeting at which the board was scheduled to review the report on the Charity rebuilding project" is indicative of the "inconvenient findings" contained within the initial report by Kaufman Hall, the health care firm charged with leading the rebuilding effort. Vitter argues for the immediate rescheduling of the board meeting, and allowing the discussion to move forward with public input.
 
In a related in-depth and insightful article in The Nation, Roberta Brandes Gratz writes "The abandonment of the old Charity Hospital stands as a potent symbol of the many disappointments and betrayals experienced by the residents of New Orleans after Katrina. The loss has been a huge blow to the poor African-American community Charity served—an outcome that is all the more tragic, critics say, because it didn’t have to happen."

At the heart of the issue is the appropriate scale and design that Charity Hospital must take to ensure it acts as a partner in the rebirth of the surrounding neighborhood, and not at the expense of other projects intended to move the neighborhood's development.  Vitter's suggestion that whatever the outcome, the discussion must be carried on in a public forum, seems an apropos place to start.

Read the entire text of Vitter's letter by clicking here. 

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