MONDAY, JANUARY 25, 20164:45PM-7PM


On January 25th, 2016, Blights Out, in partnership with Justice and Beyond Coalition, and the Greater New Orleans Fair Housing Action Center, will host the first Citizen’s Development Forum of 2016 to collectively draft a Citizen’s Development Platform. Blights Out and partners invite citizens of New Orleans to join us as we envision, articulate and craft the People’s Plan for the future of development in New Orleans.

  • Why do we have blight? How can we turn blighted properties into assets for our communities?

  • How can we ensure that natives of New Orleans are not priced out of the city?

  • How can citizens gain more control over neighborhood development?

  • How can a right to return and permanently affordable housing be written into enforceable policy?

Our goals for this Forum are to:

  1. Outline the state of development in New Orleans today,

  2. Provide space for New Orleans residents to articulate injustices witnessed in their own lives in regards to housing and development politics, 

  3. Present examples of policy recommendation and solutions implemented by other US cities,

  4. Provide space for residents to articulate visions for the future of development in New Orleans.

In a follow-up forum, we will translate those visions into demands and design a creative action-oriented strategy for pushing policy.

Blights Out seeks the participation of stakeholders in the development of our city-- residents, community organizers, policy-makers, policy advocates, educators, urban planners, designers, architects, culture bearers, craftspeople, construction workers, and developers. We will privilege local voices and experiences but will welcome the global perspective of newcomers to our city. The Citizen’s Development Platform is the first stage of Blights Out’s BLIGHTS OUT FOR PRESIDENT campaign. 


Blights Out for President will utilize the visual forms and spatial strategies of election propaganda campaigns to embed a Citizen’s Development Platform into the electoral landscape. A series of “Citizen’s Development Fora” and informational workshops on housing rights and history will define injustices and articulate visions for the future. Performative and visual strategies will be used to drive policy. 

Timed to launch with the National Primaries in February 2016 and culminate with the November 2016 Presidential Election, the Platform will be anonymous and crowd-sourced under the umbrella of Blights Out, an alternative to top-down electoral politics that present the charismatic leader as the only viable political entity capable of effecting change. Blights Out for President will ask everyday citizens to position themselves as emergent leaders capable of visualizing and designing the course of their neighborhoods’ futures. 

BLIGHTS OUT FOR PRESIDENT is made possible thanks to the generous support of Press Street, The Joan Mitchell Foundation, and Art Matters.