January 26, 2024
The New Orleans Transition Council
About the Council’s Work
The New Orleans Transition Council was established at the request of Governor Jeff Landry to identify the most pressing challenges in New Orleans and to discuss and propose solutions to those challenges. This Council was led by Boysie Bollinger and included voices from across the political and policy spectrum.
The Council identified crime and the root causes of it including, but not limited to, lack of access to quality education, lack of job opportunity, inadequate access to health care, and declining infrastructure as the preeminent issues impacting New Orleans.
After multiple meetings, the council made the following recommendations.
Comprehensive Public Safety Strategy for Metro New Orleans
While there have been countless studies, committees, and plans to attack crime in New
Orleans, there is still a persistent lack of coordination and organization among the over three dozen federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies that are active within the metro area.
1. Engage Louisiana State Police to ensure that the interstate system, French Quarter,
Downtown Development District, and other areas within the City are secured and safe.
2. Direct state law enforcement agencies including Alcohol & Tobacco Control, Wildlife & Fisheries, and the Fire Marshal to assist the NOPD with the enforcement of applicable laws and ordinances in the Vieux Carré neighborhood.
3. Request the Attorney General assist the District Attorney with criminal prosecutions in
4. Work with the Attorney General, the Mayor, and other relevant parties to help
terminate the 2012 federal consent decree which has both hampered the City’s ability
to recruit and retain police officers and stifled the ability of other law enforcement
agencies to fully assist the NOPD.
5. Work with the Legislature and stakeholders to make court actions more accessible to
the public and to address the juvenile crime crisis.
6. Develop a plan that addresses crime lab backlogs in Orleans Parish.
7. Direct the Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) to coordinate and
expedite highway lighting repairs within Orleans Parish.
8. Direct the Louisiana Housing Corporation and the Office of Community Development to assist the City with homelessness.
Comprehensive Review of the Sewerage & Water Board of New Orleans
The recent flooding of the City of New Orleans with heavy rainfall was an exclamation point on issues raised by the Council related to the Sewerage & Water Board of New Orleans (SWBNO).
In short, the public has lost faith in this state-chartered agency and its ability to consistently deliver effective drainage and clean water. The issues are myriad and date back over 50 years.
1. Evaluate the governance of the SWBNO, its organizational structure, and its funding.
2. Mandate a special master for the resolution of SWBNO billing disputes.
3. Support capital outlay funding for the critical SWBNO power plant project.
4. Explore a stormwater management plan in New Orleans.
5. Work with the Legislature to facilitate access to the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs
Act funding for replacing lead lines.
State-Supported Regional Economic Development
For New Orleans to maintain its status as a destination city, the Department of Economic
Development (LED) should coordinate with groups that promote New Orleans. In short, our State and our City should communicate and partner on these efforts in a more organized fashion.
1. Align LED with New Orleans & Company; GNO, Inc., the New Orleans Business Council and local universities to properly market the City and region.
2. Review and assess the structure of the French Quarter Management District and the
Downtown Development District boards.
3. Explore ways to create a hotel adjacent to the state-owned New Orleans Ernest N.
Morial Convention Center to enhance global competitiveness.
4. Expedite the State Small Business Credit Initiative so federal funds get released to spur
5. Work with local authorities to maximize the opportunities created by Super Bowl LIX
with a focus on improving infrastructure, branding, and public safety.
6. Encourage LED to support a riverfront master plan that compliments both existing and new development.
7. Continue state support of cultural and tourism hubs like the National World War II
Museum and the Audubon Institute.
8. Work with the Louisiana Stadium and Exposition District and the Legislature to ensure the professional sports franchises have long-term futures in Louisiana.
9. Direct LED to support the redevelopment of New Orleans East, including projects like
Bayou Phoenix, as applicable.
10. Support the proposed Louisiana International Terminal, which should open up
substantial opportunities for manufacturing, warehousing, and distribution jobs in New
11. Undertake a concerted effort to align Louisiana ports, especially those on the Mississippi River.
12. Support efforts that grow the BioDistrict to assist with the recruitment of top-notch
medical talent to the community.
13. Work with stakeholders to braid the aforementioned entities with proximate hotel and hospitality assets so as to better attract specialty and/or research-type conventions and meetings.
Alignment of GNO Education Assets to Better Meet the Needs of Families
The post-Katrina, all charter public school system within Orleans Parish has been
groundbreaking. Unfortunately, there is a stubbornly large gap between the top-performing and low-performing schools. Availability of school social workers and a robust Early Childhood Education (ECE) pipeline are constants with high-performing schools.
1. Instruct the Department of Education and LDH to address the pressing issue of the City’s school system lacking sufficient school-based social workers and related professionals to deal with adolescent mental and behavioral health.
2. Examine licensing barriers that restrict the ability to get behavioral and mental health specialists into schools.
3. Request that the Orleans Parish School Board review and assess the OneApp process
with the goal of a streamlined admissions program that allows students to more easily attend schools in their neighborhood with contiguous reductions in transportation and other costs.
4. Work with the Legislature to allow for conversion of school facilities into early childhood development centers.
5. Work with stakeholders to enhance incentives for people to become early childhood educators.
6. Conduct a comprehensive review of ECE licensing so these educators can be more easily hired across parish and state lines.
7. Support successful child/youth development educational and health programs in the City.
8. Explore ways to expand apprenticeship programs and improve workforce training in the City.
As the Chairman of the Council noted in the initial meeting, “we are all in this together to try and help New Orleans be the best it can be.” After many hours of discussion, research, and deliberation – the Governor-Elect’s New Orleans Transition Council has identified these four major priorities and numerous recommendations to help revitalize our beloved City. We greatly appreciate the Governor’s interest in finding solutions to the problems plaguing New Orleans; and we hope he continues putting together diverse working groups of bright, creative, and invested citizens determined to restore our State’s oldest city to its premiere stature.