Fixing New Orleans
New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu has a rare chance to turn the city around.
Mitch Landrieu comes from one of New Orleans' most fabled political families. His father, Maurice "Moon" Landrieu, was a pioneering, pro-civil rights mayor from 1970 to 1978 (and later, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development for former President Jimmy Carter). His older sister, Mary Landrieu, represents Louisiana in the U.S. Senate. But when Mitch ran for mayor in 1994, he suffered a bruising defeat -- losing to another dynast, Marc Morial, the son of New Orleans's first African-American mayor Ernest Morial. He lost again in 2006, in a hard-fought contest with Ray Nagin.
Earlier this year, Landrieu mounted a third mayoral run, and this time he won decisively. Since taking office in May, he has moved deftly, appointing a well-regarded new chief to head the troubled New Orleans Police Department and enacting new guidelines designed to introduce transparency into government contracting. With connections in Baton Rouge (where he served as a state representative and lieutenant governor for 16 years) and in Washington -- and the stirrings of progress in public safety and education -- Landrieu now has a unique opportunity "to be seen as the guy who turned around New Orleans," says LaPolitics Weekly publisher John Maginnis.
If he can do that, observers say, Landrieu would be well-positioned to do what no New Orleans mayor since 1879 has done -- return to Baton Rouge as governor.
Join the Discussion
After you comment, click Post. You can enter an anonymous Display Name or connect to a social profile.
LATEST POLITICS HEADLINES
How Political Donors Are Changing Statehouse News Reporting1 day ago
Why Rejecting Medicaid Expansion Isn’t Easy1 day ago
What If States Just Sold Marijuana Themselves?1 day ago
Occupy Activist Earns a Seat on the Memphis Transit Board1 day ago
The Progress and Promise of Pittsburgh's Turnaround1 day ago
City Hall Drama Takes Center Stage in New Play23 hours ago