Other Group

New Orleans Coalition on Open Governance (NOCOG)

Website:

www.nocog.org

Location:

New Orleans, LA

Formation:

2009

New Orleans Coalition on Open Governance (NOCOG) was a former coalition of differing groups in New Orleans founded at the urging of George SorosOpen Society Network. The coalition was formed to support the re-building of the city after Hurricane Katrina and focused on economic and criminal justice funding and was involved in efforts to oppose rebuilding jails. The stated goal of the group was to promote transparency in the budgetary process of the city and raise public awareness and involvement.

History

New Orleans Coalition on Open Governance was formed in 2009 as a coalition of eight nonprofits after George SorosOpen Society Institute agreed to fund a coalition in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. [1] NOCOG was formed with a stated purpose of openness and accountability by bringing diverse stakeholders into the political process by increasing public information and data. [2]

Initial coalition members included the Public Affairs Research Council, Puentes New Orleans, VAYLA (Vietnamese American Young Leaders Association), the Lens (a journalism group), Neighborhoods Partnership Network, Committee for a Better New Orleans, and the Public Law Center of Tulane/Loyola Law Schools. [3]

Issues

NOCOG identified and explained public officials’ positions on policies and provided plain language explanation of legislation, examined spending for perceived deficiencies or lack of openness, and helped the public became more actively involved in local government. [4] NOCOG offered training to understand the public policy making process and how to access information. [5] The coalition established a database website of all New Orleans’ boards, commissions, and public entities with links. [6] The main focus of efforts was on budgeting in the criminal justice system. [7]

After Hurricane Katrina, the Orleans Parish Prison (OPP) sustained flood damage. [8] The issue of prisoner capacity was mitigated due to a loss of population. [9] However, by 2008 crime numbers began to increase and the City Planning Commission proposed building a new jail to replace the flood-damaged facility using Federal Emergency Management Agency funds at no cost to the city. [10] This idea was opposed by the New Orleans Coalition on Open Governance, the Workers Center for Racial Justice, and the Orleans Parish Prison Reform Coalition. [11]

In 2012 when the city council was to vote on the new jail, NOCOG coalition member the Lens learned that the city was not in compliance on requiring all police input when deciding on the new facility. [12] The coalition members informed each other and put out word within each group to rally attendance and filled the city council meeting. [13] This canceled the project and resulted in police just issuing summons rather than making arrests at pre-Katrina levels and forced the jail to release nearly 10 percent of lower-risk inmates who could not post bail. [14]

A 2019 published interview with the former communications director for New Orleans Coalition on Open Governance stated the coalition had formally disbanded. [15] A 2013 Open Society board member agenda stated the organization was winding down support for municipal transparency work in New Orleans. [16] As of September 2022, NOCOG maintains a pared down website on select issues. [17]

Finances

Funds for New Orleans Coalition on Open Governance were administered as part of the Greater New Orleans Foundation that acknowledged a partnership with the Open Society Institute. [18]

References

  1. McNulty, Ian. “Community Impact Series: New Orleans Coalition on Open Governance.” WWNO New Orleans Public Radio. June 12, 2012. Accessed September 24, 2022. https://www.wwno.org/community/2012-06-12/community-impact-series-new-orleans-coalition-on-open-governance; Duros, Sally. “Partnership Boosts Accountability in New Orleans.” Knight Digital Media Center. March 5, 2013. Accessed September 24, 2022. http://www.knightdigitalmediacenter.org/blogs/sduros/2013/03/partnership-boosts-accountability-new-orleans.html; “2009 Annual Report.” Greater New Orleans Foundation. 2009. Accessed September 24, 2022. https://www.gnof.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/GNOF_AR_2008-2008.pdf. ^
  2. Patterson, Ellen. “Our Mission.” New Orleans Coalition on Open Governance. July 25, 2018. Accessed September 24, 2022. http://www.nocog.org/our-mission/. ^
  3. “New Orleans Coalition on Open Governance.” National Freedom of Information Coalition. Accessed September 24, 2022. https://www.nfoic.org/wp-content/uploads/NOCOG-brief-description.pdf; McNulty, Ian. “Community Impact Series: New Orleans Coalition on Open Governance.” WWNO New Orleans Public Radio. June 12, 2012. Accessed September 24, 2022. https://www.wwno.org/community/2012-06-12/community-impact-series-new-orleans-coalition-on-open-governance. ^
  4. Patterson, Ellen. “Open Budgeting.” New Orleans Coalition on Open Governance. July 25, 2018. Accessed September 24, 2022. http://www.nocog.org/open-budgeting/. ^
  5. McNulty, Ian. “Community Impact Series: New Orleans Coalition on Open Governance.” WWNO New Orleans Public Radio. June 12, 2012. Accessed September 24, 2022. https://www.wwno.org/community/2012-06-12/community-impact-series-new-orleans-coalition-on-open-governance. ^
  6. Patterson, Ellen. “Satellite Governments.” New Orleans Coalition on Open Governance. July 25, 2018. Accessed September 24, 2022. http://www.nocog.org/satellite-governments/. ^
  7. “New Orleans Coalition on Open Governance.” National Freedom of Information Coalition. Accessed September 24, 2022. https://www.nfoic.org/wp-content/uploads/NOCOG-brief-description.pdf ^
  8. “New Orleans, 10 Years After Katrina.” Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. August 20, 2015. Accessed September 26, 2022. https://www.atlantafed.org/economy-matters/2015/08/20/new-orleans-10-years-after-katrina. ^
  9. “New Orleans, 10 Years After Katrina.” Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. August 20, 2015. Accessed September 26, 2022. https://www.atlantafed.org/economy-matters/2015/08/20/new-orleans-10-years-after-katrina. ^
  10. “New Orleans, 10 Years After Katrina.” Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. August 20, 2015. Accessed September 26, 2022. https://www.atlantafed.org/economy-matters/2015/08/20/new-orleans-10-years-after-katrina. ^
  11. “New Orleans, 10 Years After Katrina.” Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. August 20, 2015. Accessed September 26, 2022. https://www.atlantafed.org/economy-matters/2015/08/20/new-orleans-10-years-after-katrina. ^
  12. McNulty, Ian. “Community Impact Series: New Orleans Coalition on Open Governance.” WWNO New Orleans Public Radio. June 12, 2012. Accessed September 24, 2022. https://www.wwno.org/community/2012-06-12/community-impact-series-new-orleans-coalition-on-open-governance. ^
  13. McNulty, Ian. “Community Impact Series: New Orleans Coalition on Open Governance.” WWNO New Orleans Public Radio. June 12, 2012. Accessed September 24, 2022. https://www.wwno.org/community/2012-06-12/community-impact-series-new-orleans-coalition-on-open-governance. ^
  14. “New Orleans, 10 Years After Katrina.” Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. August 20, 2015. Accessed September 26, 2022. https://www.atlantafed.org/economy-matters/2015/08/20/new-orleans-10-years-after-katrina. ^
  15. Ophelia Soto, Ariana. “Tackling A Government Budget Through Community and Technology.” Coding It Forward. July 3, 2019. Accessed September 26, 2022. https://blog.codingitforward.com/tackling-a-city-budget-through-community-and-technology-1484ccf59d35. ^
  16. “Open Society U.S. Programs Board Meeting.” Open Society. September 3-4, 2013. Accessed September 26, 2022. https://capitalresearch.org/app/uploads/Open-Society-U.S.-Programs-Board-Meeting-September-3-4-2013.pdf. ^
  17. New Orleans Coalition on Open Governance. Accessed September 26, 2022. http://www.nocog.org. ^
  18. “2009 Annual Report.” Greater New Orleans Foundation. 2009. Accessed September 24, 2022. https://www.gnof.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/GNOF_AR_2008-2008.pdf ^
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New Orleans Coalition on Open Governance (NOCOG)


New Orleans, LA