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The City of New Orleans

Mayor Mitchell J. Landrieu

Welcoming City


New Orleans has long been an international locale, rich with a diverse population of residents hailing from around the globe. Today, our growing immigrant community makes up approximately 7% of the total metro New Orleans population.

In 2014, the City of New Orleans, led by the Neighborhood Engagement Office, created an engagement and outreach initiative to better communicate with and serve our growing immigrant and multicultural communities and in 2015, the City Council unanimously passed a resolution, with the support of the Mayor, to officially recognize New Orleans as a city that is welcoming to immigrants and multicultural residents. New Orleans is one of 48 inaugural cities to join the White House Building Welcoming Communities Campaign.


Improving Language Access

The City of New Orleans recognizes the importance of serving all New Orleans residents, including those with limited English proficiency. Recently, the City has made the following language access improvements: 

  • Increased the usage of our 311 information line in languages other than English by 21% compared to 2014.
  • Created a directory of over 40 City employees who have volunteered as translators, covering 18 different languages.
  • Partnered with Loyola’s Certificate program in Interpretation to offer translation and interpretation services to City departments.
  • Trained Emergency Medical Services staff in Spanish for medical professionals.
  • Provided online and printed information for emergency preparedness in Spanish and Vietnamese.
  • Offered simultaneous interpretation in Spanish and Vietnamese at the City’s annual budget community meetings to increase participation from Hispanic and Vietnamese communities.

Promoting Public Safety

As part of an on-going effort to build trust between the community and the police, the New Orleans Police department is doing the following:

  • Building a team of bilingual officers to improve communication with limited English speaking communities
  • Equipping officers with translation devices in the field
  • Tracking information on victims and offenders who need language assistance
  • Translating public information in other languages at NOPD facilities
  • Training new recruits on interacting with the Spanish-speaking community
  • Aggressively recruiting bilingual police officers

Additionally, the NOPD finalized a revised immigration status policythat focuses on protecting public safety and building community trust.

Exhibiting Cultural Competency

In 2016, the City of New Orleans made improvements to the City Hall lobby to better welcome international guests and community members. The improvements include: 

  • International flags, 
  • An electronic directory that lists departments in English, Spanish, and Vietnamese, and
  • A permanent welcome sign with welcoming messages in 14 different languages

Expanding Access to Economic Opportunity

The City of New Orleans is working to increase economic opportunity and eliminate barriers to employment that affect all community members. The Office of Economic Development presents information in English and Spanish, in conjunction with immigrant-serving community organizations, on the City’s Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) program, technical assistance, and financing opportunities.

Resources and Civic Engagement


Community Services

Below are resource guides for services such as legal assistance, health care, and public school enrollment:

  • Real Time Resources: a resource list maintained by the City of New Orleans
  • Services for Latino Youth: a resource list produced by Catholic Charities of New Orleans
  • 311: dial 3-1-1 for information or to request City services 



Becoming a naturalized citizen is an important opportunity for eligible foreign-born residents to participate fully in civic life in the United States. Citizenship benefits include voting rights, eligibility for federal jobs, and a U.S. passport. Eligible community members can apply for citizenship through U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.


Civic Leadership Academy

Community members can learn how the City government operates in our semi-annual Civic Leadership Academy. The program includes tours, hands-on demonstrations, and presentations that give participants an insider view of the City of New Orleans.


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Last updated: 1/25/2017 12:17:24 PM

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