March NOLA CPP Newsletter

We just put out the March edition of the NOLA CPP Newsletter. You can click here to view the Newsletter. Included is a brief summary of The CPP Experience, an update of the NPP process, announcement of our April 4 Action Team Meeting, and more.


Action Team Meeting Monday, April 4 – Video Links

NOLA CPP Action Team Meeting

Monday, April 4th


CBNO office – 4902 Canal Street, Suite 300

The next NOLA CPP Action Team Meeting will be held on Monday, April 4. We will wrap up the Birmingham CPP leaders’ visit to New Orleans, provide an update of the City’s NPP Process, and discuss other important issues to the NOLA CPP.

The CPP Experience Videos

For those who were not able to attend any of The CPP Experience events with our guests from Birmingham. Don’t worry, we have video from our Town Hall Meeting on Saturday morning in Central City. Please go the NPN’s YouTube page for these videos.

Mayor Landrieu announces Lucas Diaz as Director of Office of Neighborhood Engagement

Congratulations to Lucas Diaz. Below is a press release from the New Orleans Mayor’s Office. Please note that Puentes is a partner organization of Committee for a Better New Orleans in the New Orleans Coalition on Open Governance (NOCOG).

NEW ORLEANS, LA -Today, Mayor Mitch Landrieu announced Lucas Diaz as Director of the Office of Neighborhood Engagement (ONE).

ONE will serve as the permanent mechanism for dialogue, information sharing, partnership and action with neighborhood residents, leaders and organizations to improve the quality of life for the residents of the City of New Orleans. ONE will create avenues of engagement through online and offline methods to provide open spaces for feedback on City initiatives. Finally, ONE will advance City priorities by partnering with neighborhood organizations and leaders, proactively facilitating dialogue and linking key individuals to solve problems at the community level and to ensure that they are solved with combined knowledge and efforts.

“Neighborhoods are the lifeblood of this City and the unity and engagement from within neighborhood organizations and involvement has driven much of our recovery and redevelopment,” said Mayor Landrieu. “The creation of the Office of Neighborhood Engagement is another initiative to promote stronger communication and involvement with our administration.”

As Director of the Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Engagement, Diaz will oversee efforts to connect local community organizations/residents with mutually beneficial initiatives to create a city that represents and serves all its citizens.

Diaz has over nine years experience working in the non-profit community. He was born in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic and immigrated as a child with his parents to Louisiana in 1977. He received his BA in English from Loyola University New Orleans and an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of New Orleans.

In February, 2007, Diaz co-founded Puentes New Orleans, Inc., an institution that has served the Latino community in the Greater New Orleans area. Puente’s initiatives have included civic engagement programs including LatiNola (which includes community outreach, volunteerism, and voter engagement and registration); first-time home-buyer training; public safety initiatives; community organizing programs; and, the development of policy/advocacy programs.

“The overall goal for the Office of Neighborhood Engagement will be to create and institute a plan to enable all New Orleanians to contribute to the future success of our City and its Citizens,” said Mayor Landrieu.

St Claude Avenue Design Charrette

“Enquiry by Design”
Wednesday, March 30 – Friday, April 1
The New Orleans Healing Center
2372 St. Claude Avenue

Building Community Capital for Shared Spaces
Communities are at the heart of everything.
Only by engaging can they shape their own destiny.

The St Roch, Marigny and Bywater Neighborhoods ‐ working together can protect and enhance individual identity and maximize social, financial, natural and built resources. The St. Claude corridor streetcar will be the impetus for growth. What form will it take?
This event will seek to initiate a new localism by identifying unique place‐based assets and finding creative ways to strengthen connections and opportunities for rebuilding of business, housing and culture.

Opening Presentation, March 30, 2011, 6:30 PM
Neighborhood Leadership, Wednesday, March 30, 10 AM
Resource Mapping, Thursday, March 31, 10 AM
Closing Review & Cultural Resource Presentation, Friday, April 1, 2011, 6:30 PM

The Preservation Resource Center (PRC) and the Prince’s Foundation for the Built Environment (PFBE) will welcome residents and businesses of the St. Roch, Marigny and Bywater neighborhoods during an “Enquiry by Design” (EBD) Opening Presentation at the New Orleans Healing Center at 2372 St. Claude Avenue, Wednesday, March 30 at 6:30 PM. The closing presentation on Friday at 6:30 will include a talk by Preservation Architect Bill Dupont on “Cultural Sustainability.”

London Architect Jon Allen will lead the 3-day Enquiry by Design to identify a set of doable “Urban Action Strategies” that neighborhoods can work on collaboratively. While separate neighborhood plans were prepared during the Master Plan process, the neighborhoods along St. Claude were never brought together to identify shared resources or discuss how they could build communal wealth.

St. Claude, with its proposed streetcar line, will likely be the primary impetus for investments in all three neighborhoods for the next 50 years. The EBD will develop a strategy to show how a regeneration plan that emphasizes “harmony” in rebuilding and that maximizes community connections can generate “nodes” of opportunity for new business and job creation.

The design team will identify walkable neighborhood “centers” – market, civic, cultural – and residents will be asked for input on community assets and how to enhance their identity at a Thursday, 10 AM, “Resource Mapping” exercise. Design solutions will include graphics and renderings for possible small and large redevelopment projects. One practical goal will be to pair resources, such as business entrepreneurs with property owners wanting to provide corner store locations or live-work opportunities. Apprentices of the Rebuilding Communities Craftsman Apprenticeship Program will participate, and the PRC and PFBE will seek neighborhood revitalization opportunities for graduate apprentices skilled in the traditional building arts.

The overall Prince’s Foundation strategy is to “Build Community Capital” by simultaneously considering all four community assets – the Natural, Social, Financial and Built Capital – that make up successful communities. The goal is to enhance existing qualities and strengthen the relationships between assets to maximize opportunities. The event was made possible by the National AIA Communities by Design, the National Trust, for Historic Preservation, the Prince’s Foundation for the Built Environment and the New Orleans Healing Center. For more information email Annie Irvin with the PRC at or call 504-636-3047.

The Design Team:
Jon Allen, London Architect, PFBE Instructor, New Orleans Craftsman Apprenticeship Program
Steve Mouzon, Town Architect and PFBE Instructor, Author of “The Original Green”
Paul Crabtree, Civil Engineer and Landscape Urbanist, PFBE and DPZ Haiti Rebuilding Plan
Bill Dupont: Historic Preservation and Cultural Landscape Architect
Gate Pratt, Architect, Urbanist and National Trust for Historic Preservation NOLA Representative
Ann Daigle, Urban Designer, Planner, Manager, PFBE-NO Craftsman Apprenticeship Program
Adrian Deckbar, Artist and PFBE Instructor, New Orleans Craftsman Apprenticeship Program
Pam Bryan, Director, Preservation Resource Center’s Operation Comeback
Wayne Troyer, Architect and Preservation Resource Center Board Member

Gentilly Open House This Saturday

Join the Beacon of Hope Resource Center and the GCIA for the Gentilly Open House on Saturday, March 26th, 11:00-1:30 at Edgewater Baptist Church.  Meet community leaders in your neighborhood, see each neighborhood’s recovery successes, hear strategies for the future of Gentilly, and enjoy a free lunch with your neighbors.  The first 50 households to attend will receive a Home Depot gift Card!  For more information and to register, visit our event page at  There are still a few Beacon neighborhoods who have not registered, so please do so.

PAR Reports on Redistricting and Transparency

The special legislative session on redistricting begins this week (March 20 – April 15th).  Congressional, House and Senate Seats, as well as BESE and the Supreme Court will be up for redistricting and constituents need to be well informed to have any possibility of giving public input.

Our partners at the Public Affairs Research Council of Louisiana (PAR) have released a report proposing ways to increase transparency and citizen confidence in the process of redistricting the state’s political maps. “Louisiana Redistricting: A 2011 Progress Report” makes key recommendations for the work now being undertaken by the Legislature to redraw the boundaries for Louisiana’s seats in Congress, the state House and Senate and other elected bodies.

PAR has also put together a short FAQ sheet that offers a plain-language explanation on redistricting.  The FAQ has been translated into Vietnamese with a Spanish translation soon to come.  Please review and make your voices heard on this very important legislative issue.

Summary of City Council Meeting

Please click on the link below for a summary of Thursday’s City Council meeting. Former Birmingham Mayor Bernard Kincaid, current Birmingham City Councilor Valerie Abbott, and Birmingham Director of the Office of Citizen Assistance Don Lupo spoke about their Citizen Participation Program.

City Council News