New Orleans Selected As 1 Of 10 Cities For First Ever ‘Resilience’ AmeriCorps

NEW ORLEANS – Today, Mayor Mitch Landrieu announced the City of New Orleans was selected as one of the 10 cities across the nation to pilot Resilience AmeriCorps – an effort to help vulnerable communities become more resilient to the effects of climate change.

         Building on President Obama’s Climate Action Plan, the Administration, with support from The Rockefeller Foundation, developed Resilience AmeriCorps in response to a recommendation made by the President’s State, Local, and Tribal Leaders Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience to further commitments to building resilience in vulnerable communities disproportionately affected by the impacts of climate change – many of which are already facing economic or health-related challenges.

         “We have battled more than our fair share of challenges over the last decade,” said Mayor Mitch Landrieu.  “This city defines what it means to be resilient, and it is an honor for New Orleans to participate in the President’s first-ever Resilience AmeriCorps initiative. We have made great strides in the last decade since Hurricane Katrina, but there is much more work to be done.  We are thrilled to have these AmeriCorps members help us in our effort to achieve this goal.”

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         “There is perhaps no more appropriate moment than the commemoration of the 10th Anniversary of Katrina and New Orleans’ subsequent recovery to place a priority on building resilience in our communities,” said Dr. Judith Rodin, president of The Rockefeller Foundation. “Mayor Landrieu and his team serve as an example to other urban centers around the world that the only way the citizens and the City will continue to thrive is if strategic decisions and community involvement is seen through the frame of resilience planning and execution, and the Resilience AmeriCorps members who have the opportunity to serve here will gain invaluable knowledge of how to address the challenges facing communities across the country in the 21st Century.”

         As a result of the initiative, two AmeriCorps VISTA members will be provided to the City of New Orleans, as well as a $25,000 grant toward program implementation and technical assistance for City Hall. In partnership with the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), the federal agency that administers AmeriCorps, the members will also receive financial and technical support from The Rockefeller Foundation and operational expertise from the Cities of Service program. In addition, the Department of Energy (DOE), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) will provide subject-matter expertise and counsel to New Orleans.

         As one of the original cities chosen to partner with 100 Resilient Cities – pioneered by The Rockefeller Foundation – the New Orleans’ Resilience AmeriCorps members will play a key role in the implementation and execution of its Resilience Strategy, which will be unveiled tomorrow during the week-long commemoration of the 10th Anniversary of Katrina. Given there is a strong correlation between geographic vulnerability and physical shocks in New Orleans, the City will deploy these AmeriCorps members in neighborhoods with both high environmental risks and high percentages of poverty to execute initiatives. The members will also engage the public in important discussions and will coordinate necessary volunteer efforts in order to achieve maximum impact.

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         This is not the first time the City will employ a large volunteer network. Over the past five years, Mayor Landrieu has engaged nearly 5,000 volunteers in programs such as NOLA FOR LIFE and Fight the Blight geared toward impact volunteering with the end goal of increasing social cohesion.

         For more information


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