Citizens for One Greater New Orleans was a volunteer group of women that exemplified the surge of citizen activism that flourished in New Orleans after Katrina. Alarmed by their realization that local government was too dysfunctional to direct a successful comeback, citizens mobilized and charged at two seemingly untouchable local institutions they deemed ripe for reform, the ineffectual levee board and the notoriously biased board of tax assessors. Using skills honed through years of volunteer work, they mobilized public opinion, lobbied reluctant state lawmakers, and finally achieved success through the passage of constitutional amendments in two separate statewide referendum elections. Reforming these two “sacred cows” was a signal accomplishment that instilled badly needed confidence in government, spurring locals to return and thereby clearing the path for a robust recovery in the Crescent City.



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