Neighborhood Leaders Spotlight: Troy Glover of St. Roch Improvement Association
How long have you lived in your neighborhood? Why did you choose St. Roch?
I have lived in the St. Roch neighborhood for 10 years, but also stayed in the neighborhood as a child.
What do you love about your neighborhood?
I love the people and culture of St. Roch. The residents are friendly but gritty. There’s a real sense of family and togetherness in St. Roch that I love and value. Even though we face challenges such as crime, gentrification and lack of economic opportunities, the residents of St. Roch have always worked together to address issues from a community led, grass roots effort.
What successes have you had in your neighborhood?
My focus as President of the FSRIA has been about building bridges and creating opportunists of engagement for all residents. I’ve worked to decrease crime byhosting Night Out Against Crime, Peace Walks, and Job Fairs for “opportunity youth”. I worked with St. Roch businesses to address racial inequality in the work place and helped to create hiring practices that promote the hiring of Men/Boys of Color. I worked with the St. Roch CDC, now Thrive NOLA to promote, advocate for and leverage funds to grow the number of affordable housing units in the neighborhood. In partnership with NORD we made St. Roch Park the host park for youth football and have successfully revitalized the booster club. We partnered with Council Member Nadine Ramsey to host St. Roch’s first Gun Buyback day, where we collected over 100 guns off the street. All to say, I’m most proud of being an advocate for the people and walking hand in hand with St. Roch residents to make change in the best way they see fit.
Based on your success in the St. Roch neighborhood, what advice would you give to other neighborhood leaders?
The advice I would give to other neighborhood leaders isdon’t ever forget about the people, because if you don’t have the support, love and ownership from the folks that live in your neighborhood, you have nothing. It’s always about the people.
Why do you love New Orleans or what do you love the most about it?
People ask me this question all the time and it never gets any easier to articulate why I love New Orleans so much. It’s about the way I feel in the city, how my family’s history is connected to the city, it’s about the dialect of the city, and what we eat in the city. I love the struggle of the city, but also the pride in the city. I love the boundaries of the city, but also that the city is boundless. I love that I was born in Charity hospital, and that everyone who was born in Charity hospital loves that too. I love that my high school, the best high school in New Orleans, McDonough 35, instantly connects me to people, and that people in the city care more about my high school, then where I went to college. That’s New Orleans! I just love the city and the people in it. Especially the people from the city, because you can’t understand how much we love the city unless you are the city.