Landrieu touches on problems but says ‘we can fix them’ in State of City address

NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) – “We created these problems. We can fix them,” Mayor Mitch Landrieu said during the 2016 State of the City address Tuesday, where he discussed New Orleans’ accomplishments, challenges, and goals along with unveiling a 5-year affordable housing initiative.

"There is still too much poverty, too much crime, too many shootings, too many deaths, not enough jobs, too much distrust, alienation, and fear,” Landrieu said. “Let's reject the lie that things have always been this way and will always be this way. We've proven this to be not true.”

Landrieu began the address touting economic improvement:

  • The creation of 1,500 new jobs since 2010 with more jobs expected
  • The long awaited construction at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport
  • The World Trade Center redevelopment
  • A newly opened terminal at the Port of New Orleans.

Landrieu also praised:

  • The expansion of public transit: new overnight RTA service, new airport line, soon-to-be Rampart streetcar
  • The completion of 267 street projects, including the filling of 270,000 potholes over the last six years
  • Negotiating a $2-billion settlement with FEMA for interior streets
  • A $6-billion building boom
  • Significant growth in local sales tax revenue
  • Resolving the firefighters pension fund
  • Closing a $100-million budget gap from previous administration

Then Landrieu laid out his top two priorities: affordable housing and public safety.

Landrieu’s 5-year housing plan called for the creation of 4,000 affordable housing units by 2018 and another 3,500 units by 2021.

Public safety

As for public safety, Landrieu said, the city is on track to have the lowest number of murders since 1971. But he did admit that there has been an increase in armed robberies and carjackings, and response times are slower than he would like, adding there is a lot that still needs to be done.

“This is not acceptable. By moving dozens of officers from behind desks to the streets and funding more overtimes, together we’ve launched a nearly 100 officer surge on the street,” Landrieu said.