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City Council Meeting News Summary August 9, 2018

August 9, 2018

At today's regular City Council meeting, the Council heard a series of presentations from the A.L. Davis Panthers football team, Louisiana Center for Children's Rights (LCCR), Institute of Women and Ethnic Studies (IWES), and Children's Bureau of New Orleans, and adopted a resolution to advance a more collaborative approach to trauma-informed services for children. The Council also approved a motion directing the City Planning Commission (CPC) to incorporate recommendations and initiatives in the Smart Housing Mix Ordinance Study, passed an ordinance to change the composition of the Sewerage and Water Board (S&WB), and adopted a resolution encouraging transit partners to work collectively to address the need for regional transit routes.



Council Hears Presentations and Adopts Resolution on Trauma-Informed Services for Children

As part of today's first order of business, the Council heard from Shawn Scott and Domisheka Hankton discussing the recent Times-Picayune/Nola.com series "Children of Central City" and its impact on their community. Scott is the head coach of the A.L. Davis Panthers, a football team for children between 9-10 years old at Central City's A.L. Davis Park. In this role, he uses his time and experience to offer neighborhood children an alternative to life on the streets and prevent them from entering into cycles of retaliatory violence. In a statement to Nola.com, Scott and Hankton said that through football, they are finally returning the park to families and offering kids an outlet for the trauma that comes with growing up in Central City.

A.L. Davis Panthers Football Team presenting to the Council

As the second order of business, the Council heard from Rachel Gassert and Heather Kindschy of LCCR on the need for trauma-informed approaches for kids in the juvenile justice system and presented them with a proclamation for their work in juvenile justice reform. Following that presentation, the Council also recognized IWES and the Children's Bureau, who further stressed the needs and opportunities to advance a more collaborative approach to trauma-informed services. Following the presentations, the Council adopted a resolution requesting the Children and Youth Planning Board examine issues surrounding Childhood Trauma and provide recommendations.

IWES & Children's Bureau of New Orleans (left) and LCCR (right) receiving Council proclamations

 

CPC to Incorporate Smart Housing Mix Recommendations

The Council approved Motion M-18-320 directing the CPC to incorporate certain recommendations and initiatives contained in the Smart Housing Mix Ordinance Study. Specifically, the motion provides recommended Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance (CZO) text amendments to capture three potential mandatory inclusionary zoning initiatives: establish a mandatory inclusionary zoning overlay district, create a new mandatory inclusionary base zoning district, and create a mandatory inclusionary zoning planned development classification.

The Council requested the Smart Housing Mix Study through Motion M-16-490, which directed the CPC to conduct a public hearing and study on the creation and implementation of a Smart Housing Mix Ordinance that leverages market rate development activity to build and preserve lower-priced housing. The Smart Housing Mix seeks to expand affordable housing in developing neighborhoods by ensuring a percentage of new units are affordable for the average worker while also providing developers with incentives to build those units.

To learn more about the Smart Housing Mix, click here.

 

Resolution Adopted to Support Regional Transit Routes

The Council adopted a resolution encouraging the RTA, New Orleans Office of Transportation, Jefferson Parish Department of Transit Administration, and Jefferson Transit to work collectively to address the need for regional transit routes. As stated in the resolution, it is imperative to establish regional connectivity, inclusive of Orleans and Jefferson Parishes, to build a qualified workforce, promote energy conservation, establish consistency with other transportation projects, enhance quality of life, and improve access to opportunity for all.

This measure represents ongoing efforts by the Council to further integrate and streamline transit routes. In September 2016, District "D" Councilmember and then-Transportation Chair Jared Brossett authored a resolution supporting the reinstatement of the Inter-Parish Day Ride Program to ease the burden on commuters who had been required to pay separate fares since the program was discontinued following Hurricane Katrina. Earlier this year, the RTA Board of Directors approved this initiative, agreeing to a six-month reinstatement trial period during which residents would have the ability to purchase a single pass for public transportation across parish lines.

Steady job growth, particularly in the healthcare industry, has fueled an even greater demand for transit connectivity between job hubs such as the University Medical Center in New Orleans and the Ochsner Medical Center in Jefferson Parish. A successful regional transportation strategy should include these types of regional transit connections and ensure public transportation does not end at parish lines by diminishing the travel costs associated with separate fare systems.

 

Council Takes Step Toward Changing S&WB Composition

The Council passed an ordinance calling an election on Dec. 8, 2018, at which a proposal to amend the City's Home Rule Charter to change the composition of the S&WB will be submitted to electors. The ballot will ask voters to answer the following question in regards to the S&WB's makeup:

"Shall section 5-301 of the Home Rule Charter of the City of New Orleans be amended to change the composition of the membership of the Sewerage and Water Board to remove one citizen member and include the Chair of the Public Works, Sanitation, and Environment Committee of the New Orleans City Council or its successor committee, a member of the committee appointed by the chair, or a civil engineer appointed by the chair?"

The election will take place between the hours of 7-8 a.m. per the state's General Election laws.

 

 
  
 

Council Hears Presentations and Adopts Resolution on Trauma-Informed Services for Children

CPC to Incorporate Smart Housing Mix Recommendations

Resolution Adopted to Support Regional Transit Routes

Council Takes Step Toward Changing S&WB Composition

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