Proposal to Rebuild New Orleans_Post Katrina


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This was my first attempt to bring ideas for rebuilding New Orleans to the City Council (November 17, 2005). The ideas were unanimously affirmed by the City Council, and they also decided to adopt one of the recommendations ON-THE-SPOT by the City Council President (Oliver Thomas). They also agreed to seriously consider the other proposals. The City Council was so impressed by this initial presentation that they invited me to return a month later (Dec 15, 2005) to expand my presentation. Their enthusiasm disappeared when they (City Council, primarily through the influence of Councilwoman Cynthia Willard-Lewis) discovered that I was a Conservative Republican. All subsequent attempts to bring forth ideas were thwarted by the Liberal Democrat-led City Council (from Dec 2005 through my last attempt in Sep 2007). Today (as of Oct 2012), the Lower 9th Ward continues to languish.

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Proposal to Rebuild New Orleans_Post Katrina

  1. 1. Recommended Strategy for rebuilding New Orleans Mayor C. Ray Nagin Ideas for Today and TomorrowSubmitted by Bill Randall (former Lower 9th Ward resident)Presented to the NOLA City Council on November 17, 2005
  2. 2. 2005 New Orleans City Council Eddie L. Sapir Vice President Cynthia Hedge- Morrell President Oliver ThomasJohn A. Batt Renee’ Gill-Pratt Jacqueline Cynthia Brechtel-Clarkson Willard-Lewis
  3. 3. Purpose This presentation covers proposals that may have been beneficial to the rebuilding process in New Orleans. These recommendations were initially presented to the New Orleans City Council on Nov 17, 2005. Many of the following recommendations were likely to have already been submitted via various forums and media. Therefore, redundancies were inevitable.
  4. 4. Goals and Objectives Congressional approval of appropriations is contingent upon the breadth and depth of Louisiana leadership. Coherent plans would undoubtedly help secure timely release of funds. The recommendations in this presentation are intended to provide a workable, feasible approach to help accelerate and expedite the recovery process. Some of the ideas involve unprecedented innovation, and may have necessitated a shift in traditional thinking.
  5. 5. Topic: “Gridded Metro Renewal” This approach would help restore key sections of the Metro area in a phased process. This plan facilitates rapid restoration by first developing major avenues and intersections across the metropolitan area in a systematic process that gradually fills-in lower priority areas after building (reconstructing/renovating) major metropolitan areas.
  6. 6. Topic: “Flood-resistant barriers” The flood barriers would be set up prior to periods of potential flooding. Activation could also protect homes during heavy downpours (with severe thunderstorms) as well as threatening periods associated with tropical storms and hurricanes. Various commercial versions are already available on the market.
  7. 7. Topic: “Micro Investment Partnerships” This innovative, cooperative venture relies on partnership with investment companies to make stock trading more accessible to individuals with very little capital. This would provide a viable alternative to gambling, and be a win- win situation for all parties concerned. It would require legal and legislative assistance to overcome bureaucratic obstacles.
  8. 8. Topic: “Interstate 510 (I-510) Extension”  Continue the I-510 bypass through Chalmette (St. Bernard Parish), into Orleans Parish (Lower 9th Ward) via Judge Perez/ Claiborne Ave.  Establish Lower 9th Ward exits at Delery St., Caffin Ave, & Forstall Ave.  Build a “high rise” across the Industrial Canal; concurrently demolish the Judge William Seeber (Claiborne Ave.) bridge.  Rename Flood St. “Vigilance Drive.”
  9. 9. Topic: “USA Partnership Ventures” Establish an ad campaign to encourage other cities across the USA to form a partnership with New Orleans: Cities whose names have the following words in their name are especially encouraged to participate by adopting a small section of The Big Easy that needs to be rebuilt: a. “crescent” b. “city” c. “new” d. “Orleans e. “big” f. “easy” g. “Cajun” h. “French”
  10. 10. Topic: “Collective Brainstorming Website” Domain: “HELPBIGEASY.COM” Website would have several portals, and secure chat areas to facilitate a SUBSTANTIVE discussion of ideas. This would provide a tremendous pool of innovative ideas, some of which may show great promise.
  11. 11. Topic: “Louisiana Tax Code” Revise the state & local tax code to: a. eliminate extraneous deductions b. reduce the tax burden for individuals and investors This would enable Louisiana to attract businesses to develop/ establish their manufacturing plants, corporate headquarters, etc. in the city/state. Other states that have shown success in this realm could be consulted (e.g.: OH, FL, NC).
  12. 12. Topic: “Family-strengthening initiatives” The two-parent family is one institution that (statistically) has proven to be a tremendous deterrent to crime and delinquency. While not as statistically solvent, single parent families also need support in the myriad of challenges they face in the area of child-rearing. Organizations that help strengthen families (particularly those helping to maintain the integrity of two-parent families) should be supported and promoted.
  13. 13. Topic: “Community Liaison Representative” Divide metro area into subregions, and organize “Neighborhood Action Committees” (NACs) that monitor and work cooperatively with city agencies and officials. NACs would summarize their findings and recommendations, and forward them to City Council members for further review. All noteworthy ideas given due credit.
  14. 14. Topic: “Krewe of Remembrance” New Orleans’ storied past (good as well as tragic) is interesting and unique. A parade that commemorates this would be most fitting. Parade to start (6 AM) at Poland Ave. & N. Claiborne, and proceed to Canal St. Float themes should cover a myriad of New Orleans cultural subjects, as well as various floats (featured at beginning, middle and end) that highlight the historical (PAST), current (PRESENT) and (FUTURE) legacy of New Orleans.
  15. 15. Topic: “Krewe of Remembrance” (cont’d.) Themes to be decided by a steering committee comprised of: 1 retired school teacher, 1 high school teacher, 1 class president from major univ., 1 class president from a local H.S., 1 local businessman, 1 local businesswoman, and 1 news reporter (any media) Names from each category chosen via random drawing.
  16. 16. Topic: “Plan of Actions & Milestones” A detailed outline of the recovery plan should be documented in a format that is easy to track. This POA&M would be reviewed periodically (weekly: Fridays) to ensure that timelines are being met. Results to be published in Times Picayune Sunday edition.
  17. 17. Topic: “Minimizing Storm Surge” Construct SE Louisiana “breakwaters” with access Point lighthouses. Deep water ocean waves approaching the coast create sizeable storm surge. Carefully engineered barriers (“breakwaters”) within 10 miles of the SE Louisiana coast with narrow (5 mile wide) seaward/inland passes would significantly abate storm-generated waves. (cont’d)
  18. 18. Topic: “Minimizing Storm Surge” (cont’d.) This would minimize storm from the southeast. Another idea that has already been discussed (in other circles) is an ADVANCE opening of the spillway to relieve pressure on the northern levees (along Lake Ponchatrain).
  19. 19. Topic: “Refinery Residential Protection” The tragic saga of residential areas that were devastated by the environmental disaster (refinery sludge) in St. Bernard Parish should never be repeated. An initiative that could help in the future would be: a) earmark 0.5% of taxes from oil refinery production in St. Bernard Parish in a parish trust fund to be used for parish citizens/homeowners & business owners; (cont’d)
  20. 20. Topic:“Refinery Residential Protection” (cont’d) b) form “Citizens Awareness Advisory Group;” c) create an “eco-barrier” around the refinery perimeter that would effectively contain any environmental waste and/or spills.
  21. 21. Topic: “Community Work Projects” Require that ten percent (10%) of neighborhood work projects that require unskilled, skilled and technical labor be opened to area residents, enabling them to earn extra money with part time employment. An eight-hour basic manual labor techniques, administrative procedures, and general safety requirements course (offered free) would be required prior to citizen employment in the projects.
  22. 22. Topic: “Monorail” Construct a monorail route from New Orleans International (Louis Armstrong) airport to the Central Business District (CBD).
  23. 23. Topic: “Tourist Cultural Attraction Expansion” Use Vieux Carre’ as the central Tourism hub, and design four other areas with cultural attractions (centered approx. 10 miles NE, SE, SW, NW of the French Quarter), tourist shops, open air markets, lodging and easy access off major highways and/or interstate.
  24. 24. Topic: “Small Business Symposium” If New Orleans (and vicinity) is to come back in a robust fashion, it must ride a surging tide of small businesses. One major complaint of low-income residents that are now displaced is that New Orleans was a city of the “haves” and “have-nots.” If small businesses thrive, then the local economy would become vibrant, and commensurate wages would increase. (cont’d)
  25. 25. Topic: “Small Business Symposium” (cont’d) The Small Business Administration (SBA) initiative that will process SBA loans through private banks is a huge (recent) development. If all parties involved in the recovery effort had one collective voice in the process of “leveling the playing field,” New Orleans would transform the portions of the city with a blighted economic past into a model that other cities in the USA would do well to emulate.
  26. 26. Topic: “Quality of Life” Wages of teachers and law enforcement officers must come up to the national average. The alternative is unacceptable, which is:  a lower standard of education,  an unqualified cadre’ of teachers, and  a demoralized police force.
  27. 27. Topic: “Superdome or Alternative”We should not forget that it was Louisiana legislature,Congressman Hale Boggs and Gov. John McKeithen who set thestandard for modern-day sports arenas when it opened theLouisiana Superdome™. The bar was set so high that theSuperdome’s usefulness (and technical potential) has enduredfor over three decades. (cont’d)
  28. 28. Topic: “Superdome or Alternative” (cont’d)Now is the time to solicit solid corporate sponsors, and haveLouisiana raise the bar to an unprecedented level. With carefulconsultation (marketing, technology, engineering, etc.), the BayouState can once again be the host of the Super Bowl, Final Fourtournaments, and a myriad of other events on a regular basis(without being second-guessed or placed under undue scrutiny bywould-be approving authorities).
  29. 29. Topic: “Superdome or Alternative” (cont’d)Implementation of the aforementioned recommendations is adaunting (but NOT impossible) proposition. By taking a visionaryapproach to this recovery, we will ensure the health and prosperityfor our children and grandchildren. And by so doing, the firstresponse when national entities plan events, they would be willingto wait in line for 5 years. Then, the standard national querywould be: “Is there any chance New Orleans is available?”
  30. 30. Supplemental Recommendation
  31. 31. Topic: “Business Tri-Share” Allow firms and businesses to access commercial real estate (offices, buildings, etc.) on a time-shared basis. Overall lease expense is determined up front. Amount paid is pro-rated based on which 8-hour slot is leased (The following example is based on $2,000/month lease amount): A: 6:00 AM – 2:00 PM 45% ($900.00) B: 2:00 PM – 10:00 PM 35% ($700.00) C: 10:00 PM – 6:00 AM 20% ($400.00)
  32. 32. Our neighborhood (before & after Katrina) <<<<Before Katrina (1976): View from our side yard looking across the street.After Katrina (2006): >>>>View from our side yardlooking across the street.
  33. 33. Total citizen involvement will inspire a full NOLA recovery! Thank you for your time and attention!