New Orleanians of the Year


Founders, the St. Bernard Project


Since the storm three and a half years ago, often it's been citizens who have led the way in the city's recovery — because no one else was stepping up to the plate to do it for us. Our New Orleanians of the Year exemplify that gutsy DIY spirit.

  Liz McCartney and Zack Rosenburg founded the St. Bernard Project in March 2006. Since then, they and their volunteers have built 156 homes in St. Bernard Parish, all of which are occupied — while not a single Louisiana family has moved into a Katrina cottage. In November, CNN viewers, casting more than a million votes, named McCartney the network's "Hero of the Year."

  Karen Gadbois, armed with little more than a laptop and a digital camera, singlehandedly blew the whistle on the New Orleans Affordable Housing scandal, which she documented on her blog, The result? An FBI investigation, admiring writeups of her efforts in The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal, and new respect for the power of the citizen blogger.

  In a year when grassroots activism and online organizing played a large role in selecting a new president, The Gambit is pleased to recognize Liz McCartney, Zack Rosenburg and Karen Gadbois as its New Orleanians of the Year.

Past New Orleanians of the Year

1983 — Joe Canizaro

1984 — Darryl Berger

1985 — Gary Groesch

1986 — Oliver Houck

1987 — Tom Benson

1988 — Dr. Mervin Trail

1989 — Pat and Phyllis Taylor

1990 — Lindy Boggs

1991 — Jim Bob Moffett

1992 — Ian Arnof

1993 — Larry Lundy

1994 — Roger Ogden and Sister Jane Remson

1995 — Ron Forman

1996 — James Monroe and Barbara Major

1997 — E.J. Ourso

1998 — Ray Nagin and Rob Couhig

1999 — Gregory O'Brien

2000 — Dr. Betsy Dresser

2001 — The Rev. Harry Tompson

2002 — Jeri Nims and Doug Thornton

2003 — Bill Goldring

2004 — Citizen Soldiers: Reservists in the Middle East

2005 — First Responders

2006 — Frank Glaviano

2007 — Norman C. Francis


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