Emelda Paul, founding member of Sojourner Truth Neighborhood Center



Emelda Paul has lived at the inter-section of Orleans Avenue and Interstate 10 for 44 years. She also is a founding member of the Sojourner Truth Neighborhood Center.

"I'll be excited about it if I live to see it. You know, the things that are going to be happening: You're going to have the bike path, the walking path, and then they're going to have all kinds of activities like basketball, soccer. ... There's going to be an area where you can sit and just relax. I'm most excited about the water.

  "With the revitalizing of the neighborhood, this is going to be really beautiful. At one time, in the area right over here at Galvez and Lafitte, there was a community garden, all of that has been cleared. ...

  "After Katrina, this is when all of it started. Even with Katrina, out of the negative came the positive. There are so many good things that have happened. ... With the good, you're going to have the little negative in there, like crime. But with all the good, we focus on the positive. (Property tax rates) are a problem all over New Orleans; after Katrina, rent has escalated ... but as I said, with all these positive things, you're going to have the negative things. We're trying to stay focused on what we can do to make it better. ...

  "People are talking about the Greenway. My daughter that lives in Houston, she's down here visiting with me and she says, 'What's going on with our park? What do they have going on over there?' I said, 'Darling, that park will not be a park anymore. It will be something even better.' People are excited about it. I have a lot of friends that are asking, 'What's going on?' ... I want to be a part of what's going on. I want to be a part of the solution, not a part of the problem."

New Orleanians talk about the Lafitte Greenway

• Emelda Paul, founding member of Sojourner Truth Neighborhood Center

Susan Guidry, District A City Councilwoman

Antoinette Davalos, owner of Baby’s Snack Box in Treme

Sarah Olivier, program manager for the Trust for Public Land

Andreanecia Morris, executive with Providence Community Housing

Jay Nix, owner of Parkway Tavern & Bakery

Mary Matthews, treasurer of Friends of Lafitte Corridor

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