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. On February 1, 2014, Mayor Landrieu was overwhelmingly reelected to a second term and is continuing to deliver major victories. Everywhere you look in New Orleans, progress is being made.
Under Landrieu, New Orleans became the fastest growing major city in the U.S. according to the U.S. Census, ranked #1 metropolitan area for overall economic recovery by the Brookings Institute and was named 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, Landrieu committed to make New Orleans safer by reforming the New Orleans Police Department and launching a comprehensive strategy to reduce murders, NOLA FOR LIFE. Confidence in the police department is up, violent crime is trending down, and 2014 saw the lowest number of murders in 43 years.
Since taking office, Landrieu 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. During his tenure, New Orleans has added over 9,100 new jobs, home values are up, unemployment has remained below the national average and new retail is booming. He created the first ever public-private partnership for economic development, New Orleans Business Alliance. And under his leadership, the group unveiled a five-year plan called ProsperityNOLA that targets five sectors to drive economic growth. In September 2014, Landrieu also introduced a comprehensive strategy to connect disadvantaged job seekers and businesses to new opportunities.
Landrieu has initiated a blight reduction strategy that has reduced overall blight by 10,000 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.
Landrieu 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 $100 million in private, philanthropic and federal grant funds for key priorities.
Landrieu 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, adding a 311 service where residents can get key information and make requests for basic City services, and launching the first ever online notification tool to inform citizens of land-use changes.
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, Landrieu served as Louisiana’s Lieutenant Governor for six years, leading the effort 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. He also 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.
At the State, Landrieu 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.
Both as Lieutenant Governor and Mayor, Landrieu 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, Landrieu 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, Landrieu 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.
Landrieu 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, the Mayor 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.