Jon Bon Jovi: NOLA Needs You

I understand per a cable news report I heard New Year’s Day that you have been completed renovating several homes for the poor in ….North Philadelphia. Which suggests to me that the need for affordable housing is a cause near and dear to your heart.

This is not to take away from the need there, but right now there’s another American city, struggling for her survival, where people are suffering, which needs your help….

New Orleans, which close to 2 1/2 years after her levees failed, still suffers from a major housing crisis and homelessness problem. Per this recent diary, Homeless Homeowners Sleeping Under Bridge the need for affordable housing in New Orleans is great. And people there are really hurting.

Perhaps you’re wondering why your help is being requested when Brad Pitt, through his Make It Right organization, has announced his goal of building 150 homes for the poor in the Lower 9th.

I’m grateful for Pitt’s efforts because they’re an excellent start. But 150 homes in light of New Orleans’ urgent need is a drop in the bucket. As I noted in I’m Depressed, New Orleans needs at least a thousand Brad Pitts. If you were to help out, she’d need only about 998 Brad Pitts.

Since you’re a performer, here’s another suggestion: A concert for New Orleans. I know that right after Katrina, there were quite a few benefit concerts. But that was when the storm and New Orleans were in the news and were fresh in people’s minds.

This year–2008–when the Bush Administration has been neglecting New Orleans, the corporate-run media rarely airs news out of that city, she hasn’t been the campaign issue that she needs to be, and her needs have faded from the consciousness of most Americans, would be the ideal time for such a concert.

Because not only would this concert raise money from attendees and viewers towards housing and other needs in New Orleans. Planning it would get the attention of other artists and groups who would help by performing in this ocncert and donate some of their money to this cause. And there would have to be a varied line-up to attract a wide audience: rockers, both hard and soft, from the 60’s through today; country-western artists, hip-hoppers, R&B, jazz, and blues musicians, and last but not least to give it a real New Orleans flavor, performers of zydeco and other New Orleans and Louisiana music.

For putting on this concert would hopefully refocus Americans’ attention on New Orleans. so those for whom she has been out of sight and out of mind would be shown that many parts of New Orleans are still not O.k.–not just the Lower 9th, but Gentilly and others that aren’t getting any media attention. Conversely, those viewers who might be under the impression that New Orleans is still under water would be shown places like the French Quarter, the Superdome, and other parts of the city that are O.K.

For there’s only one city that this concert for New Orleans should be held in–and that city is New Orleans. Preferably in the Superdome, because you would want a ticket-buying audience large enough to fill that venue. And hopefully this concert would be televised on one of the major networks so those who don’t have cable would be able to watch it and donate. On top of this there’d have to be CD’s and/or DVD’s which would raise more cash for the effort.

Holding this concert in New Orleans would be a winning situation for her on several levels. Because besides raising money that would help provide housing, etc., the influx of visitors and media people who’d attend the concert, and the performers themselves, would provide the infusion of cash and business into New Orleans that her recovering economy sorely needs. And it would provide work. New Orleans has 26,000 hotel rooms so there would be plenty of room for everyone who’d be coming.

Also, hosting this concert would be a morale booster for New Orleans and her people. This would be a much-needed lift to the spirits of her people after the dual rejections as the site of the Netroots Nation 2008 convention and as a presidential debate venue. And the publicity surrounding the putting on of such a concert in New Orleans would put the lie to what Co-Chair Paul g. Kirk, Jr. said after his commission rejected her as a presidential debate site–that she’s not ready for hosting such a big event. Because this benefit concert would be a much larger event than a debate–and New Orleans would prove Kirk, et. al, wrong and host it beautifully. As she has with all other sorts of events.

I hope you decide that New Orleans and her homeless are worthy of your help. Because she needs it urgently. She cannot wait until Jan. 21, 2009–and even that is optimistically assuming that the Democrats win. Please take up the cause of New Orleans. She needs you.