Lucas Diaz is changing New Orleans from within. A longtime resident of the city, Diaz founded Puentes to serve as a voice for the often-overlooked Latino community. Puentes aims to build assets and create access to good jobs, quality education, safe streets, affordable housing, and economic opportunities for Latinos in the region.
Puentes is a founding member of the New Orleans Coalition on Open Governance, a developing collaboration of groups working to make the city’s government more transparent, responsive, and accountable. In this video, Diaz explains why open government has become a central part of his organization’s work.
In the five years since Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans and the levees broke, residents have developed innovative approaches to tackling some of the city’s—and the nation’s—most persistent problems: criminal justice reform, unresponsive government, and racial and economic inequality. In recognition of these efforts, during the month of August the Open Society Blog shines a light on people and organizations in New Orleans bringing change from within one of the country’s most important cities.