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New Orleans Citizens Are The Key to City’s Reform

New Orleans since the very inception has never been a stranger to corruption. Over the centuries it became the very fabric of the way things were run around here.  Just a cursory study of the 300 year history of New Orleans reveals how corruption has been rampant.

 New Orleans Citizens Are The Key to City’s Reform

Former Tulane president Scott Cowen with the Dalai Lama.

The Dalai Lama with former Tulane president Scott Cowen who says Katrina taught New Orleans not just to rebuild but to reimagine.

Corruption of our city and state officials was just something that the good citizens of the city just kind of tolerated and laughed at. What could we do? We felt powerless.

But after Hurricane Katrina people were be fed up with all of that and sought change. One of the first citizen’s groups founded was Citizens for 1 Greater New Orleans. It was founded by some uptown ladies who had never been politically active before. They just reflected what a lot of people were feeling: that corrupt politics no longer belonged in our city.

With the recent finding of our erstwhile mayor guilty on 21 counts of corruption and sentenced to 10 years in prison, let’s hope that corruption has finally seen it’s day and New Orleanians can go about the business of making this a really great city minus the corrupt shenanigans of the past.

Former president of Tulane Scott Cowen wrote a great article for the Wall Street Journal outlining the improvements the city had made since Katrina.

Cowen states in his article posted here on Citizens For 1 Greater New Orleans:

Forbes just ranked New Orleans the No. 1 Brainpower City in the U.S.; the metro area’s number of college graduates increased by 20.3% between 2007 and 2012; and major companies including GE, Gameloft and Globalstar have established operations in the city. The public school system has also seen a remarkable improvement: Only 5.7% of New Orleans children now attend a failing school, down from 65% in 2005.

It’s that fighting grass-roots spirit that has sparked most of the positive changes in the nine years since Katrina. The New Orleans Police Department was for many decades often seen as corrupt and dysfunctional. Some people even held them responsible for crimes, including shooting unarmed African-American citizens in the immediate aftermath of Katrina. Yet the police department is now being rehabilitated not only through interventions by the federal Bureau of Justice Assistance, but with contributions from watchdog groups like the Metropolitan Crime Commission, Community United for Change, and Citizens for 1’s Court Watch NOLA and Crime Coalition.

New Orleans has definitely turned a corner with so many thing great going for it in business, education and politics.

Who says an old dog can’t learn new tricks?


Posted in Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans Business, New Orleans Life, New Orleans News.

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