Biography of Mitchell J. Landrieu
Mitch Landrieu was sworn in as the 61st Mayor of New Orleans on May 3, 2010 with a clear mandate to usher in a new era of peace and prosperity in New Orleans. As Mayor, he has delivered major victories, and everywhere you look, progress is being made.
According to the U.S. Census, New Orleans is the fastest growing major city in the U.S. The city ranked #1 metropolitan area for overall economic recovery by the Brookings Institute and most improved city for business by Wall Street Journal’s MarketWatch. New Orleans received the World Tourism Award for outstanding accomplishments in the travel and hospitality industry and Forbes named New Orleans the #1 city for “brain gain.” Now, the city is moving forward towards its 300th anniversary in 2018. The people of New Orleans know what it’s like to win and want more of it.
As Mayor, Mitch committed to make New Orleans safer by reforming the New Orleans Police Department and launching NOLA FOR LIFE, a comprehensive strategy to reduce murders. Confidence in the police department is up, violent crime is trending down, and the first six months of 2013 saw the fewest murders of nearly every year in the last thirty years.
Since taking office, Mitch has worked vigorously to promote economic growth in New Orleans and as a result the city is creating jobs, attracting major retailers and new private investment, and encouraging entrepreneurship. Mitch created the New Orleans Business Alliance, the first ever public-private partnership for economic development. Under his leadership, the group unveiled a five-year plan called ProsperityNOLA that targets five sectors to drive economic growth. To date, we’ve added over 4000 new jobs, home values are up, unemployment has remained below the national average and new retail is booming.
Mitch has initiated a blight reduction strategy that has reduced overall blight by well over 8,000 properties since 2010. He also secured nearly a half billion new dollars from FEMA for critical infrastructure and capital improvements to get New Orleans’ recovery going, including new funds for road and drainage projects, park and playground renovations, and new criminal justice facilities.
Mitch began his term facing a nearly $100 million mid-year budget hole, about 20% of City Hall’s overall budget, that he closed by cutting smart and reorganizing City services. To keep the budget balanced, he again cut City spending in 2011 and 2012, while still delivering better services. His administration has leveraged over $95 million in private, philanthropic and federal grant funds for key priorities.
Mitch has also focused on making City Hall more business and customer-friendly. Overall customer service improvements at City Hall have included launching a One Stop Shop for licenses and permits, making more services available online, and adding a 311 service where residents can get key information and make requests for basic City services.
Throughout his years of public service, Mitch has governed by the philosophy that we are “one team, one fight, one voice, and one city.” Prior to becoming Mayor, Mitch served as Louisiana’s Lieutenant Governor for six years, leading the effort after Hurricane Katrina to rebuild the tourism industry and the tens of thousands of jobs it creates. During his tenure, he launched the Cultural Economy Initiative to quantify and grow jobs in Louisiana’s culture, music, food, film and art industries.
At the State, Mitch led the legislative effort to reform Louisiana's juvenile justice system with a focus on rehabilitation and reform as opposed to punishment and incarceration. As Lieutenant Governor, he continued to chair the Juvenile Justice Commission, the entity created by the legislation to implement the reforms.
As Lieutenant Governor, in the face of tremendous challenges in post-Katrina Louisiana, Mitch took notice of social innovators who were solving some of the most critical problems facing Louisianans. In 2006, he created the first in the nation Office of Social Entrepreneurship to advance social innovation by supporting the creation and growth of the most innovate, measurable, and sustainable solutions to the social problems affecting Louisiana's citizens.
Both as Lieutenant Governor and Mayor, Mitch gained extensive experience overseeing homeland security and emergency preparedness efforts. As Lieutenant Governor, he was the second-in-command in the State’s Emergency Operations Center for Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Ike and Gustav. As Mayor, Mitch has led preparedness, response, and recovery operations for Tropical Storm Lee and Hurricane Isaac, as well as homeland security operations for major special events including Mardi Gras and Super Bowl XLVII.
Prior to becoming Louisiana’s Lieutenant Governor, Mitch represented the Broadmoor neighborhood in the Louisiana House of Representatives for 16 years, where he established a record as a reformer. He also had a successful law practice for 15 years and became an expert mediator, focusing on alternative dispute resolution.
Mitch was educated at Jesuit High School of New Orleans, Catholic University in Washington D.C., and earned a law degree from Loyola University. He is the son of Moon and Verna Landrieu and grew up the fifth of nine children in the Broadmoor neighborhood, where he developed a love for the city. Today, Mitch and his wife Cheryl, who is a lawyer serving as Clerk of the Louisiana 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, are raising five children of their own.