"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world.

Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has"

Margaret Mead, Anthropologist
(used with permission)

"If you don't like the news .... go out and make some of your own !!"

Wes "Scoop" Nisker, Newscaster


Government is a slow and tedious process. While it often includes citizen and neighborhood involvement, non-governmental, private organizations have created movements and interesting groups which can create positive change in our cities and towns.

I am fascinated by the way groups are created and how they influence public decision making. This blog merely recognizes them and forwards the description of these groups from their own websites.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Lower 9th Ward Center for Sustainable Engagement and Development

Location: New Orleans, LA

Website: www.sustainthenine.org

Founded in December 2006, the Lower 9th Ward Center for Sustainable Engagement and Development (CSED) is a 501(c)3 grassroots organization devoted to restoring New Orleans' Lower Ninth Ward as a safe, environmentally just and economically vibrant community – and one of the first to become carbon-neutral in North America.

Born in the aftermath of catastrophic flooding in the Lower Ninth Ward caused by the failure of the federal levee system following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, CSED provides community-based support to residents of the Lower Ninth Ward – from “River to Bayou” – in all aspects of sustainability for area neighborhoods as part of long-term recovery and rebuilding efforts.

Our mission is to stimulate civic engagement, repopulate, sustain natural systems, assist community leadership and preserve resources in the Lower 9th Ward neighborhoods.

Our goal is the re-creation and repopulation of a strong community, mindful of its resources and vulnerabilities, with an engaged citizenry that is active, resilient, prosperous, energy independent and beautiful as Built Environment.

In addition, we continue to maintain a strong presence in all development initiatives for the Lower 9. CSED remains dedicated to supporting the construction of the Alfred Lawless School system that was lost during the flood due to the failure of the federal levee system, the development of economic opportunities along the commercial corridors of the L9, as well as the on-going effort to bring a grocery store to the community through the Fresh Food Initiative (CSED administers a $25K Chase Design Competition award to support the grocery store development).

CSED also hired a local resident to support mental health outreach efforts for people still affected by Hurricane Katrina as well as the new disaster from the BP Oil Spill.

CSED also continues to work with multiple state and local partners on:

- Louisiana Coastal Restoration initiatives and the L9 Bayou Bienvenue regeneration.

- Built Environment efforts which includes rebuilding and renovation, blight issues, empty lots, and energy efficiency of existing structures, infrastructure, walkability, return of displaced residents

- Food Security for all L9 residents that involves community gardening, urban farming, reintroduction of tree canopy and support of the local Sankofa Farmers Market.

These and a growing number of new initiatives are led by CSED’s talented Executive Director, Tracy Nelson, a resident of the Lower Ninth Ward.

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