The American Dream Denied

Jesse Perkins

I moved into the Gordon Plaza subdivision in May of 1988, so approximately thirty-one years ago, with the exception of three years right after Hurricane Katrina. I decided to come back and repair my house. It was definitely against my own wishes, but I did it. I moved in with my mom to try to give her the “American Dream,” as Shannon said, you know. …

I did some testing in my yard. It was pretty alarming. I was so alarmed by what I found out. I had to explain it to my son, because he lives there with me with his with his baby. When I gave him the news, his first reaction was, “Dad, we got to get out here like now.”

If you go on Higgins Boulevard - that stuff that’s coming out of the ground. They think it’s a water leak. Its groundwater mostly. That runoff sometimes goes away. Sometimes it stays for a very long time, especially with this rain. We may see that stuff for weeks and weeks. It has had contact with the waste … this is this is what we live with.

... They are downplaying everything. They tell us how safe we are, but every time there’s a water leak, what does it do? It stirs up this stuff. It’s in there. And the barrier that they put down there—that so-called “barrier”—is not to prevent anything from coming up. It’s just to let you know, if you’re excavating or whatever, that hey, okay, now you’re about to go into this. But you know, with the water sitting here for as long as it did during Katrina, you would have to think that all that stuff mixed anyway. I’m not taking a chance with my grandbaby, because I mean, she’s only about three years old. I mean, she’s still developing and growing. I’m really concerned. …

You can’t do a garden, and you can’t do any activity where you are stirring up the ground. I’m concerned when I mow my lawn. …. I’m like stirring up that stuff when I’m mowing the lawn. I am very concerned about that…. I do know what the effect that it can have on my health.

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