NORD Commission to seek resident engagement in Community Advisory Teams

At its January meeting, the NORD Commission approved its Neighborhood Participation Plan (NPP). The NPP calls for residents to get involved with Community Advisory Teams (CATs), which are community based working groups designed to provide input to the NORD Commission on facilities, programming, and any other recreation issues. You can find the NPP at this link.

NORD Commission and Neighborhood Engagement Office will be seeking residents to engage in the Community Advisory Teams very soon. Stay tune to the Neighborhood Engagement Office website (go to the ‘What we’re working on’ tab), the NORD Commission website, and the NOLA CPP website for more information on signing up for the CATs.


City Planning Commission to consider Neighborhood Participation Plan at March 12 Meeting

At its Tuesday, March 12 meeting, the City Planning Commission (CPC) is expected to vote on revising the Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance (CZO) to implement portions of its proposed Neighborhood Participation Plan (NPP). The March 12 Public Hearing Notice is available at this link. City Planning’s NPP would improve neighborhood and adjacent residents’ notification of proposed zoning changes, conditional use requests, and zoning variances in their community. It would also give neighborhoods and residents an opportunity to meet with the developer prior to submitting their application. You can view the full NPP at CPC’s website.

Here are some post with more history of the City Planning Commission’s NPP:

City Council Directs Planning Commission to Update CZO to Implement NPP

Governmental Affairs Commitee Recommends Approval of City Planning’s NPP

NOLA CPP to present at City Council Governmental Affairs Committee on October 19

City Planning Commission Approves Neighborhood Participation Program


In addition, this information can be found on the City Planning Commission’s NPP page on their website:

The City Charter requires the development of a Neighborhood Participation Program (NPP) for Land Use Actions. Specifically, the City Charter calls for “a system of organized and effective neighborhood participation in land use decisions and other issues that affect quality of life.” The purpose of the NPP is to provide timely notification of any proposed land use action affecting a neighborhood and to provide the opportunity for meaningful neighborhood review of and comment on such proposals.

In July 2012, the City Planning Commission (CPC) adopted the Neighborhood Participation Program (NPP) for Land Use Actions, a report recommending improvements to the CPC’s public notification and engagement processes. This report has been endorsed by the City Council’s Governmental Affairs Committee and is pending consideration by the full City Council. The CPC expects to consider implementation of key NPP recommendations at its March 12, 2013 public hearing.

The Adopted Documents can be viewed here.

CBNO Releases Neighborhood Manual

This week, Committee for a Better New Orleans has released a guide for neighborhood associations. Our Neighborhood Manual is designed for new neighborhoods, but it is also useful for existing neighborhoods who might be updating their bylaws, creating new committees, or mapping neighborhood assets. It also includes a section on the benefits of, and recommended standards for, participation in the Citizen Participation Program as it is currently proposed.  Several appendices offer specific tools and resources for neighborhoods to use. Please feel free to circulate the Neighborhood Manual, which can be downloaded and printed from this link:

CBNO Neighborhood Manual


Latest Info on GCIA’s Crescent City Moonlight Bike Ride

Here is the latest flyer for GCIA’s Crescent City Moonlight Bike Ride on Friday, March 29: Outreach Flyer.

Come out to Pontchartrain Landing (6001 France Road), New Orleans’ newest marina, for a 5:30pm bicycling basics workshop by Bike Easy (RSVP at, a 7pm, police-escorted, lakeside bike ride, and an after ride party starting around 9pm. The party has live music from the Dapper Dandies, and there will be food from Hickory Prime BBQ and drinks from the Lighthouse Bar (soft and alcoholic) available for purchase. Registration is only $20 for adults and $10 for children. To register and for more information, please go to this website: If you have any questions or prefer not register online, you can contact Nick Kindel at (504) 267-4665 or

Outreach Flyer

Lastest NOLA CPP Progress Report with Global Giving

Here is the latest NOLA CPP progress report. You can find the full report below and on Global Giving’s website:

February 2013 Project Report

By Keith Twitchell – President

Despite the distractions of Super Bowl (which severely restricted access to downtown New Orleans for an entire week) and Mardi Gras, the Citizen Participation Project team has been completing some ongoing work and laying the groundwork for an immensely productive 2013.  The early part of the year is typically an important planning time for us.  Major plans and activities have been laid out in the following aspects of the Project:

– Latino Community of Interest:  working with our partner Puentes New Orleans, we have prepared a presentation on the highly acclaimed Latino Community Survey completed last fall.  We will first present this to the Latino leaders with whom we worked on the Survey, to get their input on next steps; then to larger Latino community groups as well as neighborhood leaders.  This will be followed by setting up direct dialogue between Latino and neighborhood leaders, for the dual purposes of establishing “grasstops” collaboration and also for examining ways to engage Latino residents in neighborhood activities and programs.  These conversations will culminate in a Community Summit.  While open to the public, the primary focus will be to bring the Latino and neighborhood leaders together, along with government officials and other community leaders, for unifying dialogue on wider cooperation, better integration of Latino residents into community activities, and improved delivery of government programs and services to Latino residents.  As part of this, we will also continue our collaboration with the New Orleans Department of Health, assisting them to do a better job of reaching Latino residents with health care information and services.

– Participatory budgeting:  working with our partners in the New Orleans Coalition on Open Governance (NOCOG), we continue to examine ways to engage residents in the city’s budgeting process, and to increase community voice in designing the city budget.  A Community Summit on this topic is contemplated as well, and in particular, we are seeking to enable residents and community groups to work directly with city departments and agencies as they craft their “budget offers” that become the foundation of the city’s budget.  We have identified this as the best opportunity for community members to impact the budget.  In addition, we have met with City Planning Commission staff to discuss opportunities for direct community input into the city’s Capital Projects budget, which is distinct from the operating budget.  CPC staff has been very receptive to this concept.  For the next year’s budget, this will hopefully include conducting a series of sessions where residents can evaluate and rank proposed projects; looking further ahead, we would like to move towards true Participatory Budgeting, where residents actually initiate projects to be considered.  CBNO, with NOCOG, is exploring funding sources for a pilot PB project.

– Early notification system:  adopted in conceptual form by the Planning Commission last summer and by the City Council’s Governmental Affairs Committee in December, language is now being prepared by City Planning and the city’s Law Department to embed this formally in the Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance.  Vote on the legislation is scheduled by the Planning Commission at its first March meeting.  This is the first major piece of the overall Citizen Participation Program to be adopted by city government, and will ensure that all public and private sector projects must be brought to residents, neighborhood groups and businesses before they can begin the City Planning permitting process.

– Neighborhood mapping:  we have met with neighborhood leaders from the New Orleans East section of the city, and will tackle this area for mapping early next month.  We have already compiled all available maps of the region, including city assessor data and several post-Katrina planning maps, and developed a baseline map for the East.

– Neighborhood Association Manual:  this has been completed and released; it may be downloaded and printed from the Project website,  It provides a great guide to starting and managing a Neighborhood Association, with topics including managing committees, outreach and recruitment, creating public – private partnerships, managing conflict, and much more.  It also includes sample neighborhood association bylaws, a tool for compiling neighborhood needs inventories, and many other valuable references.  In addition, the first draft of the Blight Resource Guide has been completed and is currently in review and revision.

– New Orleans Recreation Development Commission Participation Plan:  NORDC and the New Orleans Neighborhood Engagement Office spent many months putting together a Participation Plan related to NORDC facilities and programs, drawing extensively on the NOLA CPP model.  The Commission formally adopted the Plan in January.  CBNO will help promote participation in this structure, and is considering the possibility of bringing Participatory Budgeting to the Commission as it develops its strategic plan.

2012 was a year of substantial achievements for the Citizen Participation Project, which gives us the opportunity and the obligation to build and expand upon this progress in 2013.  As always, we are extremely grateful to our many supporters, without whom we would simply not be able to take on this vitally important work.


Orleans Parish School Board 2013 Calendar

I had a little trouble trying to find the meeting schedule for the Orleans Parish School Board. Since it was so hard to find, I decided to post it for everyone. Here is the 2013 OSPB calendar: OPSB 2013 Meeting Schedule


Here are the meeting dates for 2013:

Board Meetings (Tuesdays): January 22, February 19, March 19, April 23, May 21, June 18, July 16, August 20, September 17, October 15, November 19, and December 17.

Committee Meetings (Policy, Property, Accountability, and Budget/Finance – all Committees meet the Thursday before the Board Meeting): January 17, February 7 (cancelled), March 14, April 18, May 16, June 13, July 11, August 15, September 12, October 10, November 14, and December 12.


CBNO Need Your Help Raising Money

I hope everyone survived the Super Bowl and is ready to get back into Mardi Gras!


Committee for a Better New Orleans (CBNO) has been accepted into Gulf Coast Bank’s Community Rewards fundraising contest.  I somewhat regret to report that it is one of those contests where people vote for their preferred nonprofit.  Voting begins today and will end at 5 p.m. on Monday, March 4th. Balloting is limited to one vote per day per person (though you can do this from both your home and work computers each day). Only the top ten nonprofits will be awarded funds.  Perhaps you can put a little post-it note on your computer(s) as a reminder!

Voting takes place on  While I have to admit that I find these to be a pain in the neck, CBNO has a pretty good chance of getting some funding if we stay on top of this.


Also, please circulate this info to all of your contacts.  If we all pitch in, we can do this!!


Keith G.C. Twitchell, President
Committee for a Better New Orleans