Three months after he easily won a second term as New Orleans mayor, Mitch Landrieu will be inaugurated Monday morning in a ceremony at the Saenger Theatre.
In his address, he’ll be able to point to a number of signs that New Orleans has turned the corner under his watch. The city’s population is on the rise and tourists are visiting in record numbers. Meanwhile, the homicide rate, perennially among the country’s highest, took a significant dip last year.
It’s not all good news, though. Landrieu faces serious financial challenges. Two federal consent decrees to reform the Police Department and city jail, plus back payments to the firefighters’ pension system, will cost tens of millions of dollars.
To raise the money, Landrieu has asked the Legislature to approve new taxes, including a proposal to double the portion of property taxes that pay for police and fire services. This comes at a time when rapidly increasing home prices and rents are pricing residents out of many neighborhoods, and the city’s poverty rate remains high. In March, city voters rejected a property tax proposal for the Audubon Nature Institute.
The Lens will live-blog the inaugural ceremony, offering context and checking facts. Afterward, we’ll ask readers to pick a statement made during the event, and we’ll fact-check it. We’ll publish those fact-checks later in the week.
Join us here when the ceremony begins at 10 a.m.