March 8, 2017
Forward New Orleans released its final progress report on the performance of New Orleans city government during this term. The report measures performance and progress in 11 different categories, including criminal justice and law enforcement, city finance, blight removal, economic development, and infrastructure.
The new report highlights successes, such as NOPD’s use of advanced technology to help increase public safety and officer efficiency, teamwork between the Department of Public Works and Sewerage and Water Board to track a $2.4 billion infrastructure improvement plan through the interactive roadwork.nola.gov web site, and renewed focus on economic opportunities for small and disadvantaged businesses. But the coalition is also clear in its call for additional progress toward curbing violent crime, coordinating criminal justice agency resources, and implementing civil service reforms.
“Clearly, overall progress has been made and a solid foundation has been laid on many fronts,” said Gregory Rusovich, Past Chair of the Business Council of New Orleans and the River Region and a Forward New Orleans coalition representative. “This progress is the result of a resilient and tenacious citizenry partnering with committed and dedicated political leadership.”
Rusovich notes, however, that there is still work to be done in order to satisfy the mandates as established in the report. “Progress is not equal in all categories and there are further steps that need to be taken to fully satisfy commitments that have been made. Our coalition will remain vigilant as we move forward to ensure mandates are fulfilled and the solid foundation remains permanently fixed,” Rusovich said.
Forward New Orleans coalition partner Leah Engelhardt, Chair of Citizens for 1 Greater New Orleans, appreciates that progress has been made by Mayor Landrieu and the current Council, but acknowledges that “areas of concern remain, including issues surrounding public safety and the need to solidify successful programming for the future. FNO has high expectations that the Administration and Council will double down on their resolve to keep the momentum moving forward.”
Forward New Orleans is a broad coalition of 25 civic, neighborhood and business organizations including: Business Council of New Orleans and the River Region, Regional Black Chamber of Commerce, Broadmoor Civic Association, New Orleans Chamber of Commerce, Urban League of Louisiana, New Orleans Police and Justice Foundation, GNO, Inc. and the Young Leadership Council, among others.
Since 2010, Forward New Orleans has created issues-based platforms designed to educate voters and engage candidates for mayor and city council in seeking to identify and implement best practices that will improve opportunities and the quality of life for the people of New Orleans. The coalition will release a new platform in conjunction with the 2017 Mayoral and City Council elections.
A copy of the new report, as well as previous reports issued by Forward New Orleans, may be found at www.forwardneworleans.com.