City Launches #EquityNewOrleans Initiative
NEW ORLEANS – The City of New Orleans hosted the first of several community listening sessions to launch #EquityNewOrleans on Wednesday, June 15, 2016, at Ashe Powerhouse Theater in Central City.
#EquityNewOrleans is a citywide initiative of the Office of Mayor Mitch Landrieu to assess the role of equity in City government using a data-driven process that prioritizes stakeholder engagement and will inform the development of future strategies and decision-making within City government. This initiative is being funded by the W.K Kellogg Foundation in partnership with the Foundation for Louisiana.
“In the new New Orleans, we view equity as a growth strategy that will lead us to creating a stronger and more prosperous city for all our residents,” said Mayor Landrieu. “I want to thank those that participated in the kickoff of the #EquityNewOrleans initiative and encourage all New Orleanians to join us in this effort. Your participation can make a difference.”
City reps said this event provided an opportunity for a wide variety of stakeholders to learn about the initiative, engage with one another and share their views on what an equitable government means. Residents came together with Mayor Mitch Landrieu, PolicyLink President and CEO Angela Glover Blackwell and City leaders.
Deputy Mayor for Citywide Initiatives Judy Reese Morse said, “It has been well-documented that all residents of New Orleans do not enjoy the same resources and opportunities because of economic, racial and geographic disparities. This inequity threatens our city’s ability to grow to its full capacity. #EquityNewOrleans will better equip City government with tools to better serve its residents.”
At each community listening session, “equity vision statements” covering areas in City government will be presented. The four areas presented at the June 15 session included Land Use Planning and the Master Plan Revision, Economic Development and Public Incentives, Housing and Resilience.
Following the equity vision statement presentations, residents had the opportunity to discuss what equity means to them and have their reflections shared with all attendees. These and other listening session reflections will inform data collection and analysis as the City’s equity strategy is developed.
There will be continued opportunities for engagement including upcoming community listening sessions, individual stakeholder interviews and focus groups.