Gentilly Girl- a part of the 99%

July 6, 2006

N.O. blazes trail for grant money

Filed under: Community Planning,Gentilly,New Orleans — Tags: , , — Morwen Madrigal @ 5:55 pm

This is certainly good for the rebuilding of the city. I’m glad the the LRA is not holding up the distribution of the Block Grants to homeowners pending a citywide Master Plan.

The first excerpt explains the LRA’s part, and the second concerns some of the Neighborhood Planning Associations.

Work on a combined recovery plan for New Orleans neighborhoods should be complete by December and could later gain the force of law if it prompts major changes to the city’s zoning ordinance or master land-use plan, officials said.

The project’s completion is scheduled for December, months after the Louisiana Recovery Authority is expected to begin doling out billions of dollars in rehabilitation grants and buyouts to individual homeowners, but that should not be cause for concern in New Orleans, said David Voelker, an LRA board member heavily involved in negotiations with city officials.

“They’re able to get them (grants) on the same timetable as before,” he said. “Most of those (homeowners) by now have a pretty good idea of what they want to do, so there’s not reason to hold them up.”

He added, however, that as the neighborhood-specific planning effort plays out through the fall, it may help homeowners still struggling with rebuilding choices.

‘Pivotal step’

Louisiana Recovery Authority officials have fretted that slow neighborhood planning in New Orleans left a gaping hole in their work on a regional blueprint for recovery. But Andy Kopplin, the agency’s executive director, on Wednesday praised negotiations for the so-called Unified New Orleans Neighborhood Plan.

“Our job at the LRA is not to plan for the vision of New Orleans,” Kopplin said.”


“The planning program will take into account independent planning efforts launched early in some neighborhoods, including Broadmoor, Gentilly and Lakeview. A flurry of planning initiatives launched in Gentilly through the Gentilly Civic Improvement Association, and affecting nearly two dozen neighborhoods, make that part of town a model for the citywide effort, officials said.

Decisions that neighborhood residents are now making on rebuilding their homes will influence planning for infrastructure improvements, whether they involve water lines or transit service, Bingler said.”


June 22, 2006

Festival of Neighborhoods- June 24th

Filed under: Community Planning,Gentilly,New Orleans,Think New Orleans — Tags: , — Morwen Madrigal @ 3:04 pm

Be there, or be square.

Festival of Neighborhoods

June 16, 2006

The War For New Orleans

Filed under: Gentilly,New Orleans — Morwen Madrigal @ 2:21 am

This is a news flash from “People Get Ready”. We here are getting ready to be back-doored:

Schroeder Jun 15, 2006 - Show original item

A colleague sent the following announcement:

I am urging you to attend an important meeting this Saturday, beginning at 8:30am, related to the final structure of the group that will oversee the official city-wide and neighborhood planning process.

It is to be held at the offices of the Greater New Orleans Foundation (GNOF):

1055 St. Charles Avenue, Suite 100 (this is the K&B Building located on Lee Circle across the street from the “Circle Bar”)

The phone number is: (504) 598-4663

As most of you know, the “planning process” is the means by which the City is to develop comprehensive rebuilding plans for infrastructure, public space and buildings, hazard mitigation, and large-scale housing (“buy-out” homes, abandoned and adjudicated property, etc.). These plans are then used to secure federal recovery funds allocated through LRA, other non-recovery federal grants, private investment, etc. In addition, the process should also be the means by which the city develops land use ordinances and other policies to implement recovery projects. For the above reasons, a unified process, with all branches of city government supporting and involved, is essential.

As you may also know, the beginnings of an official city-wide and neighborhood planning process has been taking shape for several weeks. The Rockefeller Foundation, in partnership with the Greater New Orleans Foundation, is funding and developing the framework for the planning process, through the efforts of Steven Bingler, LRA’s Orleans Parish Planning Coordinator, as well as with input from other groups and, presumably, city officials.

The lead entity in this process is to be the “Community Support Organization” (CS)). It will oversee the work of planning to be done for city-wide infrastructure projects and neighborhood redevelopment plans for the 13 planning districts of the city.

ON SATURDAY, THE FINAL STRUCTURE OF THE COMMUNITY SUPPORT ORGANIZATION IS TO BE APPROVED by the “New Orleans Support Board,” which was created through GNOF to develop the make-up of the Community Support Organization (CSO). The CSO is proposed to include:

(1) appointee from the Mayor’s Office

(1) appointee from the City Council

(1) appointee from the City Planning Commission

(1) appointee from GNOF

(2-4) appointees on behalf of “city-wide non-governmental organizations currently working to support the neighborhood planning process”

(5) appointees “selected from nominations submitted by individual neighborhood organizations.”


1) That you didn’t know about this meeting or the development of the CSO suggests that, while it is a good faith effort in moving forward, there remains a serious breakdown in public communication.

2) It has yet to be decided what rules will apply to the CSO for the structure of public meetings, dissemination of information, public notice and comment, and formal decision making (timelines, mandates, etc.)

3) The Council and Mayor have not official approved of this unified process. It cannot take place without their official approval.

4) It has still not been decided how the planning currently being done under the City Council’s contract with the “Lambert Group” will be incorporated into this unified process.

5) It has still not been decided how the numerous other non-profits, universities, and other groups, that are NOT APPOINTED TO THE CSO, will be able to formally advise this process and incorporate the volume of work that has already been done.

I am reaching out to you as respected, professional, and talented advocates who have been involved in this process. Your awareness of the process that is unfolding, and, more importantly, your informed involvement is critical to its success. Without you, and without a process that engenders the public’s trust and full involvement, our recovery as a city will be seriously diminished from what it could be otherwise.

May 26, 2006

I’m back online…

Okay… my laptop died a few days ago, or at lteast the power switch died. I’ve been almost insane since then.

Today Betts got her new IBM, and I got her laptop. This puter is different: there’s only one of them in the world. It’s a prototype for the company Betts works for. Life is good.

Speaking of prototypes, we here in the Isle d’Orleans have the once in a lifetime chance to be just that as we restore our homes, infrastructure and that strange life culture that flourishes in the old French-held territory along our part of the Gulf Coast.

We get to reinvent ourselves and our cities and towns. We have the chance to show the world how things can be done and still preserve our ways of life. New Orleans can flower into the best city on the globe. Our schools and universities can become cutting-edge, but… we have to be willing to dare to be creative.
Unfortunately, Willy Wonka announced his 100 day plan for N.O., and is calling for a revitalization of the BNOBC Plan. This cannot stand: It will kill our culture and replace it with the same old bland crap that litters America’s landscape. This must be fought against and forgotten.
Look at the concepts produced by the Gentilly Charrette. Think outside the old Neo-con money box. Let’s rebuild smart and inclusive of all here. Get rid of those damn Projects. Remove blight. Tell the carpetbaggers to go screw themselves. Bring everyone home…

It’s not going to be easy. There will be hurdles to jump, but I believe we can pull it off when no other place in this country could. We are special… New Orleans made us that way. Let’s celebrate and honor Her, and do the best damn job we can.


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