(Sept. 24, Times-Picayune/The Advocate):

Don’t give up: If New Orleans survived Hurricane Katrina, not to mention all the other disasters it has endured through three centuries, then surely it can survive a crime wave.


Declare war on the gangs and top leaders of the narco-criminal cooperatives in New Orleans.

Bring in help from the State Police.

Institute a high-profile dragnet on Interstate 10.

Make sure violent repeat offenders actually stay behind bars for a long time.

Help the New Orleans Police Department start emerging from the federal consent decree governing its conduct. Account for and more quickly release large portions of the $387.5 million the city received from the American Rescue Plan Act. Aggressively implement as many as possible of the comprehensive recommendations from the NOLA Coalition and from the Public Safety Committee of Mayor LaToya Cantrell’s “Forward Together” transition operation from 2018. Engage community organizations, and make a huge effort to enlist city youngsters in constructive sports, clubs and other extracurricular activities.

And keep working together, to get and keep everybody on board.


“There’s a special kind of fellowship among New Orleanians,” said public policy strategist Jacques Morial. “We all understand that fellowship, across different social and economic lines. It’s unique. But the fear of crime is tearing at those bonds. We’re looking at each other with suspicion and fear, and all of that is corroding that fellowship that’s so essential for our city and our survival.”

The last time I spoke to Morial, in 2021, he was describing himself as both “woke” and “progressive.” Yet he’s as energized to battle violent crime as any “lock-em-up” conservative, and there’s lots of common ground on the solutions, including (potentially) most (but not all) of those listed above.

That’s why the NOLA Coalition, consisting by some counts of as many as 400 different community organizations and businesses, is such a welcome addition to the scene….[The full column is at this link.]


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