Ray Nagin recognized that rebuilding the city of New Orleans would be a daunting task; one that he believed would require commitment from every level of government as well as contributions from the private sector (Torregano and Shannon, 2009). Mayor Nagin had to get political leaders to his city to see the damage and to hear his vision for the city. The mayor invited everyone he could to the city following hurricane Katrina. He created Bring New Orleans Back (BNOB) and created the BNOB Commission (Torregano and Shannon, 2009).
He wanted people who were willing to help rebuild New Orleans. The goal of BNOB was to create ideas and plans to rebuild New Orleans. Nagin appointed an overall steering committee and designated subcommittees for education, urban planning, land use, culture, economic development, government effectiveness and health and social services (Torregano and Shannon, 2009). The governor of Louisiana, the mayor 0f New Orleans and, Louisiana legislature had the power and the influence to change New Orleans Education system.
New Orleans school system has been struggling for years. According to Torregano and Shannon, prior to Katrina, New Orleans Public Schools has been characterized as one of the most segregated and stratified systems you can see in America (as cited in Tillotson, 2006, p. 71). In the weeks following Katrina, Governor Kathleen Blanco called a special session of the Louisiana legislature to consider the damage to New Orleans, with education as a top priority (Torregano and Shannon, 2009). The Governor proposed an immediate takeover of New Orleans schools based on three Criteria: 1) the schools were in academic crisis before Katrina; 2) the majority of schools were considered academically unacceptable; and 3) the school administration was ill-equipped to address the rebuilding task (Torregano and Shannon, 2009). The governor used her power to change New Orleans school system including desegregation (Torregano and Shannon, 2009). BNOB was also over rebuilding the homes in the city. The group got together and made decisions about rebuilding the area.
The group made decision without speaking to the public. Early discussion of how and where to rebuild, given the new realities of high flood risk, low population, extreme infrastructure damage, and so on, created significant conflict in the community (Lukensmeyer, 2007) . The citizens who were already upset with government thought their community was being left out. Many citizens felt threatened by proposals to restrict where rebuilding could take place and openly protested any suggestion that displaced residents not be able to return to their homes (Lukensmeyer, 2007).
The citizens of New Orleans were outraged. Policy makers of New Orleans put a new team together in 2006. The new team works with the citizens. Recognizing the need to engage the full diversity of the citizenry sufficiently to ensure credibility of results, the foundation overseeing the planning process invited a national nonprofit organization with considerable experience in this area to assist the Unified Plan team (Lukensmeyer, 2007).
The citizens of New Orleans showed they had the power. The citizens spoke out and let the policy leaders know that their community will not be left out. New Orleans has been dealing with race problems for years and the citizens was trying to ensure they were not being treated different basic on their race, age, gender, or where their homes were located. The citizens spoke up and ensure their voices were heard.