While several of the candidates for mayor are talking what we think is the truth about the economic inequities that still divide New Orleans, it’s a fact that the New Orleans economy is in better shape today than it has been in years and that New Orleans has sprung back quicker after Katrina than many cities have since the financial markets’ collapse. But that does not mean our economic picture is rosy across the board.
The maritime industry is on an upswing under the capable leadership of Gary LaGrange. The tourism industry under Greg Rusovich, Mark Romig, Mavis Early, Bob Johnson and others is working hard to compete with glitzier marketing budgets and state-of-the-art convention centers across the country. Too many of our tourism industry jobs are low-paying and the opportunities for advancement – especially by undereducated and unskilled African-Americans workers stuck in minimum wage jobs – are minimal.