It’s not hard to measure New Orleans’s progress after Katrina

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New Orleans now has two major newspapers again: the Times-Picayune and businessman John Georges’s new paper, the New Orleans Advocate. But we’ve always had several minor rags that float around our city once a week or so. The other day, a friend emailed me a photograph of the front page from one of those rags.  It read “The tricky business of measuring progress 8 years after Katrina”.  Yeah, it’s real tricky.  How about going outside and opening your eyes?

Unless you are not from here or have not spent the last few decades here, I don’t know how you couldn’t see the dramatic progress New Orleans has made since Katrina. We have literally reinvented ourselves. If you’ve been away a few years and came back, you wouldn’t recognize the place. New Orleans has changed, and just about all of it for the better!

The only people who find it “tricky” measuring progress post-Katrina are the ones who long for the past, when New Orleans was a paradise for the privileged few who had a city contract or better yet, were elected officials dolling out those contracts.

Measuring progress post-Katrina is easy. How about nearly $15 billion in new flood protection for our city? How about nearly $2 billion in new public school construction in Orleans parish alone?  How about the nearly $1 billion new twin spans connecting New Orleans East with Slidell?

Yeah, it’s real tricky measuring progress in New Orleans post-Katrina.   How about the seemingly endless amount of new street and road projects all over New Orleans?  What about the third of a billion dollars spent redoing the Superdome?  Or the $2 billion worth of new hospitals being built on Canal street right off I-10?  Or maybe it’s the multi-million dollar renovations to the Mahalia Jackson and Saenger theaters?  How about the $200 million being invested in new downtown living? Or the $600 million being spent in and around the old Iberville housing development?  And how about all 10 major housing developments that are no longer with us?

What about the future?  A billion dollar new terminal at Louis Armstrong International, a new City Hall, and the redevelopment of the World Trade Center and riverfront?   Outside companies and investors are flocking to our city and the state is on the brink of a natural gas economic explosion.

“The tricky business of measuring progress 8 years after Katrina”.  There’s nothing tricky about it.  Just go outside and open your eyes.

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