City Council Resolution on the CPP

On Thursday October 21 the New Orleans City Council passed a resolution that affects the NOLA CPP. Please see this article from The Lens, the City Council meeting summary, and the description below for more information on the NOLA CPP and this resolution.

Following is an update on recent government actions regarding the NOLA-CPP, and some next steps for the project.  Please take the time to read through this, because the results of these actions make the next 6 – 8 months utterly crucial to our ability to provide the city of New Orleans with a world-class citizen participation program.

In September, the NOLA-CPP was formally submitted to the City Planning Commission.  However, without any hearing, announcement, or opportunity to present the work and answer questions about it, the Planning Commissioners (not the staff) apparently reject the NOLA-CPP outright.  No reasons have been given, but they have made it clear that they will not proceed with this work, despite the fact that it was done at their request.

Following this, a resolution was drawn up by City Councilmember Clarkson that would have directed the Planning Commission staff to start from scratch on developing a New Orleans CPP.  In a press release accompanying the resolution, Ms. Clarkson was quoted as saying “No one model will be considered.”  After a lot of communication with other Council members and members of Ms. Clarkson’s staff (and after deferral of the initial resolution), last Thursday an amended resolution was passed by the Council that directs the Planning Commission staff to set up a task force and conduct a six-month process that will result in a CPP model.  However, the amended resolution specifically states that this work will build on existing work on a CPP in New Orleans; and the Planning Commission staff has stated that this task force will be open to all who wish to participate.

This makes it vitally important that those many of you whose hard work, innovative thinking and overall inspiration led to development of the NOLA-CPP model be at the table for the Planning Commission task force. This will begin hopefully soon after the first of the year, so please take some time off until then; but right after the first of the year we will begin reconvening the Action Team and doing our best to make sure that these last two-plus years of citizen work are not in vain as the final New Orleans CPP is developed.

We will also be working on the following:

– Continuing the work of the pilot programs.  Despite the fact that every CPP in the world has an equivalent of the District Councils in the NOLA-CPP, there are still those who want to do away with them, and also people who want to reject the brilliantly innovative Communities of Interest.  The pilot programs will be essential in demonstrating the value of these concepts.

– Continue to outreach to neighborhoods and communities across the city.  Despite the tremendous amount of outreach to date, there are still those who are not aware of this work, and we need to continue to engage and inform them.

– Bringing leaders from other CPPs to New Orleans to help inform the community about how these programs work in other cities.

We will keep you informed about all this work, and will be counting on you to join us after the first of the year to make sure that the final result is an outstanding NOLA-CPP that serves all citizens fairly and equitably.  As always, your comments are very, very welcome.

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