“People have the right to participate in decisions that affect their lives.”

The Community Participation Project is a program of Committee for a Better New Orleans.  Its purpose is to establish a formal, community-based structure that will enable New Orleans residents to get timely information from city government and the private sector; discuss that information with all legitimate stakeholders; provide input to city government before decisions are made; and then track how government uses that input.

New Orleans Needs Community Participation!

With a new city administration coming in, there is at last the opportunity to create true partnership between government, residents and businesses.  National best practices make it clear that a Community Participation Program is the single best tool for accomplishing this.  This 2010 video provides a good, brief description of the CPP and its many benefits.  Although some of the language that describes the project has been updated, the concepts are permanent!

Who Benefits from a Community Participation Project?

Benefits to Neighborhoods


– Access to timely & accurate information on the projects, policies, and proposals at the beginning of the process,  before decisions are made.

– Easier, more accountable communication with city hall & city departments

– People across the community come together with other neighborhoods and interest groups in constructive dialogue about public issues & projects

– Capacity-building support & resources for certain outreach and operational activities

– Staff available to support the work of neighborhood associations

Benefits to The City Government

– Able to confirm residents’ needs and priorities as plans and services are being designed.

– Better communication can make delivery of public services more effective and efficient

– Training for city employees so they are knowledgeable on the process of engaging with citizens

– Transparent decision-making, which can lead to greater public trust

Benefits to The Business Community


– Creates a clear, predictable process for business & community development proposals

– Saves time and money by gathering citizen input & community support early

– Creates positive relationships within community where development is taking place

A strong CPP is like a three-legged stool that brings neighborhoods, business and city government together so that they can discuss projects and proposals, build trust across lines that divide us, and help New Orleans realize its potential as a great world city.

Status of the CPP

Fifteen years after work began on the NOLA CPP, we are on the threshold of implementing this dynamic piece of civic infrastructure.  There will be three main pieces to this:  the government side, the community side, and the redrawing of the neighborhood boundary maps.  The tabs below will provide more details on each piece.

During the fall 2017 New Orleans municipal elections, CBNO worked with key partners to ensure that the CPP was addressed.  Allies such as Forward New Orleans, EngageNOLA and the New Orleans Coalition included support for the CPP in their candidate platforms and forums.  CBNO collaborated with WWL-TV to put on televised mayoral and Council-at-Large candidate forums, during which candidates were asked about their stance on the CPP.  As a result, Mayor-elect Cantrell and all the incoming City Councilmembers have committed to implementing the CPP.

CBNO and other key partners are participating in the mayoral transition team process, and meeting with the new Councilmembers, to ensure that the new city government is prepared to begin work on CPP implementation soon after the May 7 inauguration.  Key agencies involved with this will be the Neighborhood Engagement Office and the City Planning Commission, along with the mayor and City Council.  The process of finalizing and adopting the CPP is anticipated to take approximately one year, with citywide implementation taking one to two additional years.

CBNO feels strongly that there should be one more robust round of community meetings prior to adopting the NOLA CPP.  These will be an opportunity to reintroduce people to the CPP — and for newer residents, present it to them for the first time — and see if there are any updates or improvements to be made.  To accomplish this, CBNO is assembling a large, diverse coalition of neighborhood, community, faith, business and other organizations into the CPP Coalition.  This group will help connect with residents all across the city, and also to work with city government to make sure that the final NOLA CPP is truly as inclusive and accessible as possible.  If your organization is interested in joining the CPP Coalition, email info@cbno.org.

To manage and guide the full CPP Coalition, CBNO is pulling together a core team of organizations.  This group will develop strategies, outreach plans, communications materials, and other key components of the overall NOLA CPP implementation campaign.  Core team members include:

Forum For Equality

Forward New Orleans

Mary Queen of Vietnam CDC

Neighborhoods Partnership Network

Puentes New Orleans

Urban League of Louisiana

The City of New Orleans Neighborhood Engagement Office will also be actively involved at this level.

The city’s present neighborhood boundary maps date from the 1970s and are completely obsolete.  The full importance of redrawing these neighborhood boundary maps can be found under the CPP Benefits Research section of this website.  However, having current, accurate boundary maps is essential not just for the CPP, but also for effective design and delivery of government services; equitable distribution of government, private sector and philanthropic resources; public safety, including crime prevention and emergency preparedness; economic development; and many other vital quality of life factors.

CBNO has developed and successfully piloted a method for redrawing the neighborhood boundaries that gives the greatest weight to the perspectives of the residents themselves.  CBNO is working with the City Planning Commission and the Neighborhood Engagement Office to begin this project in the first half of 2018.

CPP Major Supporters: