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Street Renaming Commission Recommends Name Changes for 37 Streets, Public Spaces in Final Report

The New Orleans City Council Street Renaming Commission (CCSRC) has submitted its final report to the Council outlining recommendations for 37 streets, parks and public places honoring White supremacists across the city.

The nine-member CCSRC was established June 2020, with the primary responsibility of ensuring stakeholder engagement in the renaming process.

The Commission has held 12 commission meetings, hosted nine neighborhood engagement sessions, and received a total of 1,244 public comment submissions. Since submitting its initial report to the Council in November, the CCSRC continued to engage members of the public and community partners to help solidify its final set of recommendations.

“This was a massive undertaking; one that was made possible through the tireless efforts of our volunteer commissioners, Council staff, and the fantastic team of historians, researchers, and academics, who provided the foundation that allowed us to do this work,” says Commission Chairman Karl J. Connor. “In order for New Orleans to move forward toward a better future, we must first seek to understand and address the wrongs of our past. And while this report represents a historic first step, there is still much to be done and even more to be learned in order to ensure the racial healing owed to our great city. It has always been my experience that meaningful change occurs at the intersection of passion, pain, profit and policy, and that is exactly where we find ourselves today.”

While the ultimate decisions lie with the City Council, its recent approval and ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the renaming of Jefferson Davis Parkway in honor of Norman C. Francis have demonstrated its commitment to not only discussing but enacting these types of changes across the City of New Orleans.

Upon being selected and confirmed, all recommended streets, parks or places for renaming will be sent for review by the City Planning Commission (CPC) prior to coming up for a final vote of approval by the Council.

COVID-19 Meal Program Enters Its Ninth Month

The City of New Orleans recently announced that the COVID-19 Meal Assistance Program will continue to run until at least Mar. 31, bringing the program into its ninth month. The program is operated in partnership with the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

This emergency food program serves New Orleans residents by reducing the likelihood of COVID-19 exposure for at-risk residents, including seniors, high-risk health individuals, residents who are COVID positive or are quarantining, homeless residents, and children under 18. The meal program delivers free, twice-daily, restaurant-made meals to New Orleanians in need. Currently, there are over 11,000 residents enrolled and there is plenty of capacity for new participants.

Residents are eligible if they meet any of the following criteria and are NOT receiving any other federal food support (including the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)): 

• Seniors age 65 and older 

• Adults with high-risk health conditions and special medical needs (Examples include pregnancy, smoking, asthma, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart or lung disease, obesity, cancer, compromised immune system, kidney disease, liver disease, HIV, AIDS, Sickle cell disease, and more.)  

• Individuals who test positive for COVID-19 or have been exposed and require isolation or quarantine  

• Homeless residents  

• Children under 18  

To apply, go to ready.nola.gov/meals or call 3-1-1. 

Mayor Cantrell Breaks Ground on $7.7 million NOPD 4th District Station in Algiers

Mayor LaToya Cantrell recently joined other officials to celebrate the start of construction on the New Orleans Police Department’s $7.7 million 4th District station in Algiers.

“This groundbreaking represents three major infrastructure projects in Algiers. We’re excited to begin construction on the new NOPD 4th District station and look forward to getting work started next door on the New Orleans Fire Department 8th District station. They both run along Wall Boulevard as one of the 11 corridors of the Moving New Orleans Bikes’ Algiers bikeway network that provides 11 miles of protected lanes across Algiers,” said Mayor Cantrell.

Funding for construction is nearly evenly divided between FEMA ($3.2 million), and City bonds ($4.5 million). The new station amenities include a reception area, community conference room, offices, break room, storage, locker room, showers, elevator, and ADA-accessible restrooms. The station will also have an elevated generator/mechanical platform, stormwater retention site elements, and energy-efficient HVAC system, energy-efficient appliances and LED lighting systems.

“I would like to thank Mayor Cantrell for her continued support of the men and women of the New Orleans Police Department,” said NOPD Superintendent Shaun Ferguson. It’s projects like this that demonstrate Mayor Cantrell continues to have our back and is behind us 100 percent. When the Mayor and City Council work to provide such a significant investment in NOPD, it is an enormous morale boost for our officers. Having two public safety agencies joined in the same complex will undoubtedly lead to better, more efficient communication and may very well lead to saving more lives.”

“This new, modern NOPD Fourth District Police Station . . . will use the latest technology to address the safety and emergency response rescue needs of the people it serves in Algiers,” said District C Councilwoman Kristin Gisleson Palmer. “It’s also a facility that the community can be proud of because it’s an example of the City’s continued effort to investing in public safety and ensuring every neighborhood is a better place to live, work and raise families.”

The City also broke ground recently on the new NOFD headquarters in Mid-City. And In the next few months, the City will have approximately $110 million worth of joint infrastructure projects going out to bid, including projects in Gentilly, New Orleans East, the Bywater, Mid-City, West End, and Uptown.

Under the Cantrell Administration, the City’s capital investment in facilities and parks in District C totals $48.1 million. Upcoming District C projects include improvements at the Treme Center, a $4.2 million renovation of the Behrman Center Pool, and the resurfacing of the Algiers Courthouse parking lot, which will add another $350,000 to the work done there. Work at the Treme Center is expected to start in the second quarter of the year. The other projects are expected to begin in the fourth quarter of 2021.

“The Algiers Economic Development Foundation is excited to celebrate today’s groundbreaking of the new 4th District New Orleans Police Department station,” said Kelsey Foster, executive director of the Algiers Economic Development Foundation. “We welcome the 4th District officers to their new home on Wall Boulevard, a central location where officers can connect to the entire Algiers community quickly and easily. We’re thrilled to see this major public investment in our community; our organization looks forward to continued partnership with the City of New Orleans and the NOPD 4th District.”

City Encourages Businesses to Apply for Parklet Program

The City of New Orleans is reminding local bar and restaurant owners about the Parklet Pilot Program. One component of the City’s Outdoor Dining initiative, the Parklet Pilot Program allows restaurants and bars to utilize on-street parking spaces in front of their restaurants and bars for additional seating. This can provide additional safe dining spaces for restaurants and bars while indoor occupancy limits are reduced due to COVID-19 restrictions. 

The permit application fee and meter rental fee have been waived until June 30. More information is available at www.nola.gov/parklets.

The Parklet Pilot Program has been available citywide since the end of October 2020 and is expected to run for as long as there are COVID-related occupancy restrictions in restaurants and bars. After that, the City is expecting to launch a permanent parklet program. Details regarding the transfer from pilot to permanent parklet program will be released as the permanent program is developed, but it will require re-permitting. The City will work to make that process as seamless as possible for pilot participants.

Pilot Parklets are required to provide a barrier along the active right-of-way. To aid in this expense, the City, in partnership with the New Orleans Business Alliance, has grants of up to $2,000 available to businesses on a first-come, first-served basis through April 15. Grant applications are available on outdoordiningnola.com. 

Restaurants and bars are eligible to apply for the permit during the pilot.

Permit and parking meter rental fees are waived during the pilot at least through June 30, 2021.

The pilot program will run for as long as there are COVID-related occupancy restrictions in restaurants and bars. And Outdoor Dining grants of up to $2,000 are available to interested businesses through April 15, 2021.

The City will be accepting applications for the pilot program through the City’s One-Stop Shop at https://onestopapp.nola.gov. If necessary, applications can instead be sent by email to outdoordining@nola.gov. Review the Pilot Program application requirements and a step-by-step overview of the process at www.nola.gov/parklets and view a copy of the application here.