Message from Mayor Landrieu
New Orleans is my home. I love this city, am proud of this city and want to ensure that it is a better place to live and to raise a family. That means that New Orleans must be a safe place to live and that people must feel safe all across the city. And that also means continuing to address the tough issues that New Orleans is facing around crime, generational poverty and racism. To do that requires fixing broken institutions, broken systems, and rebuilding disintegrated social structures.
Since taking office in 2010, we moved quickly to develop and implement broad solutions that would affect systemic change and eradicate the culture of violence in our city. There was and is no challenge more urgent than preventing murder. So in the spring of 2012, we introduced NOLA FOR LIFE, a cutting-edge and comprehensive murder reduction strategy focused on prevention coupled with tough enforcement. We set clear priorities and used data effectively to develop, implement and refine the NOLA FOR LIFE strategy. It was smart, it was holistic and it hit the streets. And we are seeing progress. Since the launch of NOLA FOR LIFE, we have seen New Orleans’ murder rate drop by 18%, outpacing the state and other cities across the country.
Now, as we mark the four year anniversary of this work, the purpose of our Progress Report is to tell the NOLA FOR LIFE story in its entirety. It offers an all-encompassing view of the strategy: why certain initiatives were selected, who they are reaching and the results they have produced. It presents the results of the initiatives that are currently part of the strategy, but also of those that are no longer in place. Finally, the report provides insight into other contributing factors, such as demographics, education, early childhood and healthcare, as well as examines how New Orleans compares to the national trends.
I thank the dedicated community leaders, educators, service providers, law enforcement officials and criminal justice experts who have worked with us hand in hand to help develop and implement this cutting edge plan, as well as all those who have taken part in our initiatives and contributed to the successes we have realized thus far. I also want to recognize Cities United, The National Forum on Youth Violence Prevention, and My Brother’s Keeper, who have elevated violence as a national issue and coordinated a nationwide collaboration in eradicating violence.
Again, we have a long way to go, but together, we have the power to turn the tide against violence and create a city of peace. If we are united, there is nothing we can’t do.
Mitchell J. Landrieu,
Mayor, City of New Orleans