New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu is getting a positive response to his call for New Orleanians to take a more active role in the city’s quest to curb street violence, with hundreds offering to volunteer for crime-fighting and youth-mentoring initiatives, says the New Orleans Times-Picayune. The mayor’s office has nearly 600 written commitments from residents who indicated a desire to donate to a nonprofit, start a Neighborhood Watch program, or provide job opportunities for young people and ex-offenders.
Officials are following up with people who filled out a commitment card since Landrieu sounded the alarm last month at a rime summit. That event attracted a crowd of about 2,000, including neighborhood activists, students, criminal-justice officials and family members of murdered children. The Landrieu administration said business, education, and community leaders also have made commitments to help end the cycle of violence and murder in New Orleans. Landrieu also is providing ex-inmates with employment options. Ex-offenders make up half of the 12-member work force hired earlier this month for a program established to cut, clear and maintain overgrown lots in the Lower 9th Ward.