A new breed of citizen lobbyists - over 100 trained volunteers kept the pressure on state lawmakers to pass this reform legislation, which called for a unified levee board comprised of experts guided by professional standards. In March 2006, the Louisiana legislature approved historic legislation which dissolved local levee commissions and created the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority. In September, the constitutional amendment on levee board consolidation passed resoundingly across the state.
In the regular session of the legislature, the group pushed for consolidation of the office of property assessment to consolidate the seven New Orleans assessors’ offices into one professional office. The legislation passed the legislature and was approved in a statewide constitutional amendment election by wide margins.
The New Orleans Times-Picayune proclaimed “the leaders of the movement slayed two sacred cows of Louisiana politics and advanced civic activism during Southeast Louisiana’s darkest hour” And the independent weekly newspaper Gambit ranked the stunning consolidation of the levee boards and assessor system as the number one story of 2006.
The organization’s current reform priorities include crime, education and ethics reform. Citizens for 1 Greater New Orleans helped to create the New Orleans Crime Coalition, a diverse group of civic and business organizations united in coalition for the first time to fight violent crime in the city, and co-founded Court Watch NOLA which places trained citizen volunteers in the court room to monitor career criminal related cases. Recently, the organization successfully lobbied for ethics reform in the state legislature and sponsored a forum on education.
The members of Citizens for 1 Greater New Orleans embody a Jesuit commitment to be men and women for others. The work of Citizens is a commitment to the common good of our city.
For its outstanding work and contributions to New Orleans and its people, the Board of Trustees and the Faculties of Loyola University New Orleans present Citizens for 1 Greater New Orleans with the degree of doctor of humane letters, honoris causa.
Secretary of the Board of Trustees
Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs