Louis Elisa has seen humanitarian crises from the rubble up.
The worst, he stated, was the 1999 earthquake close to Istanbul that killed 17,479 folks, many as they slept. That’s when Elisa was a regional director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
He’s an professional in exactly what’s unfolding in Massachusetts in the present day as Gov. Maura Healey seizes the state-owned Melnea A. Cass Recreation Complex as a short lived overflow website for migrant households sleeping at Logan Airport.
It’s not what he would do, he informed the Herald.
“I’m in support of housing those migrants, but not at that facility,” Elisa stated. “This has not been thought through. This is not the best spot. You’re going to stuff up to 380 to 400 people in The Cass with four bathroom stalls? That’s not intelligent. There are alternatives that would work a lot better.”
He’s suggesting the Shattuck Hospital in Jamaica Plain. Plans for redevelopment of the hospital are within the works, however the migrant disaster requires fast motion.
But did Healey’s folks attain out to Elisa? No.
He was ok to work for the Clinton administration however apparently not Healey’s inside circle.
Elisa labored for FEMA in war-ravaged locations reminiscent of Kosovo, Albania and Macedonia. He was with the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights after Hurricane Katrina crippled New Orleans. He’s in Boston now, and his cellphone isn’t ringing, and that’s what’s improper with this migrant disaster.
His work on the Boston Black COVID-19 Coalition deserves reward and is proof that the Roxbury neighborhood wants a voice. Healey’s plan to relocate Logan migrants to this recreation heart, pushing out native children and applications, is simply big-footing the neighborhood.
Elisa stated the governor doesn’t just like the “optics” of letting everybody see migrants sleeping on the ground at Logan, so her knee-jerk response is to stay it to Roxbury.
It merely isn’t honest. Healey ought to reverse course and transfer the migrants to the Shattuck in the present day.
“This has created a crisis. You don’t want to put people in a gymnasium,” Elisa stated, recalling the horrible concept of utilizing the Louisiana Superdome throughout Katrina, turning it right into a hellhole.
“You have alternatives. Use them,” he added. “These people need more than three meals a day. Hygiene, sanitation, and security all matter. The Shattuck is a better spot or the Brockton Hospital. They are places you can go without disrupting programs.”
He’s calling on the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) to do greater than brace for nor’easters and floods.
“There’s got to be comprehensive thought. You can’t be a stovepipe,” Elisa stated of the governor’s lack of communication with the town.
The Boston City Council is feeling the identical isolation, with At-Large Councilor Erin Murphy calling for a briefing on the state seizing the Roxbury rec heart again.
This haphazard strategy to the endless border mess exposes the dearth of planning from the Oval Office to the governor’s Corner Office.
“The state is taking care of the migrants, but who is taking care of us?” a Roxbury resident requested on a Zoom discussion board Monday evening. That’s a rattling good query.
The governor must step out and reply it in the present day and admit Roxbury’s fitness center belongs to the children and neighborhood.