By Karen Gadbois, The Lens staff writer |

The New Orleans landscape is dotted with signs boasting about “our recovery in progress,” an effort by former Mayor Ray Nagin’s administration to tout his successes.

His successor is taking that idea even further, seeking proposals to spend tax dollars to photograph and videotape the recovery so the word can be spread far and wide.

Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s administration posted an advertisement yesterday for the work, which the specifications say should focus on the “100 committed projects, playgrounds, places of worship, healthcare facilities, new economic development projects, blight remediation and infrastructure improvements.”

Landrieu said in an interview Tuesday that he doesn’t have a price for the work in mind, but said he expects it to be “reasonable.” The project is intended to result in a five- to 10-minute video that “tells the story of the recovery in progress,” according to the request for proposals, posted here. Other related material may also be required.

Landrieu said the city can’t afford not to produce this video, saying that when his representatives go to the financial markets in New York and the political arena in Washington, the “city needs to tell its story.”

The project will fall under the Mayor’s Office of Communications. That office saw a substantial increase in its budget from just more than $700,000 under the Nagin administration to more than a million dollars this year.

Landrieu spoke after a press conference with Mayor David Bing of Detroit, where he also addressed proposed federal budget cuts that could reduce Community Development Block Grant money by 7.5 percent.

That grant money has been a primary source for demolitions as well as affordable housing and job training.

Landrieu said the cuts could have been worse because the House Republican Study Committee proposed eliminating the program altogether.

Karen Gadbois

Karen Gadbois co-founded The Lens. She now covers New Orleans government issues and writes about land use. With television reporter Lee Zurik she exposed widespread misuse of city recovery funds and led...