New Orleanians can be famously contentious on so many topics, from the best king cake to the kinds of monuments that should adorn their public squares.
Which makes it all the more remarkable that Forward New Orleans has united everybody from the Business Council and Associated General Contractors to the Urban League to neighborhood associations around a single civic platform.
The coalition secured dozens of pledges from Mayor Mitch Landrieu and New Orleans City Council members more than three years ago around a long list of important goals for the city’s civic life.
This week, it issued a scorecard showing that city officials have lived up to more than half of their promises and are making progress on most of the rest.
Of the 102 objectives listed for the candidates in 2014, the winners have fully met or are deemed highly likely to meet 54. Another 44 are in the works, while four were listed as unfulfilled.
“We measure their performance and we ensure that they adhere to best practices,” said businessman Gregory Rusovich, a leader of the coalition since it began.
It was the group’s final scorecard for the current political cycle, as New Orleanians will be choosing a new mayor and council in October. The group will create a new agenda for the next four years.
At a time when politics often seems to be more about noise than substance, Forward New Orleans offers a model other Louisiana communities should consider to keep residents involved in civic life.