We frequently hear about the “revitalization of New Orleans East,” but what does that mean? What does it mean to a mother of three young children, or to a recent high school graduate?

In the case of the new Wal-Mart store, set to open on Wednesday, it means more than 300 new jobs. It means access to fresh produce and affordable pharmacy services. It means adding tax dollars to the local economy.

In the case of the New Orleans East hospital, it means access to critically needed medical services. It means increased access to surgical and emergency services, patient education and social services.

As president of the Eastern New Orleans Neighborhood Advisory Commission, or ENONAC, it is my responsibility to advocate for the New Orleans East community. But it is more than just my responsibility. New Orleans East is also my home and the people of the East are my neighbors, my friends and my family.

We have worked diligently to improve and maintain a high quality of life in New Orleans East and the many new developments in our community are a direct result of those efforts. Many have doubted us along the way, but corporations such as Wal-Mart demonstrated their faith in New Orleans East.

These votes of confidence will spur other corporations and investors to see the truth: Eastern New Orleans is open for business.

Sylvia Scineaux Richard

president, East New Orleans Neighborhood Advisory Commission

New Orleans