The following post is a written letter by Michael Hecht, President and CEO of Greater New Orleans, Inc. I’m sharing the letter in its full format because I believe this is something more people should read and hope that by sharing it with you – readers of The Causemopolitan – that you’ll understand a little bit more the struggles and the triumphs of New Orleans and how we all work a little bit every day to undestand it more and to work towards a better future.
The “us” is all of us. It’s not just residents, it’s expats living elsewhere, it’s one-time residents now somewhere else, it’s college students and JazzFest visitoes. It’s all of us. We all have the power, passion and influence to keep New Orleans top of mind and continue to help her from whereever we may come from. I hope you’ll join me. Now onto Michael’s letter:
Our population is back; we powered through the recession; global companies are moving to our region; reforms are making New Orleans a better place; and, of course, the Saints are world champions.
But the truth is, it’s too early to claim success. We have been buoyed by a short-term recovery economy, and significant long-term challenges remain. Decades are not reversed in days.
To really know if we have succeeded, to really know if we have created a New Orleans region better than before, we have to go out ten years. Here we will find the “new normal” that will come to pass after the Katrina money has run dry, and the economy is left to stand on its own.
At this point — at K10 — we will be able to sit back, and reflect. And, if indeed we have been successful, here is what it may look like:
- New Orleans will be the great boutique city of America. In a world of creeping sameness, NOLA will shine with its unique culture and diverse flair, attracting professionals and tourists, alike.
- Greater New Orleans will be a great region of America: cohesive and connected, it will offer a lifestyle or corporate option for everyone — and offer places like Houston and Atlanta a run for their money.
- Globalstar, which recently relocated here from Silicon Valley, will prove to be the vanguard of a dynamic digital sector, as dozens of firms choose Greater New Orleans and create “Silicon Valley South.”
- Showing that you can make lemonade from oily water, Southeastern Louisiana will have become a global hub for sustainable industry. Heralded by the recent move of Blade Dynamics to Michoud, this new sector will create thousands of jobs, diversifying our economy while sustaining our environment.
- At the same time, next-wave oil production will remain an important — and safe — part of our economic mix — while Louisiana finally gets the royalty share it has so long deserved, to help fund the restoration of our coast.
- Greater New Orleans will be on its way to reclaiming the mantle of “Gateway to the Americas,” with reinvestment in its ports, rekindling of relationships with partners like Brazil, and a refocus on value-added port-side production. Continue reading