New Orleans Named Most Livable City by US Conference of MayorsPosted on June 23rd, 2014 by Lenny Alsfeld
New Orleans was named one of two “most livable” cities in the nation by the U.S. Conference of Mayors based on Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s murder reduction program NOLA for Life, officials said Saturday.
West Sacramento, Calif., received the same award for efforts to expand access to preschool education.
The Conference of Mayors made the announcement during its 82nd annual meeting in Dallas this week. The “city livability” award is intended to highlight mayoral leadership in creating programs that improve quality of life in American cities.
Former mayors selected the winning cities from a pool of more than 200 applicants, according to a news release. Members of the conference singled out New Orleans for Landrieu’s homicide reduction program NOLA for Life, created in 2012 in response to the city’s historically high murder rate.
NOLA for Life takes a wide-ranging approach, including aggressive prosecution of gang- and drug-related violence, educating teenagers about the consequences of criminal acts and improving relations and trust between residents and police, among other initiatives.
The mayor has compared the program’s strategy to the way public health officials work to stop the spread of infectious diseases.
“I am proud to accept this year’s City Livability Award on behalf of the citizens of New Orleans, who have come together as a community to build safer neighborhoods and connect young men with the resources they need to thrive,” Landrieu said in a statement.
Last year, there were 155 murders in New Orleans, a 20 percent decline from 193 murders in 2012. In the first three months of this year, the number of murders was down by nearly 30 percent.
Despite the decline in killings, nearly every other major crime — including armed robberies and rapes — was on the rise.
Nationwide, many cities, including New York, Los Angeles and Chicago, saw a decrease in murders in 2013.