Arnie Fielkow was elected Councilmember-at-Large in May 2006 and re-elected Councilmember-at-Large in February 2010. Through active leadership, Councilman Fielkow demonstrates the value he places on several fundamental areas of governance: economic development, good government reforms and youth and recreational issues.
Fielkow strives to build opportunities for sustainable business growth and retention, expansion of international trade in New Orleans, improving services and support for the city's small businesses, and the development of a downtown medical district. Councilman Fielkow has worked tirelessly to establish the city's first inclusive and collaborative economic development organization, a public-private partnership currently under design.
In his first year, Fielkow helped facilitate programs such as the Playground Partnership, a public-private partnership to clean up and rehabilitate the city's playgrounds. Councilman Fielkow also was instrumental in NCAA Football's decision to create a New Orleans Youth Football Initiative with $750,000 worth of equipment and services to the New Orleans Recreation Department's (NORD) football program, the largest donation in NORD history.
While NORD was once a national model for municipal recreation, it has deteriorated over the years from steady decreases in funding and leadership turnover. Together with community groups, citizens, and business leaders, Councilman Fielkow is leading an effort to reform and improve the city's recreation system. This is an ongoing effort, requiring input from all interested parties, and Councilman Fielkow feels strongly that nothing less than a reform of NORD will give all local youth the quality facilities, coaching and equipment that every child deserves regardless of neighborhood.
A particularly notable accomplishment from his first year in office was the enactment of legislation expediting the creation of an Office of Inspector General for the City of New Orleans. The Office of Inspector General is a critical position intended to ensure that every dollar of taxpayer's money is spent fairly and efficiently.
In both 2007 and 2008 citizens named Councilman Fielkow "Best New Orleans City Councilmember" according to Gambit Weekly. Fielkow also was identified as one of New Orleans Magazine's 2006 "People to Watch" and "Favorite Local Politician" in 2008. In 2009, Councilman Fielkow was branded "New Orleanian of the Year" and "Second Most-Admired (Male) New Orleanian" by the readers of New Orleans Magazine.
Councilman Fielkow's recognitions for civic and community contributions include the Anti-Defamation League's A.I. Botnick Torch of Liberty Award in 2007, the prestigious 2004 TOP Award ("Ten Outstanding Persons") and the 2003 Sanchez to Sanchez to Smith Award issued by Family Service of Greater New Orleans and the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.
Prior to his election to City Council, Fielkow spent the majority of his career in sports management and law. Most recently he served as Executive Vice President of the NFL's New Orleans Saints for six years. In this capacity, he served as the senior management official presiding over all administrative/business departments, including marketing, sales, regional development, governmental affairs, community relations, business media relations, and youth programs. Before joining the Saints, Fielkow was involved in Major League Baseball's player development system by serving as President and General Counsel of the historic Southern League of Professional Baseball Clubs and as President of Minor League Baseball's AA Association. Preceding his work in professional baseball, Fielkow served as Deputy Commissioner and General Counsel of the Continental Basketball Association, the official developmental league of the NBA.
Fielkow began his professional career as a practicing attorney in Chicago, and eventually co-founded the law firm of Grossman, Solomon, & Fielkow, P.C. A member of the Illinois and Wisconsin Bar associations, Fielkow has authored several legal and sports-related articles including, "Civil Rico: The Insurers Fight Back" and "CBA: A World of Opportunity," and is a frequent public speaker at national and local sports industry events.
Fielkow is a 1981 graduate of the University of Wisconsin School of Law and earned his B.A. degree with honors (Phi Beta Kappa) from Northwestern University.
Fielkow remains active in the New Orleans community, serving on the Board of Directors for Greater New Orleans, Inc., United Way of New Orleans, Each One, Save One, the World Trade Center of New Orleans, Audubon Commission, the Greater New Orleans Sports Foundation, Jewish Federation of Greater New Orleans, Touro Synagogue and the National Conference for Community and Justice. He also co-chaired the Sports Cluster for GNO, Inc., and was an executive committee member of the Super Bowl XXXVI Host Committee.
An avid sports fan, Fielkow played tennis on the collegiate level and was selected to the silver-medal winning United States men's basketball team at the 15th Maccabiah Games in Israel. Fielkow also serves as an active youth coach in the New Orleans Carrollton neighborhood program. He and his wife, Dr. Susan Fielkow, have three sons, Justin, Michael and Steven and two daughters, Yana Shira and Svetlana.
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