On this episode of the AEI Events Podcast, New Orleans’ Mayor Mitch Landrieu reflects on his experiences with governing at the local level and the progress New Orleans has made during his time in office. Having inherited a city struggling with numerous challenges, he recounted how his administration worked to rebuild a foundation for the future through a method he described as “the will and the way.” Rather than trying to restore the city to the way it was before, Mayor Landrieu said the people of New Orleans found the will to rebuild the city as it should have been by taking an “everybody-in” approach to enact reforms, insisting on vertical and horizontal integration.
In a conversation with AEI’s Norman J. Ornstein, Mayor Landrieu talked about how New Orleans has taken steps to address long-standing divisions, such as reforming policing practices to improve relations between police and communities of color. Contrasting federal government with local government, Mayor Landrieu said mayors have no choice but to overcome various divisions in order to move forward because they deal with concrete problems that affect the people they personally interact with in their day-to-day lives. He emphasized that innovation and change at the city level can have national impacts.More