District C Newsletter January 2017
WELCOME TO 2017
Last year was an exciting and important year for the future of District C: from the Bywater and the Marigny to Tremé, from the French Quarter to Algiers. The new year is a time for taking stock, and a great opportunity to update you on what’s been happening throughout the district. We have accomplished so much together, and it is my great honor to continue working for you on the City Council. I look forward to all that we can accomplish together in 2017. — NADINE
On September 8, 2016 as part of Drive Electric Week, I offered two pieces of legislation to encourage the development of electric vehicles and remove barriers to their use and ownership. One was a resolution expressing the city council’s support of the environmental goals detailed in the master plan. Specifically, the council asked the city to install fast chargers on public property, incorporate electric vehicles into the city’s fleet, incentivize the installation of fast chargers in parking lots, study other appropriate policies to encourage the use of electric vehicles and remove barriers to electric vehicle ownership.
On November 17th, I asked for the council’s support to pass a text amendment to the Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance to allow an electric vehicle parking spot to be counted toward the parking requirements. Instead of penalizing developers for incorporating green infrastructure, we want to encourage its use. We have the full support of a broad coalition of individuals and groups, such as the Southeast Louisiana Clean Fuel Partnership, the Regional Planning Commission, the U.S. Green Building Council and the Algiers Point Association.
Two Great Football Teams:
One Amazing Year
Algiers has a proud football tradition, and added to it this year when, for the first time ever, two New Orleans public schools won state championships in the same year. Edna Karr and Landry-Walker, separated by only two miles, made the whole city proud as they both won state titles. At a press conference on January 12, Council Member Nadine Ramsey celebrated both teams and acknowledged their remarkable achievements. Each team proudly claimed four All-State players. Edna Karr standouts included Racey McMath, Aldon Clark (Louisiana 4A Offensive MVP), Tyler Casby, and Dai’jean Dixon. Landry Walker players on the All-State team included Keytaon Thompson (The Gatorade Louisiana Player of the Year and Louisiana 5A Offensive MVP), Corione Harris, Tevin Bush, and Devonta Jason. Landry-Walker’s Coach, Emanuel Powell, was named Louisiana 5A Coach of the Year. The accomplishments of these young men and their coaches are impressive, and showcase the talent and dedication of the Algiers community.
I supported the ordinance to extend the maximum age of taxi cabs. It is a small but significant step to even the playing field with transportation networks such as Uber. I am committed to working with the administration and the transportation chair to continue to institute the necessary and appropriate reforms to ensure fairness in the for-hire vehicle industry.
In 2016, the Council worked to address the growing problems associated with short-term rentals (most closely associated with companies such as AirBnB and VRBO).
The Council worked to strike the proper balance between property owners who ought to have the freedom to use their property responsibly and neighbors who ought to have the right to a neighborhood that isn’t plagued by illegal hotels and party houses.
Council Member Ramsey remarked on the complexity of the problem:
“The issue of whether to allow short-term rentals in the city has been one of the most difficult issues that I have had to deal with on the council. It goes to the most basic levels of people’s lives—their quality of life at home and their ability to support themselves.
I can understand not wanting to live next to a party house. I can also understand that people are relying on rental income to support their family and save for retirement…I, along with the administration, am committed to vigorous enforcement of the laws regulating short-term rentals.”
The new regulations maintain the prohibition on full-time whole-house rentals, limiting the number of days per year, and (because they are rarely problematic) granting considerable latitude for owner-occupied rentals such as half of a shotgun double. Crucial to effective enforcement of the new regulations, the legislation created a fee structure which will fund oversight and enforcement.
As final regulations were adopted, Council Member Ramsey reiterated her commitment to the process. “I will continue to be vigilant, as we all must be, in monitoring developments and working to keep the quality of life in New Orleans our first priority.”
I asked the Council to recognize November 15, 2016 as America Recycles Day. As New Orleans becomes one of the most resilient cities in the world, we must do so recognizing the importance of our environment, culture, and economy. And in this process, we are going to create jobs and build a better quality of life for all of our citizens. Recycling and reuse create at least nine times more jobs than landfills and incinerators, and as many as 30 times more jobs in the economy. This resolution recognized November 15, 2016 as America Recycles Day. Lifecity organized a workshop on recycling and a tour of the Republic recycling facility. We hope our citizens and businesses keep their eye towards the future and are inspired to build a stronger community for generations to come.
Specifically, what you can do is sign up at https://lifecity.givepulse.com/ to track your recycling and training efforts to help Sustain NOLA.
I’d like to thank all the participating businesses and sponsors. Especially Cynthia Sylvain Lear, director of the Department of Sanitation, and her staff. They have been fighting this fight for many years. We are all in to support those efforts and take them to the next level!
Deep South Studio
Coming Soon in Algiers: Deep South Studios is a new full-service motion picture, television and digital media production facility located in Algiers. Council Member Ramsey worked closely with the administration and studio to clear obstacles out of the way, and now the studio is moving forward. Algiers has many film-making advantages and a wide variety of settings. It’s also conveniently located near the Central Business District (CBD) and the world-renowned French Quarter for even more variety in filming locations. The new studio will be the largest design-built full-service independent film and television facility ever constructed in the southeastern United States.
St. Augustine Church
St. Augustine Church is of great importance to our district. It is the center of the culturally and historically rich Tremé neighborhood. I was proud to support and be at the launch of the 1st annual Tremé Festival which was put together to raise money to help with the restoration of the church. The festival kicked off with a patron on Friday, September 30 at the George and Joyce Wein Jazz and Heritage. On Saturday, October 1, attendees saw a day full day of live music, art, crafts, food, and more.
On Sunday, October 2 at 10 a.m., Gospel Mass was officiated by the Most Reverend Gregory Michael Aymond, Archbishop of New Orleans, to celebrate St. Augustine’s 175th Anniversary. Funds raised throughout the event will help St. Augustine and other historical non-profits in the community.
Breast Cancer Awareness
October was National Breast Cancer Awareness and I asked the council to acknowledge the brave men, women and families who battle this disease. As a breast cancer survivor, promoting breast cancer awareness is a very personal thing. I provided the council with some important information:
• The American Cancer Society estimates that there were 296,980 cases of breast cancer and 39,620 deaths from breast cancer in the United States last year.
• Women living in the U.S. have a 12% lifetime risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer. In other words, 1 out of every 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime.
• These are disturbingly high numbers and when they examined through the lens of race and class they are even more alarming.
• African Americans are 32% of the Louisiana population but account for 39% of breast cancer occurrences and 51% of breast cancer deaths in the state. Furthermore, Louisiana is among the states that have the highest mortality rate for African Americans from breast cancer.
• Statistics from the National Center for Health Statistics show a five-year survival rate 10 percentage points higher for the affluent, regardless of racial or ethnic groups. Early detection rates are lower and late stage detection rates are higher in high-poverty areas.
• Access to high quality care varies also by socioeconomic status. Poorer patients are less likely to receive radiation and breast conserving surgery than their more affluent counterparts.
What a momentous occasion to be celebrating 50 years of the Amistad Research Center. The Amistad Research Center was established in 1966 to document the civil rights era and expanded to include an archive of the history of slavery, African American community development and African American arts and culture. The Amistad Research Center is the oldest independent archive specializing in the history of African Americans and other ethnic minorities in the U.S. The holdings include the papers of artists, educators, authors, business leaders, clergy, lawyers, factory workers, farmers and musicians. The collection contains approximately 250,000 photographs dating from 1859. Housed at Tulane University, the archives are publicly accessible. The 50th anniversary celebration gala was held on September 30 at 6:30 pm at Dillard University.
Inspire NOLA gets
Inspire NOLA is the highest-performing charter management organization in New Orleans and is the only network with two A-graded schools. They expanded their impact in the 2015-16 school year, and are now serving over 2,400 students at 3 schools. 98% are minority, 87% are economically disadvantaged, and 14% receive special education services. Alice Harte, a K-8 school in Algiers, has once again demonstrated continued improvement across all subjects. Students continue to make great improvements in math, English and language arts, exceeding both statewide and citywide results. The leaders and teachers at Inspire NOLA schools, especially Harte, are setting an example for the whole city.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT!