tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN August 19, 2015 6:00pm-8:01pm EDT
they will turn to journalists to recount what so many indoor it and what none of us can forget. amid the devastating numbers more than 1800 lives lost. and more than 1 million americans displaced, a million homes destroyed across five states. $150 billion in economic damage. amid all of those numbers, americans will also look for answers. how much progress have we made in the years since katrina particularly in new orleans which was the hardest hit community and what are we doing to continue supporting the housing and overall recovery in
the affected communities? today is about providing answers but it's also about more than that. we are also reaffirming their commitment to the people of the gulf to continue working with them and for them until the job of recovery is complete. you see, as long as there are people who want to come home and communities that need to be rebuilt, our job is not done. that's the true meaning of commemoration. not to simply mark a day on our calendars but to ensure that remembering also renews our devotion to those we have lost, our dedication to support those who have suffered and our resolve to see the promise of our nation made to new orleans and to the gulf. 10 years ago i was proud to live
in a community that stepped up to support the vacuum we use in the earliest days of katrina. roughly 25235000 fleeing the storm's devastation came to san antonio and we were just one of many cities whose residents open their arms to families in need. across the nation we played an important role to help displaced families find housing and to get back on their feet. hud partnered with more than three and a public housing authorities and 49 states to provide stable housing for nearly 37,000 families. in the gulf coast states louisiana, mississippi, texas, alabama and florida hud worked closely with disaster recovery leaders to support an ongoing recovery. through our community
development block grant disaster recovery initiative we have invested nearly $20 billion to create new housing, develop new infrastructure and bolster the gulf coast region's economy. nearly $14 billion of that funding has gone directly to support the region's housing market. hud has provided compensation for 158,000 affected households. we have also helped nearly 2500 families to buy new homes and we have created almost or to 6000 new units of affordable housing while rehabilitating another 13,000 housing units. hud was also central in the redevelopment of damaged public housing throughout the gulf, especially in what were known as new orleans big four, katrina displaced 3000 families living in those public housing buildings.
today, in 2015, four new, attractive mixed income developments are a vital part of community life in new orleans. the new orleans housing authority, which once was upset by mismanagement and under receivership by hud has made an impressive turnaround and has returned to local control in 2014. as part of hud's were to support the region's broader economic recovery are agency also invested $1.6 billion to replace improve streets utilities, sewer lines, schools, hospitals and dams. in new orleans allowed, hud has helped build 82 new schools as well as 11 colleges and universities.
our agency also helped open more than a dozen hospitals, clinics and other health care centers. we have helped rebuild parks and 20 fisheries and completed dozens of water and sewer projects and i'm also proud to say that side has played a role to help nearly 5500 businesses, most of them small businesses, to reopen their doors. this morning you are going to hear from some of the men and women who serve essential as hud supported families in the gulf. earl randall is her new orleans field office director an outstanding leader and right at the head of our response to katrina. not only did earl and his teamwork around-the-clock to aid their recovery effort, they did so while grappling with their
own personal loss. they were among the storm's heroes and i want to personally thank girl for his excellent work in these last few years. he continues to represent the very best of our federal workforce. earle is going to be joined by todd richardson had assistance secretary in our office of policy development. i have to say that todd knows more about these issues than just about anyone but even more importantly he cares deeply about getting the policy right for those who count on us. and i know that he and earle have put together a great presentation for you about the human aspect of this tragedy. following that they will be joined on stage by three more of our colleagues, marion mollegen mcfadden serves as deputy says the secretary for grab programs
in hud office of community planning and development. marion oversees a number programs that were instrumental in the katrina recovery effort. she has also done great work on the long-term sandy recovery so be sure to ask her a lot of good and tough questions. lynn grosso is executive director and our fair housing and equal opportunity office of enforcement. lynne lynne brings an incredible wealth of knowledge concerning how we are working to ensure that all families no matter their background, regardless of what they look like or how much money they make and take part in the gulf coast economic future. finally they will be joined by milan ozdinec deputy assistant secretary for public housing and voucher programs. milan was central to our work to not only rebuild damaged public housing but also to help turn around new orleans once
struggling housing authority. i don't have to tell you that over the last decade the road to recovery that they are going to discuss has been long and it has been challenging. but i think that you would agree with me that it's also shown that while that storm was tough, the spirit of the people of the gulf coast has been even tougher their resilience continues to inspire us here at head because as much as we have accomplished in the last decade all of us are very aware that our job is not done continues to grow. more than half of the city's neighborhoods ever covered 90% of their population from before
katrina and 17 communities are larger than they were before the storm but there is still so much more work to be done. i am proud to say that we have worked with local leaders to build a stronger new orleans and the gulf coast that all can be proud of for future generations. as we mark 10 years our work continues. we will keep working hard every day until the gulf coast comeback is complete. thank you and with that i would like to turn things back over to jamie. [applause] >> thank you mr. secretary. we'll take a brief pause and prepare for the next part of the program and we will be right back.
[inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] next that would like to welcome earl randall. earl randall is our field office director and todd richardson are seceded deputy assistant secretary in our office of policy development and earl not only responded to the crisis he lived through it and todd one of our data experts that when hud works on something it's not just about the output of dollars, it's about the impact of that those dollars make and todd has a fast knowledge about the work on the ground so i will turn it over to them.
[applause] >> the dust bowl of the 1930s, the great chicago fire of 1871 galveston hurricane in 191906 san francisco earthquake for catastrophic events ending many lives change lives forever, transform places. katrina joins these disasters of the last century in our language about transformative events and is the secretary noted over 1 million damaged homes, tens of thousands of lives were disrupted for many years. 1833 lives lost. our colleagues at fema can tell you the story of response. hud story shared with federal and state and agencies about the recovery of the last 10 years for the families and places most impacted by the storm. as noted in the introduction i
am todd richardson and mike gold after disaster is to find the data and make sense of it. >> i am earl randall and i will provide on the ground in the human perspective behind the data. >> the winds of katrina caused damage over a very large part of southern u.s. but the catastrophic damage of katrina in louisiana and mississippi. although the storm was the same disaster manifested itself differently. mississippi was a the 28-foot storm surge crashing the houses along the oceanfront pushing them up against the raised rail. in new orleans tens of thousands of homes and as you may recall the floodwaters continue to rise until september 1 and when the water level in the city of new orleans and lake poncho train. the word we heard most often by victims and first responders was devastation.
the slide that you see now is the portion of the lower ninth ward where they levy breached in the floodwaters devastated all of the homes in its wake. there were a dozen homes completely washed off of their foundations and people suffered a tremendous loss. the debris removal led by the corps of engineers was massive. this is the transfer station for debris. as noted by the secretary more than a million housing units were damaged across five states. over 278,000 of those homes suffered major and severe damage you may have heard the statistics 80% of the city of new orleans was under water. the lowest portions of the gulf port of the luxy were inundated with water due to the 20 to 30-foot storm surge that approach. more than one 1800 people lost their lives and a million displaced residents.
we are now going to pivot from the destruction of katrina to the recovery. these next data points are made possible by the united states postal service. this slide from the new york times shows one year after katrina where folks had for relocated using the u.s. postal service data. 270 households had filed change of address homes with u.s. postal service and one year later to it about somewhere still having their mail forwarded. >> as a result of katrina orland's residents were spread across the country in the immediate aftermath these residents were placed in various modes of transportation and sent out to different parts of the country to what did this mean? this meant lives were changed forever and stability had to become an essential factor of survival. the pre-katrina life like other one affected was temporarily frozen on august 29.
on a personal note going back into the new orleans field office three months later i went to my desk and the calendar was said on the day we left, people that left coffee mugs set in the same position and there was eerie feeling walking back to an office seeing it the way you left it three months prior so that was a symbol of what people's lives were. when you initially evacuated whether voluntarily or you are involuntarily rescued your life was completely frozen at that moment in time. >> so how long this recovery take? u.s. postal service is helpful because they can tell us about active addresses so let's look at orleans parish. my friends at the data center in new orleans have been tracking month i mount the number of addresses taking mail by citgo. new orleans is now 90% of what it was before the storm. one year after the storm it had
been 50%. two years after the storm 67% and three years, 72%. gradually incrementally each year 90% at 10 years. the recovery however has been in a different pace for different neighborhoods. in lakeview, it was that 85%. that's the bottom line here. in new orleans east which had the most houses affected of any of the neighborhoods which is the top line here, the red line, 82% of the addresses have returned. >> in these two neighborhoods in particular lakeview and new orleans east they both shared something in common. there was a higher rate of homeownership. there was also higher rate of insurance in those areas. that is what attributed to 85 and 82% of those individuals those residences in the areas coming back. >> these two metal lines are the
neighboring communities of st. bernard parish and the lower ninth areas. the lower ninth bywater 72% of its pre-katrina addresses have returned. >> the lower ninth ward were the most devastated communities in the state of new orleans. they were inundated with significant amount of floodwater their rate of return has been much slower to to the lack of insurance as well as they homeownership ratio of renters. there was a lower number of homeowners in those areas and a higher proportion of renters. >> the research supports says the more severe the damage the greater the concentration of damage, the longer it takes to rebuild the less likely to rebuild and if there is inadequate or no insurance the
recovery process is slowed down by years. so we have a few aerial photos thanks to my colleague dana. this was a picture of an area within the lower ninth ward. in 2000. had 95 homes. >> been me notice the aerial shot in october of 2014 there were 47 homes. if you look at the previous slide and saw the cluster of homes that was the cultural aspect. it was a way of living. personally my grandparents lived in the lower ninth ward. yes both sets of grandparents lived around the corner from each other so we had cousins, aunts and almost in a commune setting and that was our way of life. that was our culture but once katrina hit that all changed. not only for my family but all the families that lived in the same type of environment in the
lower ninth ward in lakeview and all the neighborhoods affected by katrina. life itself has changed at that moment he thinks that used to be one of daily basis you couldn't do any longer because of the change in the dynamics. >> in st. bernard parish this is a few blocks that borders on the lower ninth ward and in 2008, 2000. had 84 homes. >> the aerial depiction in 2014 shows only 15 homes returning to that area. >> hud is the recovery funding of last resort. we only provide funding when there is a sense that the existing mechanism insurance, fda disaster loans, fema assistance, the corps of engineers will not be enough for recovery. hud received three rounds of supplemental appropriations in the block grant disaster he recovery program to fill those
gaps. we had an initial preparation of $11.5 million. a final $3 billion when we realize the homeowner recovery program in the licienne ahead more needs than had been anticipated. as this slide shows private insurance played a big role. $41 billion, $18 billion for homeowners. the national flood insurance program played a big role paid out $16.1 billion for 211,000 claims. philanthropy was important in recovery, 6.5 billion. tax credits have been an important part of rebuilding and as noted. >> hud filled in those gaps at $20 billion. >> this slide notes how much of the cbt beef funds went to each state to the majority to damage the majority went to louisiana followed by mississippi.
>> is todd mentioned the cdbg disaster fund for the funds of last resort raid on the ground those funds were the driving force in the recovery. it was with those funds that were creatively, extremely flexible and they cause the community to really think about the design to think how to meet specific recovery needs. what would entail and how would we address applying to renters filling in the gaps for businesses that were shuttered due to the disaster. our cdbg disaster dollars filled major gaps in recovery dealing with housing and economic development and critical infrastructure. these funds still had to adhere to several requirements that handled the funds to serve low income. they must follow the environmental, civil rights and labor rules. one of the most challenging aspects of dealing with disaster cd bt as is it doesn't, the
preset instructions. it's inherently incumbent upon those communities to design an ample mentor plan of recovery. to give some a template to address housing infrastructure and economic development but they must design their criteria for recovery. to simplify a lot of these matters louisiana mississippi adopted a comment -- compensation program for homeowners. essentially it provided substantial grants for homeowners to cover the gap in funding left by insurance and other resources. by accepting these grants homeowners agreed to rebuild by a certain date but if homeowners chose not to rebuild than those homes with the d. did over to this day. in louisiana alone loaned 130,000 families received compensation. this was an average award of $69,224. 92% of those individuals selected the option to rebuild,
where a person chose to deed their homes to the state rather than rebuild. >> again, how long does recovery take? from its low point in july of 2006 of 98,000 active addresses to 179,000 active addresses today the increase of 80,000 active addresses over the decades. most of these were likely supported in some form by the community development block grant or low income house credit assistance i was provided. 42,000 of the row homes were in orleans parish in approximately 15,000 affordable rental units have been developed in orleans parish. the tax credit program as well as with a small rental repair program. using cdbg funds. my read on this arc of her cover is that july 82007 was likely due to people that insurance or
adequate insurance or needed just enough of the rebuild funds from cdbg to recover relatively quickly but to rebuild as many families struggle to manage their construction and other still do not have enough resources. in 2011 we surveyed the property owners who had not rebuilt up to that point and their top two reasons for not rebuilding where they did not have enough money to do the work or they weren't able to get a loan to get the work done. >> from the neighborhood standpoint looking at the speed up recovery although 11,000 of the 130 were old -- world home folks chose to sell their homes to the state the concentration of those that didn't choose to rebuild for heavily concentrated in st. bernard parish with 300 units in the lower ninth ward. ..
about satisfaction with those about current home they're living in, movers and those who chose to stay had the same about of level of satisfaction. in 2011, toes that decided to move were more satisfied with neighborhoods. 75% were satisfied with the neighborhood. 48% who chose to stay and build were satisfied. >> as we look at that data point. when we talk about the satisfaction of those individuals that decided to come back and rebuild, we have to why they came back to rebuild. a lot of those individuals chose to rebuild because they did so with the passion they wanted to rebuild things like they used to be. as i stated before, as of 8/29 things changed. dynamics of post-katrina new orleans were different. when he choose to rebuild you build to plot of life. when you look to the left and your right, the neighbor doesn't
come back. that affects your psyche when it comes to rebuilding. when you come to the corner store and the store you frequented and didn't reopen, that changes the mind in your key to rebuild. when you come back to rebuild and your church doesn't return, or any place thaw socially frequent doesn't return, that does something to your psyche of rebuilding z that is why when we at this data point. we see individuals that chose to rebuild were less satisfied. they were less satisfied. because with the passion that they approached rebuilding, was totally different. so they had to reshape how they wanted to rebuild and how they wanted to relive in, what is called a new normal. >> now let's shift gears a little bit here to another important topic. what happened to the pre-katrina renters that were displaced by the storm? two years after katrina fema was still providing rental assistance to more than 40,000 families through temporary housing unit and direct payments to landlords.
over 3/4 of those households were renters pre-katrina. none had been receiving housing assistance prior to katrina. fema asked hud to use its infrastructure of housing authorities, the agencies that administer public housing and program and take over rental assistance responsibilities for these housing. disaster housing assistance program as we named it was funded by fema and hud coordinated the work of the public housing authorities. from august 2007 to november 2009, hud provided assistance to over 36,000 households. 306 public housing authorities in 49 states participated. in addition to providing housing hud partners provided case management assistance. now the average income of the participants was $18,500. the transition off of dhab for some was very easy. for others it was quite
difficult. this difficulty led to more of the dhap participants eventually transition from the fema funded rental assistance to hud long-term rental assistance. predominantly housing choice vouchers. in 2010, 55 hers of the dhap participating families were receiving hud rental assistance. we looked at it for 2015. only 35% of those folks are receiving rental assistance from hud. so they have been gradually transitioning off this rental assistance but it has taken 10 years of those nearly 13,000 dhap participants still receiving housing assistance we can tell a little story where they are today. we can see of those 13,000 still receiving housing assistance from hud 38% are in orleans parish. 21% in other parts of louisiana. 6% are in mississippi, 22% are in texas, and 13% are in other
states. >> just one note on dhap, a lot of types we missed the true story on what dhap really did for individuals previously assisted with public housing. dhap stepped up to the plate and assisted individuals that didn't have public housing assistance in the storm. individuals that lost everything in the storm, didn't have a job, they were able to lean on hud for assistance in that crazed aftermath of dealing with after katrina. so dhap not only took care of all of the hud-assisted individuals that were affected but it also stepped up to the take the care of individuals that had no place to go or nothing in their baskets to take with them. hud also worked with hud-assisted privately-owned multifamily housings as well. if we look at slides in alabama, all 225 impacted properties have
been fully restored. in mississippi 420 of the 422 impacted properties have been fully restored. in louisiana 387 of the 407 properties have been fully restored. now, this leads us in to a longer conversation about the journey that hud has taken with new orleans over the past 10 years. and the symbol of that journey has been the redevelopment of the big four public housing developments, cjp, bw cooper, st. bernard and lafite. approximately 3,000 units ever occupied public housing before katrina was demolished. approximately 1500 unoccupied units were demolished in the redevelopment. redevelopment called upon experienced developers to come in and redevelop these sites. the funding sources range from hud handles $200 million investment. goes on tax credits of $250 million, fema's $20 million but significantly cdbg disaster
recovery kicked in additional $115 million kicked in at a critical time of the nation's financial crisis to get these developments over the finish line. >> prior to katrina housing authority in new orleans had 7,000 total public housing units. only 5146 were occupied, including 3,000 occupied units of the big four. families who wanted to return to new orleans have generally returned and been housed. of the 5,000 -- 5146 original families living in public housing in new orleans pre-katrina, we have data showed in gift fifth 3303 are still living in housing assistance. 71% of those are in orleans parish. 7% are in other parts of louisiana, 13% are in texas and 7% in other states. st. bernard parish before
katrina. this is the new st. bernard parish, actually called columbia park in the bayou district today. >> these are mixed income developments. they're both public housing and non-public housing units that include market units. residents of mixed income levels. built with public and private funds. they include a mix of uses such as retail, recreation, education, technology. they are attractively designed. they're built with green building requirements. they're accessible and liveable units to own. now we showed this the before picture of st. bernard and we saw what was there after. just to put some perspective in place, st. bernard, the st. bernard housing development was the largest in the city of new orleans. but it was also one of the most dangerous neighborhoods in the city of new orleans. prior to katrina the year before katrina in the st. bernard neighborhood, surrounding
neighborhood there were 479 attempted felonies. one year after the development of columbia park there were only two. so we're changing we're not only changing the bricks and mortar of public housing but we're elevating the lifestyle. we're elevating life. we're elevating the quality of life for families that's living in public housing. so it went from one of the most notorious neighborhoods in new orleans to one of the most desirable neighborhoods in new orleans. if you vacated city of new orleans 10 years at the time of katrina and came back now and exited i-610 at paris avenue you wouldn't know where you were if you hadn't been back. that is testament to change. that is testament in changing lives and redevelopment. >> post-katrina we also invested in redevelopment after fifth development of choice neighborhoods program. this is the brazil transformation here. >> in 2005 a combined the
thousand households lived in public housing or received vouchers assistance. today they are helping approximately 20,000 families as a result of the recovery act. >> so we're helping more families today in new orleans than we were 10 years ago. the new orleans is a smaller city. it is growing but it is a smaller city. in 2000 the population was nearly 485,000. in 2013, 379,000. the metro area is also smaller. in 2000 the metro area was 1.3 million. today, it is, 93% of that, 1.2 million. more than half of new orleans neighborhoods have recovered 90% of their june 2005 population. seventeen neighborhoods have more population than in 2005. what about the next 10 years? over the next 10 years hud will
work with new orleans and mississippi gulf coast as we do with communities across the country. we'll continue to focus on affordable housing. decent neighborhoods, ending homelessness. on that last point, one recent victory in new orleans, reaching effective zero at ending veterans homelessness. >> to add, over the last 10 years i've been extremely proud to represent this agency on the ground in new orleans because biasly new orleans is my home. i was born and raised in new orleans. my wife says i will probably never leave new orleans. i'm proud to say that hud stepped up to the plate. the recovery of not only new orleans but entire gulf coast and entire portfolio of disaster affected communities we reached across this country are heavily dependent on the resources hud provides. if you look at a community without hud's presence, you will probably looking at a blank
canvas because everything that we touch as an agency helps to sustain those communities over the long haul. in the 10 years to come i'm proud to say that the department of is reevaluating and repledging its commitment moving forward to gulf coast because it's needed. we've done a lot of great things over 10 years but we still have a lot of hard work to do. i'm glad that hud is committed to doing that work. so i thank you and i appreciate it. >> thank you for taking the time to hear the hud story here. [applause] >> thank you, todd and earl. before we turn to the final part of the program which is a question and answer let me reintroduce the folks that haven't spoken yet. going from my left to the right is marion mcfaden, deputy assistant secretary for grant programs at hud. milan, ozdinec deputy voucher
programs and lynn grosso, deputy assistant secretary of fair housing and equal opportunity enforcement. the if you ask for the question go to the mic for the tv audience watching. i appreciate that. folks can submit questions at via twitter at hud.gov or #katrina or email@hud public firstname.lastname@example.org. while we wait for folks that might have questions at mic, we have folks that have questions come in. this is from national public radio. start with todd and anybody else feel free to come in. has shift from public choicing to housing choice vouchs after katrina had desired result to moving low income families from mixed income neighborhoods an opportunity? it seems to have shifted people to other high poverty
neighborhoods some less convenient than the other public housing projects in nola, new orleans? >> i think one thing that is important to look at about that, the statistic i gave about where the former disaster housing assistance still in the voucher program. they're not just in one place. they have moved to lots of places of the voucher has given them flexibility. it has changed where people choose to live. it is hard to find housing in new orleans and other parts of the country. rents are high in someplaces limiting choices of neighborhoods you can live in. it is not a perfect story. many families are still in high poverty neighborhoods. the voucher has given more choice to many families had prior to katrina. >> did anybody else want to weigh in? okay. do we still have anybody from -- okay. go to russ zimmer from gannett
in new jersey. start with marion on this one. anybody else feel free to come in. nearly billion dollars was unaccounted for in louisiana's own home program. does that shape hud's new jersey rem fram? is hud more involved in rem rule making? more hands on in general? do these mesh result in more efficient but slower distribution of grant funds? >> we absolutely learned importance of being hands on with communities as soon as possible after a major disaster. when the obama administration came in, immediately hud and fema set to work creating a long-term disaster recovery framework to make sure the entire federal government is there for communities. so we were able to work much more closely with new jersey and new york. in particular than we were with louisiana post-disaster, post-katrina. so we have absolutely been part of their designing their programs. i would say in terms of the
missing billion dollars, i'm not sure exactly what that refers to i assume it's a reference to an evaluation that was done by hud's office of the inspector general that proved to be about half a billion dollars, which was provided for elevation for homeowners who didn't actually have enough funds to get their homes elevated. one of the things that we learn in katrina is that it is much more effective when the state or local government that is providing disaster assistance is hands-on with homeowners in doing an actual homeowner rehabilitation or reconstruction program as opposed to handing funds over to homeowners and letting them manage the recovery process on their own. >> great. next question we have, let me find it. how has the sandy recovery progressing in comparison to where the gulf coast was at this point in 2008, about three years after the respective hurricanes?
>> so it is always very difficult to compare disasters. in looking at the statistics, hurricane sandy damaged or destroyed about 650,000 homes, all up and down the eastern seaboard. there were 650,000 homes damaged or destroyed in louisiana alone. so just can't compare them side by side. but i would say the design in louisiana of giving money to homeowners allowed them to push a lot of money into homeowners hands at about the two-year mark but, that doesn't mean that the recovery is moving anymore quickly in, or that it did move anymore quickly in the gulf coast than what we're seeing in sandy. what we're seeing in sandy each of our grantees is doing a real reconstruction program managing the process. new york state and new jersey are moving at a pretty good clip. that said, for family who is are waiting to have their homes repaired, it is never fast
enough. >> kind of along the same lines from emily dooley from "newsday.." are there any lessons learned from katrina that hud learned in handling disbursement of recovery money. >> we could go on all day about the many lessons we learned but that first one is to insure that the grant east are doing real home own rehab programs. that homeowners are not left to their own devices to try to manage their recovery. because when we get cdbg disaster recovery funding is because the scale of disaster is so large. proven to ask toñi homeowners manage their contractors in dealing with the process. that is one of the most critical points for us. >> just to add to that, one of the mostñi critical lessons learned is the lesson of preparation. i think katrina, rita, ike, gustav, the bp oil spill andñr
other disasters in louisiana taught us to beñi prepared. it has taught grantees to share information they wouldn't readily share had it not been for all of those events that have taken place before but it's taught us as department to reach out to those grantees and encourage them to share across, across state lines. across boundaries. one of the jewels that came out of the gulf coast's recovery is that you pretty much created a college of knowledge between texas, louisiana, mississippi, alabama and florida. that they're sharing on how to recover. that knowledge has been shared with our friends on the east coast with new jersey, new york state, new york city. so the lessons that we learned is critical, that critical lesson that you don't start from scratch when disaster hit. resources that you can tap. peers that you can tap and agency in hud that will step up to the plate to recover with
you. >> i would just add to that point at the federal government we learned to do that as well. talk to the federal government and they set up the hurricane sandy rebuilding task force after months after hurricane sandy to make sure we're coordinates on all aspects of recovery particularly infrastructure work. we saw a lot of frustration about pace of infrastructure projection, because the need to do permitting across various governments. we wanted to make sure we had a forum for that which has proven effective on the sandy recovery we did not have from katrina. >> question from webcast viewer. peter, a few lance viewer. is hud tracking where katrina evacuees live? the. >> so. largely no. but we do know where folks live who are still receiving housing
assistance. in the charts i provided, as part of the presentation, two sort of numbers i gave for housing cities stance program and for what happened to the former residents of public using for those receiving housing assistance they have chosen to live in multiple places. for former public housing residents still receiving housing assistance the vast majority returned to orleans parish. disaster housing assistance program they were not from orleans parish. they were from louisiana or mississippi. many chosen to stay in texas which received a lot of families. or other states as you can see, other families chose to go to other states. we see folks have moved. we have seen that new orleans is a smaller place. >> as i grab the next question, i want to remind folks in the room we have only three or four minutes left, that if you want
to go to the mic, go for it. >> i'm from fox business. my question is for mr. ozdinic i want to ask for the new i.g. report stating that more than 25,000 over income families in public housing now, some of those making hundreds of thousands of dollars. we've been talking about texas a little bit today. that was where this happens. it was in the top three or four where this actually happens. so, wondering if you can talk to us about how the department would justify sending taxpayer money on this as well if there will be any changes made? >> so your question is specifically about overincome families? >> yes. in public housing. >> i think it is important to note that the law allows for housing authorities to serve overincome families. if upon original admittance they were under the income limits. in fact, having overincome
families to some degree helps to diversify the incomes of families living in public housing developments. in fact the programs that we, that we support in terms of redevelopment have that component piece to it in large measure, trying to mix both the incomes as well as the uses, to create diverse neighborhoods. so, i think that while there is some disagreement between the oig and the department about the benefits to having a diverse income group living in a particular development, you know, we'll continue to follow the law and reach some accommodation with the ig about following up with recommendations about how to you know, identify, address their concerns as well. in 2014 the law did change to change the flat rent policy for
public housing. so for those families that are living in public housing that perhaps are overincome paying flat rents, their rents will indeed go up in accordance with the law. no more than 35% in any of three successive years. so the rents for those families will be pegged more to fair market rents than they are currently based on income. >> do we have any other questions? >> yes. sorry. my name is robert garcia. i have two quick questions. first is hud now better prepared for natural disasters after katrina? my follow-up to that, what would be the biggest take way for hud from katrina? >> so i guess i'll start with that. we all have different roles in this. we're better prepared. we continue to try to improve each year with the things we know we need to do better. i don't think we could say that we're 100% fully prepared for
another disaster on the scale of katrina. that was very, very significant. but we did learn a lot from katrina. we need improvements each year based on those lessons, so we in fact could be more prepared for a big disaster. >> let me follow up, if you don't mind, todd? >> yeah. >> one of the big takeaways for me is how we work with other federal partners and specifically for me it was fema in taking over their rental assistance efforts. that was really critical. but i'm with early, right? we've thrown out a lot of statistics at you today, when we threw out dhap, we knew a lot of folks were traumatized. not just the folks that had to evacuate but folks there to help as part of the recovery. we insisted as part of the dhap
process that there was strong case management. so we knew that families, and especially familyies that were most vulnerable, elderly, disabled to get on the bus, go to houston arrived with clothes on their back. it wasn't just about housing authority paying rental assistance, it was about furniture, pots and pans. reading glasses left in the home needing to be replaced. medication, doctors, help with the wraparound things with some families that had to leave with new orleans. in terms of our work that is recovery part. making sure we're evacuees as people going to -- necessary comfort and service necessary during that period. that to me was the big take way.
>> and, thank you for the question. for, from a civil rights and equal opportunity perspective one of the biggest lessons we learned is the importance of working closely with states in developing their plans and, anticipating the, the implications and consequences of policies that might on their face seem neutral. but can have very adverse impacts if you will on communities of color. i think we've learned to not, not focus strictly the needs of homeowners to rebuild but also to focus on rental, but rebuilding of rental housing stock particularly low income rental housing stock so that low income renters that tend to be people of color more so than homeowners have an equal opportunity to return and we
replenish the community as closely as we can to the way that it used to be, for everybody. so i think that is one thing that we have learned to do and learned to do very quickly and anticipate. >> just one note on that. another takeaway on that we cookie cutter approach toe is no disaster recovery. what may happen in louisiana on the gulf coast will be totally different than what happens on the east coast, the west coast with wildfires and other, other disasters. we, we know that now. so it is that we're better able to address needs of those communities, where they are, what they're dealing with. gives us better approach to deal with the communities right where they are in the times of disaster. >> in terms of responsibility as stewards of the taxpayer dollar. i think what we learned from katrina and sandy as well as some 2008 disasters is that, we have a role in encouraging
communities to use the federal dollars that we provide to them every year to insure that their communities are more resilient. and to use our experiences around the country to educate communities what they use with their own dollars as well. every time they're building they should think about current risk and future risks that their community faces. >> just about out of time. if there is any final thoughts from our panel here. we'll wrap it up. all right. thanks everybody fortuning in. being here in person. [applause] >> while congress is on break this month we're showing booktv programs that are formally seen weekends on c-span2. tonight, authors and books on technology and the internet. starting at 8:00 eastern, it is
john pelfrey, biblio tech. why libraries matter more in the age of google. the dark net, inside the digital underworld. and steve witt, how music got free, end of the turn of the century and piracy. that starts at 8:00 eastern here on c-span2. following the c-span cities tour as we travel outside of the washington beltway to communities across america. >> the idea behind the cities tour is to take the programing for htv, or american history television and booktv out on the road beyond the beltway to produce piece as little bit more vision all, that provide, again a window into cities that wouldn't normally go to that have rich histories and a rich literary scene as well. >> a lot of people already heard the history of big cities like new york, l.a., chicago, but what about the smaller ones like
albany, new york? what is the history of them? >> we've been to over 75 cities. we might be, we will have hit 95 cities in april of 2016. >> most of our programing on c-span is event coverage. these are not event coverage type of pieces. they're shorter. they take you someplace. they take you to a home, historic site. >> we partner with our cable affiliates to explore history and literary culture of various cities. >> the key entry into the city is the cable operator who then contacts the city, because in essence it is cable industry bringing us there. >> they're really looking for great characters. you really want your viewers to be able to identify with these people that we're talking about. >> it is experiential type program where we take people on the road to places where they can touch things, see things and learn about, you know it is not just the local history. because a lot of local history really plays into the national story. >> if somebody is watching this,
it should be enticing enough they can get the idea of the story, but also, feel as if this is just in our backyard, let's go see it. >> we want viewers to get a sense that, oh, yeah, i know that place, just from watching one of our piece. >> the c-span mission as we do with all of our coverage bleeds into what we do out on the road. >> you have got to be able to communicate the message about this network in order to do this job. so, it has done the one thing that we wanted it to do which is build relationships with the city and our cable partners and gather some great programing for american history tv and booktv. >> watch the cities tour on the c-span networks, to see where we're going next, see our schedule at c-span.org/citiestour. the white house is reporting that president obama plans to travel to new orleans on the 10th anniversary of hurricane katrina next week.
new orleans mayor mitch landrieu was here in washington, d.c. yesterday. he talked about the anniversary as well as his city's urban renewal and economic recovery initiatives this is about an hour. >> welcome to the national press club. my name is john hughes. i'm an editor for bloomberg first word. that's our breaking news desk here in washington and i am president of the club. our guest today is new orleans mayor mitch landrieu, who joins us near the 10th anniversary of hurricane katrina. first, i want to introduce our distinguished head table, which includes club members and guests of the speaker. from the audience's right, adam shapiro, ceo of adam shapiro public relations. pat mcgrath, former national correspondent for wttg-tv and a former national press club board member. . .
speaker committee that organized today's lunch and we thank you. and washington editor and a new orleans native, peter harden is, the founder and publisher emeritus of governing magazine and a member of the press freedom committee. [applause] and i also want to welcome our public radio audiences. you can follow today's launch on twitter and use the hash tag #npclive. hurricane katrina was the
costliest natural disaster in the history of the united states. it forced the evacuation of nearly 90% of the residents of new orleans and nearly 1500 of them lost their lives and 15 feet of water covered many neighborhoods. five years later the city's recovery was steady but slow and thousands of houses were bacon or inhabitable. it had yet to reappear. that is when our speaker stepped up. he was louisiana's lieutenant governor at that time. he said he wanted to take over the recovery effort as the city's next mayor. moon lander had held. when tran-ones was elected he became the first in a majority city since his father held
office. he enjoyed broad support across racial and demographic lines great when he was reelected in 2014 he nearly matched the 66% winning percentage that he had posted four years earlier. now as we near the 10th anniversary of hurricane katrina, data on tourism and the economy show new orleans in many respects is as strong as that wise. a recent poll by national public radio found that many residents feel that the city has made significant headway. at the same time they expose deep racial disparities in the recovery and it happened to show concern that there which cultural gumbo that makes the city special is changing. and so where do we go from here? let's leave it for a speaker to tell us.
leaders and gentlemen, please give a warm national press club welcome to the new orleans mayor mitch landrieu. [applause] >> thank you all to the folks in the room and thank you to the head table. i thank you so much for having me. ten years ago hurricane katrina hit the gulf coast and in the blink of an eye everything changed. american citizens come 1800 of our brothers and sisters were killed, 1 million were displaced, 1 million homes were damaged, 250,000 were destroyed and communities were torn apart and scattered to the winds. in new orleans the federal levees broke and infrastructure man-made failure of epic proportions that resulted in floodwaters or surging over the rooftops of a great american city.
$150 billion in damages. in a moment everything was gone. homes and roads and police and fire stations, grocery stores and parks, playgrounds and our lives as we knew them were gone. and as the floodwaters watered our neighborhoods it became a life or death struggle with thousands of voters still stuck in the cities. those stories are bearded for ever. the flood polling people under, survivors trapped with little or no help, people trying to keep their heads above water and the blazing louisiana sun. american citizens crowding in front of the superdome in huddled masses at the convention center with more stranded in the port of st. bernard. floating and bloated bodies on the streets of america our
nations draw dropped gaping at the images, considering that an entire city could be gone and in the midst of all this death and destruction, something else happened. the sun came up and in the hours and days and weeks that followed, another flood came and this time it was a torrent of people. louisiana state department of wildlife and the u.s. coast guard without friends and neighbors pulling thousands of people out of the water. including all across coastal louisiana, recreational voters of all kinds saving lives on the flooded streets of new orleans and backing them up, literally coming from everywhere. in came the national guard with
our policeman and other volunteers from coast to coast. >> the red cross, salvation army, catholic charities, united way, habitat for humanity and so many others united by faith and civic purpose brushing twice i made. and together crying over photos that somehow escaped the dilution. a mostly still dark city lit by campfires and this is blending
in really nice with a southern drawl. from sea to shining sea americans are helping citizens and neighbors looking up neighbors. showing kindness to a scared child on her first ever day of school outside of her city of new orleans. a nurse in atlanta who helped in evacuee get medication. a landlord in shreveport who found places for families to stay. as bill white said, people saw this as an opportunity for us to do something that was right for our country as well as our fellow americans joy cometh in the morning. and so now we are approaching the anniversary of hurricane katrina and we won't remember those we lost and again count on
things and say thank you to those of you that helped us survive very over the last 10 years of new orleans has been through hell and high water. not just hurricane katrina but hurricanes rita and isaac, hurricane gustav and the national recession and here's the thing, we will not bow down because we don't know how. i our nation we are resilient and we are a hopeful view full and even after all we have been through a recent poll by the kaiser family foundation found that whopping 78% of residents are optimistic about new orleans future. so new orleans has gone from literally being underwater to being one of the fastest-growing major cities in america with thousands of new jobs and industries rapidly improving schools, rising property values and a stronger flood protection that will reduce the risk from future hurricanes. the city has stood back up and this has come with one of the
world's remarkable stories with tragedy and triumph, resurrection and redemption and resilience. and with this huge tragedy came a huge responsibility to make it right. during hurricane katrina many died and for many the storm was a near-death experience that changed us and those that have endured the pain will tell you when everything is slipping away the natural thing is to tighten your grip on that it used to be secure, struggling to hold on to what was. but here's the thing, the people took up the challenge that fate had laid at our feet resolving not just to rebuild the city that we once were but to create the city that we always dreamed she could be.
we have to fight with the agony that comes with disaster and change and lord knows that we have a long way to go. the storm did not create all of our problems. our issues are shared by every other part of america. but after hurricane katrina i have i have often said a joke that my dad used to tell me. you see, they got a pilot to take him all the way to canada to shoot moves. as they were loading it on the plane returned the pilot said he cannot put all six of those on the plane, you're going to crash and they said, of course, last year we shot six and the pilot let us take them in the same plane to your fine right now. so the pilot got on the plane and took off and the plane couldn't handle it and went down and crashed. miraculously survived the crash
and they were lying in a pile of rubble and he sees him and he says do you have any idea where we are and he says yes, we are in the same place that we were last year when we crashed. [laughter] and so that is just a little bit of home cooking from the south. the point is obvious and it is especially clear after hurricane katrina. and so after eight and 10 years of anxiety and fits and starts we have made the decision to change. what has emerged on the other side is a premier example of urban innovation in america because we have to. because they have taken on the topless challenges showing the nation what it takes to make progress. forever proving that where there are new solutions to all of the old problems that we have. for example 10 years ago new orleans schools were considered
some of the worst in the country. two thirds were in failing schools and now it's a broken top-down system and has created a new way to find my choice and i hope we can join together for the remarkable progress. and today nearly every student attends a public charter school in new orleans this is no longer a destination, and we have raised the bar insisting that schools serve every child because we know that every child can learn. and so now $1.8 billion of federal funds is being invested to rebuild and refurbish nearly
every school in the city and that means outstanding learning spaces that can help our kids thrive and realize their god-given potentials. before hurricane katrina the achievement gap between the kids here and then the rest of the state was over 25 points and now that gap has nearly closed. before katrina the graduation rate hovered around 50% and not 73% graduating on time. your kids dropping out, more kids enrolling in college, all told at this year's seniors have earned over $75 million in scholarships and over 300 different colleges and universities. one of these high school graduates is the kid who a few years ago wasn't going to pass the 10th grade let alone go to college. and as you can imagine he struggled. but then he enrolled with a special focus on college and for him and us it has made all the
difference. he said i'd choose to conquer and he did. and this fall he will be a freshman and a big-time shot out for this historically black colleges and universities this year graduated or hundred new leaders for the rest of america and i say go tigers because i am really proud of him. this is an inspiring story, but it's one example of an impact of a new system of schools. however that is not to say that we are anywhere close to perfect. anyone that comes to new orleans can see that we have a long way to go. but we are improving faster than anywhere else in america. ten years ago if they kid got an eerie, that mean that his mama had to take them to the hospital and there to their 13 hours just to get him checked out. now we say an ounce of
prevention is worth a pound of cure and a network of clinics initially funded by a federal grant after hurricane katrina, i am happy to see one of the principal architects of the system today who was a former health commissioner of new orleans and is now president obama's acting assistant secretary of health and human services. [applause] >> because of hard work and a lot of other folks and the hard work that so many people have put together, prevention is the name of the game. everything from chronic disease management pediatrics with a focus on women's health that means thousands of mammograms done every year and lives being saved through prevention. all include 59,000 patients who would otherwise be much more expensive health care at emergency rooms and if you add this to the billions right now
and building world-class hospitals in the heart of new orleans, the other will be our new university medical center. the generations to come will get the care that they need and the care they deserve. ours is a real model for the rest of the country and it works. ten years ago katrina was the last straw which broke the back of the economy that had been struggling. but now we are creating thousands of jobs in promising industries like water management in bioscience and will last companies like ge capital's in new orleans. but here's the thing. we cannot leave anyone behind. so in new orleans we help entrepreneurs, like this man with a dream to open his new business. he got support from the city and now he's done it.
this is the exact spot where 12 feet of water sat for weeks following the levee breach and new vibrant entrepreneur at the systems have emerged where talented people can get the train to support what they do to turn big ideas into new businesses with new jobs. plus in new orleans we are in the midst of the retail and restaurant boom. no other place in the world could gain 600 more restaurants than we have before hurricane katrina but we did and only in new orleans. these businesses are opening where a top of the new private investment more than $1 billion in affordable housing is online. 14,430 rental units for low-income families are there. new orleans is not giving people
what they needed or deserved, so we converted this public housing into mixed income communities with amenities like schools and health care and transit. we can see this at the old st. bernard development known as columbia park. this is one of the oldest public housing developments first built by roosevelt administration and over the years that has fallen on hard times. 25% of the 1300 units were empty and the area was known for its violence. then the levees broke and as the sun rose the day after the storm passed the st. bernard development was 10 feet underwater. like everything else we resolved to build back st. bernard not as it was but like it always should have fed. now this is a world example that embraces public partner private partnerships including newly
built schools, a recreation facility, library, playgrounds and green space. crime is also way down in columbia park heard we have made tremendous progress citywide on crime reduction and this is good. when i took office the murder rate still lead the nation. that threw the murder reduction strategy we have changed our approach and have put a special emphasis on prevention. this includes having a very long way to go on this issue. this year across the nation murder is taking up. with nearly 15,000 americans lost every year to murder in this nation, a disproportionate number of african-american men, it is clear that this crisis goes well beyond new orleans and it is a national disgrace and a moral outrage that so many american citizens are killed on
the streets of america every day, stopping murder should be a national priority and black lives do matter and we should act like it in america. but of course across the board fighting crime and preventing murder is just one part of the criminal justice system. ten years ago when katrina hit there were about 6000 inmates in the prison. we were the most incarcerated city and the most incarcerated world in the city and now we are pushing back like nowhere else. that is a two thirds reduction and we have sought to be tough and smart on crime and at the same time lock of the bad guys couldn't make few unnecessary arrests, provide alternatives, pretrial services coming
approved case processing times and citizens returning home so that they don't go back. there must be justice and there must be peace. black lives matter. we are also making tremendous progress on combating homelessness in the city of new orleans. in the years after the storm they have 11,600 people on the streets and now we're down to just over 1700. this year we became the first in america to functionally and veteran homelessness. we have a long way to go at we are making progress. finally moreland has become a global leader in emergency preparedness. ten years ago none of us were prepared for a storm like this and we suffered a terrible consequences. but now everyone is on the same page and our preparations are wide and they are deep. in partnership with a local not-for-profit developed a city
assisted evacuation plan. during a mandatory evacuation to local and state and federal officials and community organizations that are seamlessly coordinating we provide transportation to residents and tourists unable to self about doing and have extensive special-needs registry so that we can take care of the bedridden and sick. that sends hurricane katrina we have a broader cultural shift and emergency preparedness has become ingrained in our our daily lives. a driver on new orleans you will see 16 large public office way scattered across the city and they are called evacuation spots that will serve as gathering spots during a mandatory evacuation. then there are other physical manifestations as well. $1.4 million being invested to reinvigorate new roads and parks and playgrounds and community centers. and that includes about two
great grounds on her new airport. and like 70% of our residents i am optimistic about our future but we have a good time unfinished business in our ongoing future efforts will be supported by our partners in one of these key partners is with us today. the rockefeller foundation. next week we will unveil a long-term resilience strategy that by 2018 will ensure that new orleans is a noble model for resilience in the 21st century. we are already on her way with modern the structure and levees with the bp oil spill settlement and others taken effect we have partial payment for rebuilding and most of the rest of the should come from money and they need to help fix it. and really all americans have a stake in the future of this
because contrary to popular belief gas does not come from the pump. it comes from us and every year the gulf coast provides america with more oil and gas than we import we are the tip of the spear and as we protect their coast we also protect economic security and our national security and here's the thing. to be truly was william we cannot just build a levees. what change how we live with water to protect wetlands is important as those are. it means combating other stresses like poverty and inequality, violence, racism and to be truly resilient we must go deeper and create a city that can adapt no matter what may happen with climate change or global economy.
that means a government with a regional mindset which can both respond to a shock like hurricane katrina and prepare our people for the future. that means a 21st century education system broad-based economic growth with a pathway to prosperity that anyone can fallen in no one is left behind and that means being inclusive of everyone in the community breaking down the walls that divide us and coming together in unity. our goal is nothing less than creating an opportunity and responsibility for all, a city for the ages. we are not there yet and we are far from perfect but the peoples of new orleans are committed to their city and we are on the right path. this is what we do as americans, we work hard and dream of something more and something better. we should always remember the issue in its totality and how far we have come as a people. in 1776 the aspirational words found in the declaration of independence that all men are
created each will ring hollow to many and must have been especially ironic. for them neither liberty or equality were in reach at that time. more than two centuries of change we have made progress in a million different ways but still this is the big message that the nation should take away at the superdome and the more recent unrest on the streets of baltimore. we have still fallen short, we have not to fill the promise of being one nation indivisible with liberty and justice for all that we can get there. so as we turned the turn the corner on the 10th anniversary of hurricane katrina and the word to their anniversary as a city in 2018, our challenge is to continue to move forward because we have a long way to go. but it's critical to understand where we are in the broader context sitting in the deepest of the deep south states.
once called this nation's backwater and that has changed and now new orleans has become a beacon of light. the capital of what some have called this period i believe that the south will rise again but not the old south. monuments that revere the confederacy go your way and we go ours. the new south is a place where diversity is our greatest strength and not a weakness. collecting wisdom and energy, a place that understands the totality of our history and the importance of our culture and faith and family and friends. a place that combines old and new into something truly read special that people want to be a part of in a place that understands what it means to come together in unity and wrestle with the good and the bad and yes, everything in between. at the mouth of the mighty mississippi we in new orleans lie at the heart of this ongoing
struggle. but we have shown what is possible that from the worst disaster and that includes out of darkness that can be like a matter destruction can be beauty. hope must spring eternal. hope is the meat of motivator of all that seems lost. with your help we have changed and so on behalf of the people of new orleans i say thank you to the american taxpayer and the federal government and president obama and president clinton and president carter for their work. thank you all for your support and your prayers when we needed them most. thank you for caring for us during our time of need. thank you for your donations and support. thank you for caring about a city that care forgot. but we are unbroken and we will press on one step at a time. we are one team and we are one city and one united states of
america. and you so much. [applause] >> thank you, mr. mayor. we invite you to come back up with some questions and answers. and of course he noted the progress that has been made and you have also mentioned that the challenges are remaining. of the things that you're still working on and the things that haven't come back, or the one two things that you face? >> i would just say that one of the things that we have spent a lot of time on in the last five years is a structurally changing and institutionally changing the way that new orleans addresses long-term chronic problems.
there was a great article written about detroit saying that they did not go bankrupt overnight, it took 40 or 50 years. one of the things that we concentrated on his changing institutions and government and our relationship with the public and private sector, digging deep and tearing out the foundations are created these results. as a consequence we are much better at being able to resolve the issues that were with us before the storm and we share the same issues with every other major city in america. crime continues to be a problem in the city of new orleans. we have too much of it and we need to get better at it. this continues to be a tremendous challenge even though we are taking this down more than any city in america. only detroit have more than we did, 15,000 copies in three years, we have a system moving in the right direction and because of this system we now have people complying, mostly private citizens that did not come back to take care of their
property but left it to everyone else. we have challenges in that issue as well. the economy although it continues to do better, you have to continually be vigilant and finally within that framework that i mentioned and the polls show this that notwithstanding the fact that 70% of the people are optimistic about the future come of that does not mean that everybody is happy about the situation that they are in today. there continues to be a new orleans like there is all over america and this is being discussed under the guise of income inequality, opportunity and equality. but i think it's clear that some americans are doing better than others and my best guess is that the numbers that you have seen that new orleans would be atomically reflected with some of the other major cities in america and across the country. so be prepared for the same kind of difficulties that we are seeing all across america and never put them in the same categories.
we have some holes and we have to continue to work on that in the same way and same amount of intensity and progressive leaning forward as minimum last couple of years. i thank you. >> is it your sense that the kaiser poll that you just referenced was accurate in finding large disparities between whites and african americans and their view of the recovery? and another question says that on a recent visit extensive gentrification of many formerly black neighborhoods. is this good for the city in the long run. >> i think that this is an accurate reflection of how we feel. it's good to get a poll that
says 70% of the public says that you are heading in the right direction, 73% feel good about this in a positive thing. but the poll again revealed difficulties that we not only have in new orleans but the difference between poor people and wealthy people and those like my sister, donna, they will tell you a lot and remind you about this. when it gets hot, gets hotter, when it gets cold, it's colder. that is certainly true in new orleans. the damage was $150 billion the amount was less than that. rebuilding the city is those that had got back faster than those that have not. that does come across me racial lines but has as much to do with
it. and although we have invested $500 million in it with new schools and community centers and fire stations, it continues to struggle and that is going to be an issue that i think that we mayors across the country really have to think about in terms of rebuilding our relationship with the federal and state governments because we believe that we are partners in that and that partnership has frayed over the last 15 or 20 years. as congress continues to fight about the things of a fight about and hopefully pass the structure really quickly because we needed, we have to get to the next big issue about how we are going to integrate cities into the lifeblood of the relationship between the federal and state and local governments, 85% of the people are living in cities. actually the democrats have completely reveres and we are going to have the same kind of challenges as the rest of the nation having. but i think that we are in a much better position to deal with those things if you are in
this every day. because if you let it go for a sobbing vigilantly stop showing up it can go back and it's not going to be as good as we have to keep at it. >> how prepared is new orleans to respond to another storm like katrina? if the hurricane protection of the structure is strong enough? >> levees broke. this was not a man-made natural disaster, this is a man-made disaster. if a category five ruling in at 12 miles per hour the speed that has winds of 150 miles per hour hitting any city in america, you should hope that you will have gone by then. i think that hurricane sandy demonstrated to us that we have many honorable cities and on the scale dorland's isn't even on the top and i think that new orleans is number one, charleston is up there am i have
said many times in defense of our great city bed it's had ridiculous things said about it by seemingly educated people that the storms would not hit us because we were not bad people. you can get a to go cup on bourbon street and somehow that the hurricane came and wanted to smack you but that's not what happened. we have lots of hurricanes that come in and out of the country. sometimes people have one parties on their porch. [laughter] and the wind comes in and it goes out. catastrophe did not occur until the federal levies broke. new orleans is a canary in the coal mine in this country. for those of you too young to understand please ask your parents. [laughter] but on infrastructure investments and investment and income inequality and housing and all of that stuff, the rest
of the country can learn from the things that new orleans suffered through and then hopefully from the ways in which we have learned to fix them as we have paid the debt back overtime. and the third thing is that the city is much safer than it was in terms of hurricane protection before. we have spent 14.6 billion federal dollars on fortifying the levees to what they call category three standards. at another event came and just like this one at the same speed in the same time we have really good reason to believe that we would be fine. having said that, that is not an imitation when the mayor calls for a mandatory evacuation in new orleans or new york or in south carolina to just think that we are going to beat mother nature. because we are not. a hurricane evacuation plan is better. this is where the coast comes in as well. the coast that you hear us talk so much about that protects oil and gas infrastructure and it also protects the physical space
of new orleans because as the storms come in if the coast treats the storm surge is higher and not only is that the protector of the people that live there but the coast is important, the levees are important, rebuilding is important, having a plan is important and that's why they call it a risk reduction strategy. you can never guarantee that you won't get hurt. but today they are much better prepared and we are much stronger. >> do you believe that the bp oil spill is having a negative effect on the coastal environment of louisiana, if so what is being done to counter any long-term effects of the spill 2. >> again, as i started i tried to remind everyone that the city of new orleans, because at the time we were a massive tourism destination, we have suffered dramatically after the attacks of 9/11, that the tourism
economy went to nothing and we were in a weak state, but we had just gotten back after three years of devastation and then hurricane katrina hit us and then hurricane rita and ike and gustav and then the bp oil spill. and there were a lot of lives lost in the bp oil spill. untold amounts of more physical damage that was done in our relationship has been strained as somewhat since then. i think that there is residual damage from the storm and i think that recently bp and the estate of lisa hanna and most of the litigants have now resolved their differences and i think that we are on the path to cleaning up and making sure that not only does that never happen again but that the money that is coming down through the amount of money that they have to pay in fines and that the senator passed, that we are now
accumulating a portion of money that is necessary to fund the master plan for restoring the coast and cleaning up the coast. we had a long way to go on both of these things and there's not enough money to actually make it happen. louisiana has been in a historic fight. it was read on the shoulders of others. making sure that in louisiana when we offer ourselves to the rest of the country is a place that will provide oil and gas that we have to restore that which we busted up. this is really common sense and it's kind of lost. you can drill, but you have to restore it. that's called being a good steward of our natural resources. we are not in the debate of drill or not drill. we have found a way to do that and for the fisheries and cultures and everyone has to be doing it for the purpose of helping the people of louisiana and the country. it's only the benefit of the
folks and shareholders, if you don't put money back in and you're basically going to give away the possibility of future energy independence for the country. and i don't believe that we have had a complete communion between the private sector and the public sector and washington in and the state and new orleans about how to come up with the complete solution. i think that we are well on our way and i believe that our relationship has gone much better. i think that folks are starting to come to the table but i don't think that we are there yet. that includes preserving the livelihoods of those that work in industry and protect the land so that the nation can be energy secure and economically secure. >> a group of civilian officers who handle quality-of-life issues and crime that was created in 2014 and it was touted by you and others to help make the streets safer residence in tumors alike.
the first patrols have been on the streets for some months and have they had any real effect on crime, do you think? >> they are not police officers and they were never meant to supplant them. what they were meant to do was take away from them the need to do mundane things that they can do so that the officers can actually fight crime and yes, i think they made a great difference. one of the things that was a challenge and continues to be a challenge in the french quarter as you know is a residential neighborhood and a business neighborhood and it oversees a lot of tourists, to make sure that laws that enforced so that they can be safe on the streets and have stability on the streets and the traffic can keep moving. many have seen this in new york and you may not notice a difference in the colors of uniforms but some of the officers actually have a traffic division just like the one that we have just created that is designed to make sure that the quality of life issues are taken care of, that the traffic keeps moving so that the police
officers themselves can make progress on violent crime. we continue to have challenges in the city relating to crimes like we do all over america. but in this instance protecting the french quarter is critically important. i want to protect every resident there and the city has been forced by the justice department to pay this by ourselves, we continue to work with the judge and monitors to retrain and supervise and hire more police officers and we will continue to do that. that is why this is not an easy propositipropositi on. i feel pretty good about the progress we have made but like anything else that is a work in progress and we have a way to go. see be doing to improve police community relations in the african-american community?
>> that is a great question. and you see this manifesting itself all across the country. when there is an event that takes place between a police officer and a citizen there is a frame that is evident all over america and in new orleans we spend a lot of time with community leaders and we have in each district something called quality-of-life coordinating officers and liaisons with the communities. we have every police district that we have and regular meetings with the faith-based communities to make sure that they know who the captain of the district is. the police chief himself is an elder in his church to spend a huge amount of time across the community and staying in touch makes a big difference. the people of new orleans have demonstrated time and again that
they are amazingly bazillion and thoughtful and reasonable. we have had a couple of police involved shootings and one of them resulted in the arrest of a police officer who is serving time because he did a bad thing. one of them did not because the circumstances indicated that there were guns that were drawn and the police officers tried to defend himself and the justice system worked, the federal police monitor showed up and there was an open and transparent right analysis of what happened and due process and justice was done. in those circumstances when you have that, everybody is fair-minded about it. i'm not saying that they're always happy, but the system of making sure that there is a quality and that this was done is something that i think we have gotten right in the last
five years and everyone knows about the event that ways during hurricane katrina which was awful. those matters have been winding through the system and in some instances because of reversals and other things those things are pending. but there's dramatic difference in the work that we are doing. and this issue is not just about policing the community about laying on top of economics. and so when we start talking about crime in america this is not just about whether or not they secured appropriately although that is inappropriate, there's a much deeper thing that the united states has to do as it relates to everyone in america that has an opportunity to do well. i don't think that we scratched the surface. i don't think that we talk about it in that way. something that's really hard.
you can't go under or around there, you really have to go through this. and you have to be so what about it and thoughtful and you must give each other a lot of room. but i think it's clear that as much as we have aspired to be in this world that it's pretty clear that we are not there yet but we can get there and i think that there is demonstrable evidence given what has gone on in south carolina and across the south, people are ready although that it's hard and it hurts and the histrionics on both sides to have a discussion either. this is not between the community and police, we have to get back to the community and the police whether they are at the same time. i think that many feel under assault in this country there are some bad police officers who have done bad things, but most of them do the right things for the right reasons.
and i think a sober discussion that has been taking place have been taking place all across this country are things that we have to move to not away from because it hasn't always been this way. >> you have any authority for nonviolent drug offenders and if not would you support any such legislation work approach for a mayor? >> i don't have any authority to do that, a lot of things have settled in baton rouge at the state house rather than the local level but when i was a lieutenant governor i led something called a juvenile justice reform commission and it was designed to look at the justice system and determine whether or not we were arresting the wrong people and not arresting the right people whether we were spending our money the right way or too much or too less. we actually look at the state of misery and found that they started thinking about it right. and what they found is that we
were arresting the wrong kids for the wrong reasons and putting them in the wrong place and not arresting the right kids. as a concert once we were spending too much money and we weren't getting a good result and the recidivism rate was higher. it turns out that that exact thing is happening in the adult prison system in america as well. as a consequence i'm really heartened by the work that i see on the schedule but this is one area where the feds are outpacing the states and you have a bipartisan coalition funded by the cobrothers-in-law folks and some other folks that have come together and have decided that we have an it upside down. a lot of this has nothing to do with violent criminals committing violent crimes, these are people committing nonviolent crimes, not getting appropriate mental health or substance abuse treatment. and i have a federal judge ordering the people of the city to become the hospital for mental care for prisoners.
and that includes a few people that are incarcerated and they will tell you that if we spend one half of it the circumstance would be 1000% better. as a consequence of those not really lining up with each other you find a huge number of people and usually it cost the taxpayers a lot of money and if there's another way to do it that makes them safer and then reduces the recidivism rate, why would you not want to have a serious discussion about that. this is one thing that i think that we are ready to talk about in this country and i'm very hopeful that the state of louisiana will participate and not just let the feds talk about just 20% of folks that are in jail. most of them are in state prisons come i would like to participate at the end of the day, the streets have to be
state, but we have to be smart and we have to make sure that when folks come out of jail we have to make sure that they don't just go right back. it is not good for the street either. they do. >> driving over new orleans notoriously crumbling streets, is there any plan systematically tackle this problem? >> on the night before i was sworn in i went to my father and i have been around a long time. i was looking for some fatherly vice and i said do you have anything you want to tell me. and he says yes, tomorrow you own every pothole in the city. [laughter]
and so we have literally repaved more streets of new orleans in the last three years than most have in the history of the city. the city was wiped out. if you go down any major street in the city and it cost $7 million per mile to repaved the city and we have a lot of miles and it would equal $9 billion if we were to fix all of them, because we had the reimbursement that didn't match for the damage, that is what we focused on and almost every major city has been done. but i can tell you that maybe we will get an award for that or something. but it doesn't really matter. it might matter to somebody in the governing magazine that we do that but it doesn't matter to the person who is still next-door to the house that is blighted and the same thing is true about potholes. the city was built on a swamp and we have terrible interior of
streets from school is to airports to all of the things that we need, we have a problem, which we are sitting on top of a sewer system that was destroyed by katrina and i am still in a fight with the federal government about making sure they reimburse us adequately so we can actually put that plan together that you asked me about that will allow us to impart and begin to put the interior back together. fema has been a good partner but they don't give you anything. you have to wrestle with it and you have to make the case. the american public has a right to make you not get reimbursed and they write that you should get reimbursed for things you are entitled to. and that is the next major one. but it goes to something that
the u.s. conference of mayors has talked to a lot of individuals about. infrastructure in this country and lack of investment is making us noncompetitive with other major countries that are going to eat our lunch. that is true about airports and ports and bridges and interior and exterior street. this is something that we have really got to work on that's going to require a national conversation and a federal partnership. and this is a cross ideology. big and large, those living this reality, they are actually yelling out to congress that the one thing that we all agree on is massive infrastructure investments so that we can compete on a global level. >> before i ask a final question i have some housekeeping. the national press of is the world's leading professional
organization for journalists and to learn more about this go to press club.org and visit prescott core of/institute and i would also like to remind you about some upcoming speakers. this thursday, august 20, republican presidential candidate rick santorum will discuss his immigration plan and on september 2 nikki haley will address a luncheon and the topic is the new south. on september 5 to press club will hold its annual 5k to raise money for journalism scholarships and training and press freedom. i would like to present our guest with the traditional national press club mug. [applause]
[applause] >> i think that there are many suitable beverages in new orleans that you can enjoy in that mug. we won't even list them all because it would take too long. but louisiana is well known for its colorful politicians. in your opinion how does donald trump compare with edwin edwards? [laughter] as well, let me say that i am really looking forward to nikki haley speech, thought that she did something really courageous and i hope that elected officials -- i think that they put that behind us and look forward and do it in a way that makes the south really strong. the south has a lot to offer the united states of america and we actually think that without getting into competition that we
could lead the nation. but we have to put down this issue of race and make sure that everybody in this country feels included a nonreligious thankful to her for leading that effort and i look forward to partnering with her and our brothers and sisters across the south and with the new south looks like across the country. donald trump would fit in really good wit edwin edwards. one of the things that we have done in louisiana is add to the word colorful. no matter what you think about him, he is spice it up. so tell him them to come down to louisiana because she was to see him. >> please give you pause to a speaker. [applause] >> mr. mayor, i hope you come back and see us sometime soon
and i would also like to think the press club staff including its journalism institute and broadcast center for organizing today's event. if you would like a copy of today's programs or to learn more about the club, please go to the website that is prescott work. thank you and we are adjourned. [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] .. some of the problems