CBNO and our close partner Neighborhoods Partnership Network (NPN) will be on Norman Robinson’s Hot Seat on WDSU TV-6 this Sunday night (March 3). Look for us to come on the air a little after 10:30 PM. We will be talking about best practices in civic engagement and why New Orleans needs a full, formal Citizen Participation Program that includes outreach, capacity building and involvement by the business community as well as neighborhoods and government.
During our taping for Hot Seat, Mr. Robinson read a statement from the Landrieu Administration claiming that their approach to civic engagement was more “cost effective” than the NOLA CPP. Let’s examine this claim. The NOLA CPP proposal, designed by the people of New Orleans, is projected to cost about $2 million per year — or roughly $6 per person per year, which by itself seems pretty cost effective.
The Administration has not released any figures on what it is spending right now on civic engagement, but our research suggests that between funding the Neighborhood Engagement Office, the mayor’s budget town halls, the NORD Commission NPP, all the other meetings they convene, etc etc etc, they are already spending well over $1 million. And sure, a Yugo costs less than, say, a Ford Explorer — but what are you getting for your money? The NOLA CPP includes exponentially more capacity-building for residents and neighborhoods than the Administration is currently doing. Equally important, the NOLA CPP also connects business people to neighborhoods and city government; this means that the NOLA CPP helps revitalize neighborhoods and promote business through appropriate economic development, something that is completely lacking from the Administration’s approach to civic engagement.
Finally, residents have said from the beginning of our work on the CPP that they want a dedicated funding source for this, like a small property parcel fee, to protect the CPP from future budget or political threats. Thus, the funding for it would not even come out of the city’s general fund. Considering all the above, a strong case can be made that the NOLA CPP is in fact MUCH MORE cost-effective than the Administration’s current approach to civic engagement — as well as being more inclusive, better for economic development, more pro-active for neighborhoods, and generally more effective across the board.
Filed under: Uncategorized |