Bring New Orleans Back Commission
The Bring New Orleans Back Commission was established by Mayor Ray Nagin of New Orleans, Louisiana, after levees, built by the Army Corps of Engineers, failed during Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and flooded 80% of the historic city. Aside from one Hispanic, the membership of the commission is half black and half white. For reference, and because race has been a contentious issue, the race of the members is indicated.
The goal of the commission is to advise, assist, plan and help the City of New Orleans develop recommendations on all aspects of rebuilding. The Bring New Orleans Back Fund is also a tax-exempt organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.
The Bring New Orleans Back Commission members are:
- Maurice L. "Mel" Lagarde (Co-Chair) - New Orleans native and head of the Delta region for the hospital company HCA
- Barbara Major (Co-Chair) - black activist; executive director of St. Thomas Health Services
- Donald T. "Boysie" Bollinger Jr - multimillionaire businessman with ties to the White House
- Kim M. Boyle - lawyer; partner in the employment law group at Phelps Dunbar LLP
- Cesar R. Burgos - President, Hispanic Lawyers Association of Louisiana
- Joseph C. Canizaro - multimillionaire businessman and real estate developer with ties to the White House
- Dr. Scott Cowen - President, Seymour S. Goodman Professor of Management and Professor of Economics, Tulane University; sits on the boards of the New Orleans Business Council, New Orleans Regional Chamber of Commerce, United Way of Greater New Orleans and Committee for a Better New Orleans
- Alfred C. Hughes - Roman Catholic Archbishop of New Orleans
- Rev. Fred Luter - Pastor, Franklin Avenue Baptist Church, a megachurch which was flooded; describes himself as a "street preacher from the Lower Ninth Ward"
- Wm. Raymond Manning, FAIA, NOMA, LEED, AP BD +, NCARB - President and CEO of Manning Architects
- Wynton Marsalis - internationally known jazz musician.
- Irvin Mayfield - Cultural Ambassador of New Orleans; jazz trumpeter
- Alden J. McDonald - head of Liberty Bank and Trust Company, one of the five largest black-owned banks in the United States
- Daniel F. Packer - chief executive of the New Orleans subsidiary of the Entergy Corporation, which filed for bankruptcy protection in September 2005
- W. Anthony Patton - President/CEO and Founder of EBONetworks, an African American marketing company; awarded New Orleans CityBusiness Top New Entrepreneur of the Year Award, 2003
- Jimmy Reiss - chairman, New Orleans Business Council; quoted in the Wall Street Journal as saying, "Those who want to see this city rebuilt want to see it done in a completely different way, demographically, geographically and politically."
- Gary Solomon
- Oliver M. Thomas, Jr. - City Council member since 1994
- David White - business executive often described as the mayor's closest confidant; former owner operator of McDonald's franchise restaurants.
On November 18, 2005, the Commission received a report from over 50 urban development experts from the Urban Land Institute (ULI). The theme of their recommendations was that New Orleans must be made a liveable and equitable city attractive to current and new residents. Some specific recommendations included forming a "Crescent City Rebuilding Corporation", creating a financial oversight board, involving citizens in creating criteria for renovation and redevelopment, and creating tax incentives. The study was funded by Albert B. Ratner, co-chairman of Forest City Enterprises, a large development company. Included in the funding was the $100,000 Ratner received as recipient of the ULI's 2005 J. C. Nichols Prize for Visionaries in Urban Development.
- "New Orleans enlists VIPs for rebuilding / Mayor's 17-person advisory board has array of civic leaders". sfgate.com.
- "www.bringneworleansback.org". bringneworleansback.org.
- "Manning Architects - Complete Architecture, Interior Design and Planning Services in New Orleans, Dallas and Las Vegas.". manningarchitects.com.
- NPR interview
- New Orleans online[dead link]
- "New" NewOrleans.Com
- ULI press release, accessed November 22, 2005
- Times-Picayune article, accessed November 22, 2005
- After Katrina: Urban Institute research on various social policy issues facing those who are rebuilding New Orleans