LIZ McCARTNEY and ZACK ROSENBURG
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, www.squanderedheritage.com. 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