New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu, the City Council and other city officials were sworn into their next four-year terms Monday morning at the Saenger Theatre.
The ceremony began with the gospel music that accompanied Landrieu’s re-election campaign, and the mayor’s second inaugural address sought to place both the city’s recent progress and the challenges that still lie ahead in the context of New Orleans’ 300-year history.
Landrieu vowed that the city will continue to improve its schools and reduce blight in neighborhoods, attracting new businesses and reducing its murder rate. For example, he highlighted the 2,500 seniors graduating from New Orleans high schools this spring, and the $53 million in scholarships they have won.
“If you don’t believe we have changed for the better and are on the right path, look at their faces,” Landrieu said. “They have proven to us what is possible.”
Landrieu’s inaugural address generally stayed away from specific policy points, but one departure was a goal of returning police department to 1,600 sworn officers. Generally, however, he spoke of broader themes of growth and triumph over the deep-rooted problems of the past.
“Every generation comes to this point. Every generation is given a moment to bend that arc of history,” Landrieu said. “And 300 years from now when historians look back they will remember how we the people of New Orleans — in this moment, in this time — came together to do what was hard for the sake of doing what was right and gave light and freedom, goodness and life to those generations we do not yet know.”
The ceremony concluded with the defiant swagger of the Roots of Music marching band, and was followed by an organizational meeting of the New Orleans City Council that began at noon and is still ongoing.
ended with the defiant swagger of the Roots of Music percussion line