A coalition of local civic groups that secured dozens of pledges from Mayor Mitch Landrieu and New Orleans City Council members more than three years ago says those officials have lived up to more than half of their promises and are making progress on most of the rest.
On the other hand, the group criticized the leaders for failing to meet four objectives in the areas of criminal justice and blight remediation that they had agreed upon ahead of municipal elections in early 2014.
The coalition, Forward New Orleans, released its final report card on the current mayor and council members Wednesday as it prepares to draw up a new slate of goals for candidates running in elections this October.
Composed of leaders of civic, neighborhood and business organizations, Forward New Orleans has compiled broad platforms in advance of municipal elections since 2010. The group then asks candidates to agree to implement specific goals and, once the winners are elected, tracks their progress in published reports.
“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.
While goals for the new slate of candidates haven’t been finalized, Rusovich said coalition members plan to begin creating them immediately.
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.
That’s an improvement over a progress report issued two years ago, when the group said Landrieu and the council members had completely met fewer than half of the same goals. About 9 percent were considered unmet at that time.
Among those listed as unfulfilled this time was a pledge to “support electronic monitoring” for many detainees. The city’s ankle monitoring program for adult criminal defendants was suspended after Sheriff Marlin Gusman last year refused to support or supervise it. Gusman said his office did not have the money to continue the program. It has since been renewed, but only for juvenile defendants.
The Forward New Orleans report also raps the city for the spat over reduced funding this year for District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro’s office, which the coalition said “has caused a public rift in the criminal justice community” and leads to a “public perception of disagreement and lack of cooperation” among various agencies.