New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu has taken the oath of office for his second term. He used the Saenger Theatre for the inaugural address.
"My heart is full of hope," he told the crowd at the recently reopened venue.
He used the theater as an example of the progress made in his past four years.
"Look no further than this remarkable Saenger Theatre along with the new streets, playgrounds, police and fire stations, parks and libraries, which are now anchoring all of our neighborhoods," Landrieu said.
"We freed ourselves from death's grip," the mayor exclaimed.
Landrieu celebrated success in fighting violent crime.
"In 2010, New Orleans was America's murder capital, but no more. Murder is at a historic near 30 year low," according to the mayor.
He also touted big progress is reducing blight.
"In four short years, we went from having the worst blight problem in America to tearing down or fixing up blight faster than anywhere else in the country," Landrieu said.
The mayor stressed, however, that there is far more work to be done.
"Now together we must press on. We will not turn back. For our children's sake and for all those who will come after. Let's keep going, New Orleans. Let's take another step, New Orleans," he said.
He says the progress made so far has been the result of new unity in the city.
"The wounds of yesterday are starting to heal... differences of faith, race or neighborhood give way to higher common ground and to a shared humanity. This is the new way New Orleans, we have changed."
Landrieu called on everyone to continue working together.
"Let's create the city we always dreamed we could be, New Orleans. We have changed. We will win. We will press on. And we will not look back. Today is the first day of the rest of our lives. And our best days are yet to come. Let's get back to work."
The mayor is looking ahead to the 300th anniversary of the city's creation.
"Now we must focus our efforts as we look forward towards our 300th Anniversary in 2018. Our mission is to create a City of peace where everyone can thrive and no one is left behind. Four years from now may seem a long way away, but time flies. Those 1460 days will pass in a second."