Civic Engagement

New Orleans is a city of diverse neighborhoods and tightly knit communities, rich in tradition and culture. But in 2005, the failure of critical infrastructure and our governing and social structures in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina necessitated that individual residents and civic groups join together to lead the recovery efforts.

The leadership demonstrated by the residents of New Orleans spanned across all sectors. Engagement with local government entities allowed residents to advocate for neighborhood rebuilding, participate in long-term planning processes and contribute to an ongoing dialogue about the issues that affect their lives.

Civic leaders also demanded widespread governmental and ethics reforms. These demands for accountability led to reforms in government, such as the consolidation of levee management in southeast Louisiana to provide a professional and transparent flood protection management system for the region, a reduction in the number of property tax assessors in Orleans Parish to provide a fair and uniform tax assessment system citywide, and the creation of the first-ever Ethics Review Board and Office of Inspector General to uphold high ethical standards and respond to unethical acts by government officials.

Today, local government has institutionalized partnerships with neighborhood organizations and civic leaders with the formalization of neighborhood participation planning processes and citizen advisory committees. This work is leading to a more resilient New Orleans by empowering residents with the skills and knowledge to improve the quality of life within their communities and by strengthening relationships between neighbors, community partners and local government.

Government Reform Milestones

2006

Consolidated local levee boards to create the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority

2006

Reduced the number of property assessors in Orleans Parish from 7 to 1

2007

Established the first Ethics Review Board

2007

Created the Office of Inspector General and appointed the first Inspector General

2008

Established the position of the Independent Police Monitor

Community Engagement Milestones

2007

Citywide Unified New Orleans Plan process

2008

Citizens vote for City Master Plan to have the force of law

2011

Created of the Neighborhood Engagement Office in City Hall

2012

Hosted first annual Neighborhood Summit

2012

Convened first annual Neighborhood Leaders Roundtable

2012

Created the City’s Neighborhood Participation Plan

2014

Launched Neighborhood Capacity Building Initiative

New Programs & Initiatives

Mayor Landrieu’s Neighborhood Engagement Office
A City department that promotes public participation in government decision-making by creating opportunities for dialogue, information sharing, partnership, and action between City government and neighborhood residents and leaders.

Unified New Orleans Plan
A comprehensive recovery plan funded by the Rockefeller Foundation and HUD that included broad resident engagement across the city and country to reach those families still displaced.