City officials are expected to provide answers on the budget and effectiveness of Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s NOLA for Life violence reduction plan Wednesday, in the third of three criminal justice budget meetings.
The Lens will live-blog the meeting here, starting at 1 p.m. Wednesday.
The City Council last discussed NOLA for Life in a Criminal Justice Committee meeting on May 22, shortly after the Mother’s Day second-line shooting. Members of the committee had said they hoped the Landrieu administration would provide enough information on the NOLA for Life programs to perform a cost-benefit analysis. Councilwoman Stacy Head said she left that meeting disappointed.
“I am concerned about what appears to be a less-than-transparent process with little public awareness or, certainly, council awareness, about what we’re doing under the NOLA for Life umbrella,” she said in an interview. “The presentation we received this week was really more of a PR presentation than the nuts and bolts of it.”
Since that meeting, The Lens has reported on the privately administered grantmaking arm of the initiative, the NOLA for Life Fund, including:
- The failure of one grantee to live up to a prior promise to build a community center
- Projects that have little obvious connection to crime reduction
- The opaque process of awarding the grants
Also on the agenda are the Coroner’s Office, Orleans Parish Juvenile Court and Orleans Public Defender. The Sheriff’s Office had been scheduled as well, but he is in federal court Wednesday for a hearing about the agency’s budget, related to a consent decree for Orleans Parish Prison.
This post was updated after publication to note that the committee changed its agenda for the meeting on Tuesday.