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City Council Regular Meeting News Summary April 6, 2017

April 6, 2017

NEW ORLEANS - At today's meeting, the Council honored local business owners who provided tornado assistance, received a presentation recognizing the work of the Louisiana Consular Corps, and approved railroad safety measures.

Additionally, the Council approved a series of ordinances pertaining to the redevelopment of the former Veterans Affairs hospital site into a new low-barrier homeless shelter and passed a resolution declaring April as Fair Housing Month.



Local Business Owners Recognized for Tornado Relief Efforts

The Council recognized local business owners and community representatives for their generosity in supplying thousands of dinners in the wake of the devastating EF-3 tornado that touched down in New Orleans East earlier this year. 

Some of those recognized by the Council today included Claude Davis of Zatarain's, Justin Kennedy of Parkway Bakery, Eddie Rashad of Discount Zone, Phylis Lucy of Deanies Restaurant, Larry Miller of Compere Lapin, Lenora Hingle of Lenora's Grill and Michael and Suzette Dummett of Big Shirley's.

"The people of New Orleans are the real heroes in all of this," said District "E" Councilmember Gray. "Before federal and state officials mobilized, or any official assistance reached New Orleans East, the people and all of you here today were on the ground in our communities helping family, friends and your neighbors out of this crisis. Thank you for demonstrating once again that together we can and will overcome anything that comes our way."

 

Louisiana Consular Corps Presentation

As the first order of business today, the Council received a presentation from Gregor Trumel, Hon. Consular General of France, and President of the Consular Corps of Louisiana, recognizing the contributions of the Louisiana Consular Corps and the importance of the international community in New Orleans.

The Louisiana Consular Corps works closely with leading state, federal, regional and local economic development organizations to identify and foster trade and commercial opportunities between nations.

Today there are 59 operating career and honorary consulates in Louisiana, serving countries on five continents. According to the presentation, the Louisiana Consular Corps is the largest in the country. Notably, several countries in Africa recently opted to open Consulates in Louisiana for the first time in history. Other nations such as Hungary, Lithuania, and Tanzania have named Honorary Consuls in Louisiana, with pending appointments to represent Georgia, Poland and Slovakia.

 

Low-Barrier Homeless Shelter Ordinances Approved

The Council voted to approve a series of ordinances pertaining to the redevelopment of an area within the former Veterans Affairs hospital site in downtown New Orleans into a new low-barrier homeless shelter. 

The first ordinance authorizes the Mayor to enter into a Cooperative Endeavor Agreement between the City, the Downtown Development District (DDD), and the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. This agreement enhances public services available to the City's homeless population through collaborating in the design, remodeling, operation and funding of a low barrier shelter.

Additionally, two separate ordinances were passed allocating state and federal funds toward the estimated $1.5 million a year project. 

"I am very excited about the culmination of the low-barrier shelter," said District "B" Councilmember Cantrell. "Years of hard work have gone into its creation. Thank you to everyone here today, especially to those from the New Orleans Police Department and Emergency Medical Services, who've worked tirelessly to make this low-barrier shelter a reality."

The new 100-bed shelter will be constructed on the floor above the resource center at 1530 Gravier St. and will be accessible seven days a week, 24 hours a day. Furthermore, entry will be permitted without sobriety tests or admission fees, and it will allow for longer stays than traditional shelters.

"I am delighted that this important project is moving forward," said Council President Stacy Head. "A shelter such as this is badly needed in New Orleans. Locating the low barrier shelter above the CRRC will be a great expansion of services that I hope will provide helpful resources to those in need and reduce homelessness in New Orleans."

 

April Declared as Fair Housing Month

The Council adopted a resolution by District "D" Councilmember Brossett, which recognizes April as Fair Housing Month. April has been designated as Fair Housing Month throughout the U.S. to celebrate the anniversary of the passing of the Fair Housing Act and in remembrance of the assassination of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Housing discrimination and living patterns remain a challenge in the City of New Orleans, with a recent study of New Orleans neighborhoods finding that 44 percent of African-American mystery shoppers were treated less favorably than their white counterparts. 

This resolution reflects the City's efforts in recent years to move toward a more affordable and equitable housing market. In partnership with City officials, the New Orleans Housing Authority submitted the nation's first Assessment of Fair Housing to the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, making New Orleans a model for other communities.

The resolution encourages the Council to pursue public policies that increase equal access to quality housing and diverse neighborhoods for all residents citywide. To see the resolution in its entirety, click here.

"Nearly 50 years after the Fair Housing Act was passed, it remains a powerful tool in fighting discrimination," said Councilmember Brossett. "It helps ensure that every person has a fair chance at decent housing without prejudice. It's important that we recognize what this legislation represented and that we continue to be committed to this cause."

 

Railroad Safety Training Measures Approved

The Council passed an ordinance authorizing the Mayor to enter into a Cooperative Endeavor Agreement between the City and the Public Belt Railroad Commission (PBRR) for the purpose of enhancing public safety through the cross-training of New Orleans Fire Department (NOFD) and PBRR employees.

This agreement will facilitate more effective and better-coordinated emergency response efforts along the railroad tracks following recent railroad-related deaths.

 

 
  
 

Local Business Owners Recognized for Tornado Relief Efforts

Louisiana Consular Corps Presentation

Low-Barrier Homeless Shelter Ordinances Approved

April Declared as Fair Housing Month

Railroad Safety Training Measures Approved

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Information presented by the New Orleans City CouncilDavid S. Gavlinski, Interim Chief of StaffCouncil Information (504) 658-1000Clerk of Council (504) 658-1085
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