One + September 2010 - (Page 20)

U B THE Five Years Later BY JESSIE STATES My uncle hitched a boat ride five years ago from the upper floors of Mount Carmel Academy’s convent and spent a day rescuing survivors off rooftops in Lakeview, New Orleans. Today, he has built a new home (but it’s not the one in which a 4-year-old me ran away from the Boogey Monster). My family in New Orleans doesn’t complain much, though. Not everyone has been as fortunate. The city’s population is still just 80 percent of what it was before Hurricane Katrina and the ensuing flood—due in part to a population that just couldn’t afford to come back. But as New Orleans marked its fifth year since Hurricane Katrina on Aug. 29, the city celebrated the successes of its recent past—improved wages, increased household incomes, access to better schools, a new framework for wetland restoration. And while the city must continue to make progress on the size of its educated workforce, racial economic disparities and the high number of suburban poor, indicators suggest that New Orleans has returned from underwater economically stronger than before. Entrepreneurship is up in the Crescent City, surpassing the national rate for the first time in 10 years, and wages are up 14 percent in the past five years— catching up to the U.S. average for the first time since the mid-1980s. Median household income climbed 4 percent between 1999 and 2008, during which time the national average fell. The number of arts organizations in the city has increased from a pre-Katrina 81 to 86. The success of New Orleans’ recov- AUGUST 2005 Devastating floods following Hurricane Katrina force the New Orleans Metro CVB to cancel US$2 billion of business and relocate hundreds of meetings. OCTOBER 2005 The Ogden Museum of Southern Art is the first cultural attraction to reopen in the city. FEBRUARY 2006 Officials declare New Orleans “open for business,” hosting the 150th Mardi Gras and welcoming 350,000 revelers. The New Orleans Morial Convention Center partially reopens. APRIL 2006 The city’s tourism industry receives $30 million in funding from a consortium of groups for marketing, public relations and direct sales to reaffirm the city. The French Quarter Festival welcomes another 350,000 attendees. SPRING 2006 The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival asks visitors to “Witness the Healing Power of Music.” The American Library Association is the first citywide convention since Hurricane Katrina, with 17,000 attendees. SEPTEMBER 2006 The Louisiana Superdome reopens with Monday Night Football, and the National Football League’s New Orleans Saints defeat the Atlanta Falcons before the largest audience in ESPN cable network history. JANUARY 2007 The Allstate Sugar Bowl college football game returns to the Louisiana Superdome with an economic impact of $126.7 million. New Orleans hosts MPI’s Professional Education Conference. JULY 2007 Southern Decadence, the “Gay Mardi Gras,” returns to the Crescent City with a kickoff crowd of 100,000 people and an economic impact of $95 million. DECEMBER 2007 The St. Charles Streetcar line partially reopens. The 1920s-era, double-ended streetcars are recognized by The National Register of Historic Places. 20 one+ 09.10

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of One + September 2010

One + September 2010
Energy of Many
Share Your Mind
Thoughts + Leaders
Five Years Later
What You Missed
Top Spots
TMI at Your Peril
Men Behaving Badly
You Can Go Your Own Way
Falling for Food
Breaking Bread
Community Service
Controlled Chaos
The Quick Guide to Keeping Your Top Talent
Generation Why
What’s the Right Risk?
Let’s Talk
Get an (Economic) World View
Your Community
Making a Difference
Until We Meet Again

One + September 2010