Philanthropist George Soros, in New Orleans for a meeting of his Open Society Institute, said the disaster brought by Katrina could bring needed change because of a rediscovered sense of citizen involvement.

He’s said he’s found “a more alert and more engaged electorate” in the city. Soros and retired Criminal Court Judge Calvin Johnson spoke before an audience of about 75 community leaders and activists at Loyola University’s Law School Tuesday night.

It’s that kind of community involvement his foundation strives to encourage through grants and other charitable contributions. Indeed, Soros plans to increase his giving in the city. (Disclosure: The Lens is financed in part through a grant from the Opens Society Institute.)

In an interview with The Lens, Soros described the failure of government and his hopes for New Orleanians to demand a change in government.

Other portions of his interview will be posted soon.