Learned in 3 Years Since Katrina: Word on the Street

Rosana Cruz, Safe Streets/Strong Communities, New Orleans:

There was a glut of money but most of it went to national organizations that are larger, and to a few local organizations that are well-known. It was the prom queen dynamic: only one organization gets the attention, even though there are a lot of great local organizations. It's about who has the attention to get resources, to get power.

How are things different for community nonprofits after Katrina?

Staff hiring is a HUGE challenge, including getting our staff back from wherever they went. The nonprofit sector was deeply wounded by Katrina. There wasn't a lot of infrastructure for the grassroots before, and the lack of infrastructure is hurting us even more post-Katrina. The climate is a lot more hostile: every issue turns into a battle for the city.

Crime for instance is a battlefield: people (professionals) say, 'We need to get tough on crime.' But 60% of the arrests are for municipal or traffic offenses, such as public urination or driving a bicycle one-handed. The developers and the funders want to see arrests go up because they're worried some big [construction] development will fail if people don't want to come to the city as tourists or to live here.

Leave a comment

Fill this field in if you want to post a name a user login

Filtered HTML

  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <small> <sup> <sub> <cite> <blockquote> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <h1> <h2> <h3> <h4> <img> <br> <br/> <p> <div> <span> <b> <i> <pre> <img> <u><strike>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
7 + 2 =
Solve this simple math problem and enter the result. E.g. for 1+3, enter 4.

subscribe (free)