As Barack Obama starts to put together his cabinet to mend our country back together, it makes me think about the next generation of leaders in New Orleans that can help our 44th President rebuild this city.
(Pictures taken from the WPA Photograph Collection at the New Orleans Public Library)
Housing New Orleans had a very large rental population before the storm, and still does. In order to re-populate the city and build more affordable units that can support the working people of the city, we need to push our tactics to be different from what has been in done in the past. To analyze what the city is doing and how to enforce landlords to fix the thousands of blighted properties, we could ask Andrew Holbien. We also must be realistic about how much affordable housing costs and how it to build it so it lasts. When the city built public housing in the 40s, it was designed to sustain the "100 year" storm. The team behind Green Coast Enterprises should help us build the type of housing that will be sustainable, affordable and will last. Others to add to the team, Yasmin Bowers and Andrea Floyd from Consciously Building, Tess Monaghan from Build Now, Hampton Barclay- Homebuilder's Association, Futureproof and the Greater New Orleans Fair Action Housing Center.
Community Development/ Neighborhood Collaboratives/ The Arts
Since the storm, there have been many powerful examples of how neighborhods in New Orleans have responded to adversity. In order to make government more effective, neighborhood organizations/stakeholders must have a strong influence in the city's decision making. Our president should consult with Timolynn Sams and Gill Benedek from the Neighborhood Partnership Network to see how to empower neighborhood associations, but also how to find common ground with people from different locations who may have opposing views on city ordinances.