NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Former New Orleans Mayor Marc Morial leads a conference to look at where New Orleans stands ten years after Katrina and where the city is headed.
Morial is president of the National Urban League. During a press conference Wednesday, he addressed just how far the city - particularly the African American community - has come since the storm and the challenges that lie ahead.
Those who spoke Wednesday included Mayor Mitch Landrieu, who spent a good deal of time addressing the high unemployment of African Americans in the city. He pointed out that as the city rebuilt after the storm, most contractors were outsourced and many of the workers in the trades were not New Orleans residents.
Landrieu said the city is waiting on federal reimbursements from Katrina's damage to the sewers and drains to begin new projects, including a massive effort to fix New Orleans streets. Once that work is lined up, Landrieu announced that the workers will come from the city.
"This city cannot stay where it is - where 52 percent of the people in the city are not working," he said. "There's nowhere in America where that can sustain itself over time. And the other thing is the people of New Orleans have a right to be the people who build New Orleans."
That 52 percent stat comes from a recent study. According to a report published by the Lindy Boggs Center for Community Literacy, 52 percent of African American males in New Orleans were unemployed.
The Urban League of Greater New Orleans published a book, which was distributed at the event, entitled "The State of Black New Orleans: 10 years post Katrina."
The details education, civic involvement, a growing wealth divide and dozens of other statistics.
Many of those issues will be brought to the floor in the conference Wednesday.