Morning Joe | December 14, 2012
>> we've got the super bowl , we've got jazz fest .
>> i'm in.
>> here with us now, democratic mayor of new orleans , mitch landrieu . this weekend, new orleanians are bringing some southern hospitality to new york to help hurricane sandy victims. it's really good to have you on the show.
>> thank you very much for having me. good morning to you.
>> let's explain what we were talking about before, your dad, famous legendary mayor of new orleans , director of hud.
>> how old were you?
>> that's a good question. i was 10 when he became mayor. and then i was 18 when he finished. i was up in washington in college when he was there, so it was a great time. a lot of fun.
>> we probably went to the easter egg roll together.
>> well, we may have been.
>> i bet you guys were. so let's talk about it. let's move beyond the very, very small bubble of washington elitism and expand it out a little bit, mr. mayor. you know something about suffering. your people, the people of new orleans know something about surviving the impact of a devastating hurricane. before we talk about sandy, let's talk about new orleans . how are you guys doing?
>> we're doing great. katrina , you know, as you know, just upended everybody's lives. we had 500,000 structures damaged, 250,000 people lost their homes. the whole city was flooded for a long time.
>> a lot of people left.
>> a lot of people left. it upended everybody's lives. the rest of america came out and said we can't lose the soul of america, and this country dug down deep and helped us a lot. and the people of new orleans always remember that. we have in the past seven years done amazing things . the people of new orleans -- and you'll find the people here are going to be the same way -- they're tough, resilient, not going to give up, and they're going to keep going. and we're rebuilding the city. and we're getting accolades for the work that we've done. we're getting ready to host the super bowl in a couple of months. we've hosted more super bowls than any other place. and the city of new orleans is steaming we ha we have won accolades for the work we have done. the people in new orleans really feel like they want to pay back what happened. i mean, one of the interesting stories is one of the first thing is to help us with the rockaways , folks up here steamed down to new orleans . so the people of new orleans wanted to say, we understand the agony better than anybody else, but we want to pay back what you have done for us. so we had a concert. we had 800 linemen from our energy company up here and we have had firefighters working for the past couple of months. so we're heading to the rockaways tomorrow with our chefs to help feed people are the rockaways . just to say don't give up, it's going to get better.
>> it's really a nightmare what these people are going through, and in new york city , after 9/11, you can go two blocks and it's two different worlds. you go to these places and my husband covers it for new york city , and he's all the out on staten island in new york and it's like the day after.
>> the media, the parade passes at some point, but yet the devastation is there, and the devastation is there for you guys still seven years later.
>> what was is there's the big event, then there's the rescue, then there's the immediate after the rescue, and then there's the rebuild. it's shattering the confidence that they had and what life was going to bring them and rebuilding that takes time. here's the wonderful part about it and i think people here probably experienced the same thank we did. in the darkest hours, you find really bright lights of people that do ami mizmazing things and the courage that you see in people helps you to keep walking. when you're saying be patient, means have the faith and the courage to know, just hang in there and it will get better.
>> one of the pieces of reconstruction, is it's taking a long time for new orleans . and obviously people just want things back to the way they used to be and it never quite happens that way. so mistakes made for people in this area, what should they do?
>> the first thing we learned, we learned it during katrina and we relearned it during isaac is that the nation as a whole is not nearly as resilient as she should be. elect trricity and the energy grid in the united states is everything. all three of the governors in this area and the mayors in congress right now talking about relief, they're not just talking about the amount of money that they need, but the mechanism of how to get that money to the ground faster is something we have to get better at. fema is much better than it was after katrina , but getting the money on the ground when it matters, that's another one. the third thing i would say is that you need to kind of take a minute and step back, is because your first instinct is to grab that which you knew, that's all you want, you want to go back to exact lly like it was. build it back like it always should have been, but not what might have been built because of bad planning. in new orleans , one of the fundamental things that we did, and by the way, it took us a while to get there because people's homes were destroyed and it was hard. but we got into the conversation that we were not going to build new orleans back like she was, as wonderful a city as she was at the time. katrina didn't cause all of our problems, it just brought the problems to light. we decided that we were going to take a step back and build a city that new orleans always should be. so we're rebuilding to our 300th anniversary in 2018 . when it's cold, the poor are colder, and when it's hot, the poor are hotter. and the people who have get back faster than the people who don't. you all watch out people dance around each other and get to a better decision.
>> mayor landrieu, thank you so much.
>> if you want to come and eat some new orleans food and dance a little bit, come to the rockaways .