Chicago Tribune editorial board member defends Katrina anniversary piece

Originally titled ‘In Chicago, wishing for a Hurricane Katrina,’ the column caused a massive outcry on social media Thursday night.

Ragan Insider Premium Content
Ragan Insider Content

A Chicago Tribune column that examined the impact of Hurricane Katrina 10 years later made quite a few New Orleans residents and others hopping mad Thursday night.

Originally titled “In Chicago, wishing for a Hurricane Katrina,” the column by Kristen McQueary, a member of the paper’s editorial board, argues that New Orleans is better off now because of the storm. Here’s an excerpt:

Residents overthrew a corrupt government. A new mayor slashed the city budget, forced unpaid furloughs, cut positions, detonated labor contracts. New Orleans’ City Hall got leaner and more efficient. Dilapidated buildings were torn down. Public housing got rebuilt. Governments were consolidated.

An underperforming public school system saw a complete makeover. A new schools chief, Paul Vallas, designed a school system with the flexibility of an entrepreneur. No restrictive mandates from the city or the state. No demands from teacher unions to abide. Instead, he created the nation’s first free-market education system.

Hurricane Katrina gave a great American city a rebirth.

To read the full story, log in.
Become a Ragan Insider member to read this article and all other archived content.
Sign up today

Already a member? Log in here.
Learn more about Ragan Insider.