Closing Note on 2016 and Urban Regeneration

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Closing Note on 2016 and Urban Regeneration

The year 2016 has proved to be a challenging year. More specifically, the Presidential election turned out to be a contest that challenged the way we look at elections.

No one knows what the future holds. In the months and years ahead, we will see an approach to government that may lead to a reduction in programs and revenue generated by the Federal government. The impact will play out in local communities the extent to which we are not sure.

In many ways we will be tested at the community level. For those communities that look to the Federal government for support for urban regeneration will be those finding it difficult to further social and economic prosperity in their community.

Those communities that focus on trans-formative leadership in their urban regeneration strategies will be those that can further their quest to create stronger communities despite what happens at the Federal level.

Let’s be clear. The issues of affordable housing, inequality, increased poverty, crime, quality education and job creation will continue to be at the forefront of New Orleans.

The challenge as we enter 2017 is not to be distracted by issues at the Federal level. Instead we must focus our attention on addressing the critical issues described above which for all intent and purpose are local.

In this spirit, we will need to examine the capacity of leaders that are representing our community and their ability to effectively deal with the pressing social and economic challenges facing New Orleans.

More importantly, as citizens we will need to raise our level of expectation and engagement. We will need to find a break-even point in our community which allows us to work as a collective unit to further social and economic prosperity for all the citizens of New Orleans.

As we close out 2016 and head toward 2017, its my hope that the new year brings an energized focus for the betterment of New Orleans and the realization that we are all in this struggle together.

Dr. Eric Anthony Johnson

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