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An inspiring, no-nonsense leader and social justice champion, Mitch Landrieu stepped up at a time when New Orleans needed help. The former mayor shares stories about this once-descending city and his efforts to put NOLA on the map as a great American comeback story.
When Mitch Landrieu was sworn in as the 61st Mayor of New Orleans, he inherited a city in turmoil. NOLA and its people were still recovering from Hurricane Katrina. The city was on the brink of bankruptcy, had the highest-in-the-nation murder rate, and a police department under federal investigation.
Under his inspiring leadership, New Orleans is recognized as one of the nation’s great comeback stories. The economy is growing and diversifying, in large part due to collaborative efforts Landrieu supported during his time in office. He fast-tracked several projects and secured billions in federal funding for schools, hospitals, parks and recreation, and critical infrastructure. He also brought sound fiscal management, balanced budgets, ethical contracting, and transparency to City Hall. And, by making public safety a top priority, Landrieu reformed the police department and drove down the city’s record number of homicides. Through implementation of NOLA for Life, a cutting-edge murder-reduction strategy, he drove a nearly 20 percent decrease in the city’s murder rate.
In 2016, Landrieu was voted “America’s top turnaround mayor” in a survey of mayors, compiled by Politico. He gained national prominence for his historical and powerful decision to take down four Confederate monuments in New Orleans, delivering a riveting speech that was lauded by the New York Times’s Frank Bruni as “the masterpiece we needed at the moment we needed it.” The courage and leadership Landrieu showed in advocating and overseeing the removal of the statues also earned him the prestigious John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award. In his New York Times best-selling book, In the Shadow of Statues: A White Southerner Confronts History, Landrieu recounts his personal journey confronting racism, and tackles the broader history of slavery, race relations, and institutional inequalities that still plague America.
Growing up in a politically active and socially conscious family, Landrieu’s political roots run deep in Louisiana, where he served two terms as lieutenant governor and 16 years in the state legislature. He also served as president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors.
As New Orleans celebrates its tricentennial, Landrieu speaks passionately about how, in the face of adversity, this once-descending city rebounded and its people became more resilient. He offers a firsthand perspective on post-disaster leadership and how good models of governance and innovation – especially in today’s divided political climate – can be applied successfully across the country, and the world.
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From Bleak to Booming: Rebuilding a Bustling Business-Scene
As lieutenant governor of Louisiana, Mitch Landrieu led the state through Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath.
With a resume that includes leading the city and state through Hurricanes Rita, Gustav, Ike, and Isaac, the BP oil spill, and a national recession, Landrieu knows what it takes to rebound from crises.
When he was sworn in as the 61st Mayor of New Orleans in May 2010, the recovery from Hurricane Katrina had stalled, the city teetered on bankruptcy and the New Orleans Police Department was under federal investigation.
Under Landrieu, New Orleans has become one of America’s great comeback stories.
By making public safety a top priority, Landrieu reformed the police department and implemented the cutting-edge murder-reduction strategy, NOLA for Life, which led to a nearly 20 percent decrease in the city’s murder rate.
He kick-started the recovery by fast-tracking over 100 projects and securing billions in federal funding for schools, hospitals, parks and recreation and critical infrastructure.
He brought sound fiscal management, balanced budgets and ethical contracting to City Hall, leading to the city’s highest-ever credit rating and over $8 billion in private development.
Landrieu believes government alone is not enough to repair the economy and that partnering with local business leaders paves the path to prosperity. He brought this idea to life with the formation of New Orleans Business Alliance (NOLABA), the first public-private partnership of its kind in the city, and the Network for Economic Opportunity. These organizations devote themselves to repositioning New Orleans as a hub for culture and commerce, lifting up small businesses, and connecting disadvantaged job seekers to opportunities in the workforce. Since their inception, these organizations have helped to create 20,000 new jobs and opened more than 140 new businesses.
In this presentation, Landrieu reveals how his post-disaster leadership skills and business innovation insights helped pull his city through crisis and become more resilient. With his Southern wit and charm, he shares with audiences:
- How clear command, control and communication can get you through any crisis
- How his philosophy of “facilitate, link and leverage” brings people together to move forward
- How public-private partnerships pave the path to prosperity
- Why ethical leadership is good for business
- Why the future of America runs through cities
Courage in Times of Crisis
Redemption can come from the most unlikely of places.
Under the impactful leadership of Mitch Landrieu, New Orleans has become one of the nation’s best comeback stories. In the wake of one of the most destructive hurricanes, Landrieu supplied hope to a devastated city.
Resurrecting and restructuring the city meant reorganizing the budget and overhauling the entire government - from education, to healthcare, to the criminal justice system.
During Landrieu’s tenure as mayor, New Orleans morphed its public school system into a 100 percent charter school model, reimagined its public housing model, and made healthcare more accessible to all.
The New Orleans Police Department experienced sweeping reforms, and the implementation of NOLA for Life comprehensively reduced the murder rate in the city by nearly 20 percent.
Because of the policies and structures put in place by former mayor Mitch Landrieu, New Orleans thrives with a growing and diversifying economy.
In this inspiring presentation, Landrieu reveals to audiences how the people of NOLA had the ability to see beauty even when everything was lost after Hurricane Katrina.
Governing in the Age of Trump
We are living in an unprecedented political climate, one rife with negative rhetoric, “alternative facts,” and chaotic communication.
In such a divided political environment, Mitch Landrieu, former mayor of New Orleans, brings problem-solving and the voice of reason to an ideologically bent Washington.
A strong proponent of reaching across the aisle, Landrieu discusses finding common ground on complex issues such as infrastructure, tax reform, immigration, and access to healthcare.
Drawing from his firsthand experience as a two-term mayor and a lieutenant governor who turned a descending city into a prosperous one, Landrieu can be paired with a Republican to speak on the following topics as they pertain to governing in a Trump era:
- Growth potential of cities
- Insight into race relations
- Criminal justice system
- Ethical leadership
- Climate change
- Public finance
We had a fabulous event with Mitch last night! He was so warm and kind to all of our staff, and our patrons, and we have only heard rave reviews on his talk! He is frank, willing to have tough and blunt conversations, and even wove in facts about Oregon that I know our audience really appreciated. He was such a trooper to miss Mardi Gras for this, and we are so thankful that he and Cheryl made the trip to Portland!
Director of Marketing & Communications, Oregon Historical Society
Mitch Landrieu inspires like few leaders today can. He speaks from the commanding heights of someone who has accomplished much while leading from a position of purpose and principle. Mayor Landrieu is smart, funny, articulate and able to connect with audiences across all divides—-a genuine breath of fresh air.A.T. Kearney