NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) — The fight continues tonight for the future of the Municipal Auditorium and Congo Square.
Tuesday night, the Save Our Soul Coalition began a series of townhall style meetings to get input from the public on what they want the Municipal Auditorium, Congo Square and Armstrong Park to look like moving forward.
“We’re the coalition. We have our ideas of what we want, but we want to make sure we’re inclusive. We don’t want to do what we’re accusing the administration of not doing,” said Ausettua AmoramenKum with the Kumbuka African Drum and Dance Collective.
The Save our Soul Coalition is getting input from concerned residents who want to bring the area back to life. Everything from preserving the area to how to incorporate new ideas like museums and how to generate revenue were discussed.
“This is what should have been done in the first place,” said New Orleans resident Randolph Scott.
Scott is a former city employee and he wants to see the site preserved for generations to come.
“Our so called elected officials should need to understand we’re the community and if you want to make changes, you need to come to the community to find out exactly what we want and what we need and should have,” Scott said.
“It’s important that the residents speak out and let the Mayor know that City Hall is not a good fit for the Municipal Auditorium,” said Cheryl Robichaux Austin with the Save Our Soul Coalition.
Scott said, “It’s on the African-American community to make sure that we forge ahead to make sure that our community is developed and it brings about economic development and prosperity to to the whole New Orleans area. Treme is the epicenter for that to happen in the city.”
The group says the fight to stop City Hall from moving into the vacant auditorium is far from over. The auditorium has been abandoned since Hurricane Katrina and is need of major renovations.
$38-million in FEMA money is on the table, but could go away if the city does not agree on restoring the site.
Although Mayor LaToya Cantrell would like the location to become City Hall, her power on the issue has been taken away by the New Orleans City Council.
The group has an anonymous survey available and they’re hoping people take ownership in the process.
Wednesday night, there is another townhall meeting at 5:30at Homer Plessy Charter School.
Anyone who cannot make the meeting can watch via Zoom by using https://us02web.zoom.us/j/6515610992 Meeting ID: 651 561 0992.