The mayor and the Ivy League



Busy day at New Orleans City Hall. Where's the mayor? Wowing 'em at Harvard...

New Orleans is successfully reinventing itself more than three years after it was devastated by Hurricane Katrina, Mayor Ray Nagin said Friday.

"Today we are finally at the point where we are at near pre-Katrina levels," Nagin said in an upbeat speech to about 100 people gathered for the Harvard Black Law Students Association annual spring conference.

About 75 percent of the city's residents have returned since the 2005 hurricane, and real-estate values and employment levels have grown every year since then, Nagin said.

The city also has $23 billion worth of construction projects that are designed, under contract or recently completed, he said.

"Shortly we will have the best hurricane protection system in the world," he said.

Poor world.

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