Mayor’s Office Proposes an Alternative Scope of Work for the NPP/CPP Process

On June 23, 2011, the Mayor sent an alternative Scope of Work for the NPP/CPP process to the City Planning Commission (CPC). Yesterday, the NOLA CPP got a copy of this alternative Scope of Work. Here is a copy of the Mayor’s Letter to the CPC and here is a copy of the alternative NPP Scope of Work. The full text and timeline of the alternative NPP Scope of Work is below.

Alternative Scope of Work for Developing a Neighborhood Participation Program and a Land-Use Participation Process

General Framing Information
The City of New Orleans Neighborhood Participation Program (NPP) is a city-wide system for instituting, across all agencies and departments of city government (including public-private partnerships, boards, commissions, and special initiative task forces and working groups), organized, meaningful and effective neighborhood participation processes and/or policies.

The City of New Orleans NPP shall be developed as a comprehensive framework that will be instituted at the governmental decision-making unit level by all city governmental units making decisions that significantly affect any aspect of community life. Each city governmental unit will have the flexibility to determine the best method for applying the City’s NPP to achieve specified outcomes for neighborhood participation within that unit’s work plan. The City’s NPP long-term implementation goal (2-3 years) is to ensure that all city government units adopt, adhere to, continuously maintain, and improve practices, processes and policies that are aligned with the City’s NPP and meet the established standards for providing meaningful and effective neighborhood participation.

Stewardship (defined as ownership of coordination):
The City of New Orleans NPP will be annually coordinated, evaluated and updated by the Mayor’s Neighborhood Engagement Office. The Neighborhood Engagement Office, under its mission to ensure that each neighborhood has equal opportunity to work with government in finding solutions to address City priorities, has the expressed role of serving as city government’s permanent mechanism to create spaces for dialogue, information sharing, capacity growth, partnership and action with neighborhood residents, leaders & organizations.

Initial Implementation:
In response to the City of New Orleans Master Plan, Councilmember Jacquelyn Clarkson’s Resolution No. R-10-439, as well as the Home Rule Charter (Section 5-411) mandate to “establish by ordinance a system for organized and effective neighborhood participation in landuse decisions and other issues that affect quality of life” the Neighborhood Engagement Office will coordinate with the City Planning Commission to assist them in the development of a Land- Use Participation Process (LUPP) that is aligned with the values, guidelines and framework of the City’s NPP.

In so far as land-use decisions have significant impact on other quality of life issues, a comprehensive LUPP will serve as one of the key cornerstones for the implementation of the City’s NPP. Upon adoption of a final LUPP by City Council, the Neighborhood Engagement Office will coordinate with, monitor and evaluate implementation of LUPP by CPC. as well as implement additional participation processes in other priority areas, in a multi-phased format (outlined below).

City of New Orleans Neighborhood Participation Program Development Format

The City of New Orleans Neighborhood Participation Program (NPP) will be developed in four phases over a period of fifteen months, from July 2011 to September 2012. which are outlined below as follows:

Phase I—Framework Development of City’s NPP
July to September 2011

Phase II—Development of Land-Use Participation Process
October 2011 to February 2012

Phase III—Limited Implementation of the City’s NPP
(LUPP, criminal justice, budget, other priority areas)
March 2012-September 2012

Phase IV—Comprehensive Implementation of the City’s NPP
(city-wide program fmalization with lessons learned from initial application in LUPP, criminal justice & budget)
Late September 2012

Scope of Work for Phase I: the Land-Use Participation Process

A Coordinating Team (CT) composed of the Director and Deputy Director of the Neighborhood Engagement Office, the Executive Director of the City Planning Commission, the Director of Place-Based Planning, the Deputy Mayor of Facilities, Infrastructure and Community Development, and the Director of Intergovernmental Affairs will work with a Land-Use Participation Community Advisory Team (LUPCAT) to develop a final recommendation for a Land-Use Participation Process (LUPP) that will be presented to City Council for approval no later than February 29, 2012.

Roles & Responsibilities

City Planning Commission, Director of Place-Based Planning, Deputy Mayor of Facilities, Infrastructure and Community Development
• leads technical discussion on recommended policies and practices
• including previously defined scope of work parameters for land-use
• provides detailed model comparisons of similar processes related to land-use in other cities
• informs and educates participating stakeholders on technical and legal challenges and opportunities

Neighborhood Engagement Office
• leads and coordinates the development process with all relevant stakeholders
• ensures alignment of land-use participation process principles with framework for City’s NPP
• convenes and coordinates the community advisory team
• coordinates community engagement activities (charettes. working groups, and other public meetings)
• facilitates neighborhood understanding of critical points relevant to a final LUPP recommendation
• convenes diverse stakeholders who represent neighborhoods from each planning district
• coordinates neighborhood-based learning and information sharing during the process

Deputy Mayor of Facilities. Infrastructure and Community Development. City Planning Commission Members, and Directors of Place-Based Planning and Intergovernmental Affairs
• serve as executive branch advisors to the process
• provide contextual feedback to the developing ideas and suggestions that may potentially be adopted for presentation to City Council
• serve as final document editors and evaluators for consistency of language, clarity of idea and processes, and other related observations

Land-Use Participation Community Advisory Team
(note: the community advisory team will be a fully representative body of leaders from each of the 13 planning districts who will provide input and feedback to the CT—this body -will be composed of members from the original task force created by the City Planning Commission and City Council in early 2011, as well as additional neighborhood leaders, community stakeholders, & City Planning Commission Members)

• reviews and provides feedback on technical and framework information provided by the CT
• recommends practices and policies to the CT for consideration
• provides input on final draft the CT
• informs corresponding neighborhood-based stakeholders
• facilitates gaining city-wide community support for the final proposal
• facilitates participation in City Council vote when the proposal is considered for adoption
• transitions to serve as contributing team of stakeholders for Phases III & IV of the City’s NPP development process

NPP Lead Team
(note: (his team will include the CT as well as additional community and government stakeholders)
• reviews, researches national best practices in city-wide engagement/participation structures, policies, programs and/or processes
• develops the City’s NPP working framework that will inform the LUPP development process


June 13-22, 2011
• Finalize alternative scope of work, roles, responsibilities (who: CT)

June 23,2011
• Deliver alternative scope of work to City Planning Commission Members and City Council (who: CT)

June 24-30, 2011
• Identify, Invite and Initiate an NPP Lead Team that will work on creating a working draft of the City’s NPP Framework (who: NE Office)

July 1-31,2011
• Identify. Invite. Inform & Prepare stakeholders who will participate in LUPCAT (who: CT)

July 1-September 1, 2011
• Develop NPP Draft Framework (who: NE Office and NPP Lead Team)

September 1-September 23. 2011
• Convene and prepare LUPCAT (who: CT)
• Review NPP Draft Framework & provide feedback (who: NPP Lead Team, CT, Deputy Mayors and Administration Stakeholders)

September 12-30, 2011
• Structure, prepare for first full stakeholder meeting on LUPP (who: CT)
• Invite LUPCAT for first convening (who: CT)
• Finalize working NPP Draft Framework (who: NPP Lead Team)

October 5, 2011
• Prepare for and convene first public working meeting with LUPCAT (who: CT)

October 5-December 9, 2011
• Organize and convene public working meetings with LUPCAT to move discussion points and critical decisions forward (who: CT)

December 12-30, 2011
• Finalize draft of recommended LUPP (who: CT and LUPCAT)

January 3, 2012
• Submit recommended draft LUPP for review by City Planning Commission Members (who: CT and LUPCAT)

January 3-12, 2012
• Review & comment on draft LUPP to be submitted to City Council (who: CPC Commission Members’)

January 13-20, 2012
• Update and deliver proposed recommendation for City Council and Mayor’s feedback (who: CT and LUPCAT)

January 23-31, 2012
• Review & comment on recommended LUPP (who: City Council and Mayor)

February 1-24,2012
• Prepare final LUPP recommendation for submission to City Council for approval (who: CT and LUPCAT)

February 27, 2012
• Deliver final proposal for a Land-Use Participation Process to City Council (who: CT and LUPCAT)


Brazilian City Recognized by German Government for its CPP

On June 16th, Recife’s mayor João da Costa Bezerra Filho accepted the EUR 150,000 prize from Liz Mohn, vice-chair of the Bertelsmann Stiftung Executive Board. German Chancellor Angela Merkel gave the laudatory speech during the prize ceremony at the Gütersloh Theater.

The Brazilian city of Recife is the first recipient of the Reinhard Mohn Prize. Home to 1.7 million people, the Brazilian metropolis was chosen to receive the prize for its exemplary Participatory Budget program, which allows the public to play a pivotal role in determining how the city funds are spent.

\”With its citizen participation program, the city of Recife shows how wide-ranging collaboration and partnership can be used to reduce the distance between policymakers and the public,\” said Dr. Gunter Thielen, CEO and chairman of the Bertelsmann Stiftung. \”The program complements the city’s representative democracy by allowing citizens to play a direct role in decision-making processes, together with city administrators. It’s a very good example of how the public can get involved in government, an idea often advocated by Reinhard Mohn.\”

In her speech, Chancellor Merkel stressed the close connection between the prize and its name giver: \”Earlier than others Reinhard Mohn recognized the responsibility that accrues to him as an entrepreneur. And just as he engaged and involved employees in the company, he modelled how we need to engage and involve people more in government, politics and society.\” She said she shares Mohn’s basic conviction that people use the freedom democracy gave them and that they want to assume responsibility. At the same time, however, she said that forms of political participation have become more diverse.

After the chancellor’s appraisal of the winner, Liz Mohn took to the stage of Gütersloh’s City Theater to present first the Reinhard Mohn Prize. She once again emphasised the purpose of the prize, that is to \”bridge the gap between citizens and politics,\” and congratulated the mayor of Recife, saying: \”You show us what it means to live democracy. In Germany, but also in other countries around the world, we can learn from your example.\”

Joao da Costa Filho Bezerro was visibly proud of the fact that his community and his idea had become a role model for other continents obvious made. \”In 2001, I was told I was crazy for having the idea of a citizens’ budget in my home town, Recife. Now I’m receiving an award for it here in Germany…It makes us very happy to be the first winners of the Reinhard Mohn Prize. We are happy to be able to serve as an example to others.\” The participatory budget and the increased participation of citizens, the mayor concluded, have \”permanently changed the life of the people in the city of Recife, which is characterized by such stark contrasts between rich and poor.\”
They have certainly changed the life of seventh grader Keila Pessoa de Oliveira. Confidently taking the microphone at the City Theater, she confessed that she was thinking what she should say throughout the long flight to Germany. What she had to say at the end is best expressed in her own words: \”The people of Recife have and are experiencing new rights. We students now have a voice that is heard. And if, as is so often said, children are the future of a country, then we need that voice. I can only appeal to the students here in Germany and elsewhere in the world to take action, too. But they need your support for this.\”

Since 2001, its citizens have been extensively involved in shaping Recife’s development. More than 100,000 adults and young people participate every year in forums and on the Internet, making suggestions for urban development projects and monitoring them as they are implemented. They also set priorities in a number of policymaking areas. The participatory processes therefore allow the city to be present \”on the ground\” and to share responsibility with the public. To do so, it has built a comprehensive network of paid workers and volunteers, which ensures people are involved throughout the year in making and implementing decisions.

Towards the end of the ceremony, Bertelsmann Stiftung Executive Board member Jörg Dräger made it clear that Recife’s award should be the beginning rather than the end of a process with which the foundation wants to establish more citizen participation in Germany: \”When we launched the first Reinhard Mohn award 18 months ago under the slogan ‘ Vitalizing democracy through participation ,’ we had no idea what impressive role models we would find. They all show how invigorating participation can be for a democratic community.\” For this reason, the foundation will make this issue one of its priorities, he said. \”Over the next four years we will bring the finalists’ innovative approaches and other projects to Germany.\”

The publication of the Reinhard Mohn Price 2011, including case studies from all seven finalists, process descriptions and additional articles, can be ordered in English here:

We would like to thank all those who participated in the selection of the winner for the Reinhard Mohn Prize 2011.

City Council Redistricting Meeting – Wednesday June 22, 5:30-7:00pm


At an Open House on Saturday morning, City Council announced their 5 alternatives for the new City Council Districts. The 5 alternatives can be found on the City Council’s Redistricting page.

On Wednesday, June 22 from 5:30-7:00pm, the City Council Election Code and Reapportionment Committee will take public input on these 5 alternatives. This will be the only opportunity for public input on these alternatives. The meeting will be held in City Council chambers and the meeting agenda can be found here. Please come on Wednesday to make sure that your voice is heard on the new Council Districts.

Latest NOLA CPP Newsletter – Update on NPP, Redistricting, & More

Here is the latest edition of the NOLA CPP Newsletter. We would like to share some news about the City’s NPP process and inform you about some important meetings that are coming up. The City Planning Commission has provided an update on the NPP process, including some information on the structure and process. The City Council is hosting two meeting on redistricting, including one this Saturday morning. The Lens published an opinion article by CBNO President Keith Twitchell on the importance of having defined neighborhood boundaries. Finally, the Foundation for Louisiana is hosting their 2nd Disaster Preparedness Roundtable on Saturday, June 25. Please go to this link to read the Newsletter. Thanks!

City Planning update on the NPP process – June 14

At Tuesday’s City Planning Commission (CPC) Operational Committee meeting, CPC Executive Director Yolanda Rodriguez gave the Planning Commission an update on the City’s NPP process to create a Citizen Participation Program. The CPC received a letter from the Mayor asking for 21 days to revise the Scope of Work for the NPP process. City Planning expects to receive the revised Scope by the end of next week.

Rodriguez said that she has discussed the changes to the Scope with members of the Mayor’s Office. She said that the Office of Neighborhood Engagement (ONE) wants to partner with CPC in the NPP process. She said that ONE does not want to radically change the initial Scope of Work developed by CPC, and that they are committed to keeping the Task Force, which will guide this process. She also said that ONE wants to expand the focus of the NPP beyond land use, to include more quality of life issues.

The NOLA CPP will continue to monitor this process and provide additional information and documents as they become available. Please contact Nick Kindel (267-4665 – if you have any questions.

Neighborhoods are dandy, but no reason to settle for the ‘official’ 73

Our New Orleans Coalition on Open Governance (NOCOG) partners at The Lens have published an opinion piece written by CBNO President Keith Twitchell. The article is a response to a recent The Lens opinion piece done by Richard Campanella. Mr Twitchell says that the City’s official 73 neighborhoods are inaccurate and outdated, but he disagrees with Mr Campanella arguing that it is important to have clearly defined neighborhood boundaries that are establish by a grassroots approach. You can find the opinion article on The Lens website.

City Council Redistricting Meetings

City Council has just announced a couple of Redistricting Meetings, where the community will finally have an opportunity to comment on the alternatives for the proposed Council Districts. Here is the information from an email which was sent out by City Council:


Dear Resident,

On behalf of the New Orleans City Council, I would like to personally thank you for your attendance at the City Council Redistricting meetings. Your participation is vital to the process and will help guide decisions as we prepare to redraw the boundary lines for each City Council district. In response to numerous requests from residents, please note below the additional opportunities to give input before the Council votes on the final plan and submits it to the Department of Justice.

Open House

Saturday, June 18, 2011  10:00 am -1:00 pm

City Council Chamber 

You will have the opportunity to view the proposals that are under consideration. Consultants will be available to respond to questions. 

Election Code and Reapportionment Committee Meeting

Wednesday, June 22, 2011  5:30 pm- 7:00 pm  

City Council Chamber  

You will have the opportunity to voice your opinions and concerns based on the various proposed redistricting maps.

City Councilmembers will be available to respond to questions

For more information about City Council Redistricting and on these meetings, please visit the City Council’s Redistricting website.