I hope you had a fun and safe 4th of July. This month I have been part of several groundbreakings and ribbon cuttings around the city. Whether it’s for various schools, playgrounds, or retail businesses, there is a feeling of excitement over all of the growth in our great City.
Costco is near opening its doors and Mid-City Market is set to open at the end of the month. This means hundreds of jobs for locals and millions of dollars of revenue.
Come celebrate the completion of the Carrollton commercial corridor.
The grand opening for Mid-City Market is July 31st at 9 a.m. Office Depot opened its doors earlier in the month, joining the already open Pizza Hut.
The businesses set to open are Panera Bread, Pei Wei Asian Diner, Winn Dixie, Five Guys Burgers and Fries, Neighborhood Pet Market by Jefferson Feed, Verizon Wireless, Felipe’s Taqueria, Pinkberry, LA Nails and Spa, and Ochsner Medical Clinic.
So far these businesses have hired 514 employees.
On July 9th I joined educational, city and state leaders in breaking ground for the new Phillis Wheatley school located in Treme.
The new facility is part of the School Facilities Master Plan for Orleans Parish, a 1.8 billion dollar project. The Wheatley facility was approved in November 2008 and will be approximately 100,000 square feet with 3-story classroom wing, music/performance space, gym and media center.
The school is set to be completed and ready by the 2014-2015 school year. It will serve grades PreK through 8th.
Water Management Strategies
The Water Management Strategy is an 18-month resiliency planning study to develop sustainable strategies for managing the water resources of St. Bernard and the East Banks of Jefferson and Orleans Parishes.
The project addresses three basic issues: flooding caused by heavy rainfall, subsidence caused by the pumping of stormwater, and the misuse of our water resources.
You are invited to an open house and presentation on Water Management Strategies for Orleans Parish.
Thursday, August 1st | 4:30p.m. Open House | 6 p.m. Presentation | Xavier Convocation Annex
7800 Washington Ave | New Orleans
Urban Water Series
On June 5th Councilmember Guidry participated in the Greater New Orleans Foundation’s Urban Water Series panel entitled “Metropolitan and Comprehensive Green Stormwater Strategies.” She fielded and posed questions to water management officials from Philadelphia and Houston about how their cities handle stormwater issues and how New Orleans could use similar approaches to address its own challenges. For more information on the Urban Water Series or to watch a video of each panel, please visit:
New Orleans Praised for its Energy Efficiency Efforts
The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE), a leading national energy efficiency group, has praised New Orleans for being one of the Gulf Coast leaders in energy efficiency.
In a May 2013 report, ACEEE cited progressive City Council regulation and citizen interest as the driving forces that have made the City a shining example to the region. The report highlights the City’s integrated resource planning (IRP) process, its two end-user energy efficiency programs – Energy Smart and NOLA Wise – and efforts to help develop a skilled energy efficiency workforce.
I am proud to have been heavily involved in all of these efforts. As a member of the Utility Committee, I’ve helped coordinate, develop, and fund the Energy Smart and NOLA Wise programs and I have worked hard to ensure that Entergy’s upcoming Integrated Resource Plan prioritizes energy efficiency and renewable energy sources.
For information on how to sign up for the Energy Smart or NOLA Wise programs, please visit:
Energy Smart –> http://energysmartnola.info or call (866) 721-0249
NOLA Wise –> http://nolawise.org or call (504) 523-9473
Audubon Zoo Elephants Get New Habitat
This month I had the opportunity to get a sneak peek of the new Audubon Zoo elephant habitat.
The new, state-of-the-art enclosure, which will house Panya and Jean, is 42,000 square feet and includes two elephant pools and an “enrichment tree”, a replica of a fallen tree trunk that will help the elephants forage for food.
Along with the new enclosure the zoo will be adding a “lazy river” to complement the Cool Zoo splash park.
Construction should be completed by summer 2014. But don’t wait until then! Visit Panya and Jean, who have been at Audubon Zoo over thirty years, and enjoy the zoo’s exotic mix of animals from around the world, any day of the week.
Cox and Harrah’s Grants
I just awarded $14,000 in Harrah’s Community Grants to 10 non-profit organizations whose work helps improve our community through their programs and activities.
These groups include Court Watch NOLA, the NORD Foundation, Hike for KaTREEna, the SE Louisiana Chapter of the American Red Cross, Anthony Bean Theatre, Southern Food and Beverage Museum Foundation, New Orleans Arts and Cultural Host Committee, Armstrong Family Services, Childhood and Family Learning and Young Leadership Council, Inc.
The Hollygrove neigbhorhood received funds to purchase crime cameras and also a grant for fire safety awarded through Red Cross.
The City Council’s Cox Community Grant program is underway. Each Councilmember can award up to $20,000 in grant funds each year to qualifying organizations and projects that focus on youth education, technology training, communications, or similar fields. For information on applying for a Cox Grant, click here.
Criminal Justice and Budget Meetings Open to the Public
As Chair of the Criminal Justice Committee, I have asked for status updates from each of the city’s criminal justice agencies and departments regarding their respective 2013 budgets.
This is the third year of midyear Joint Criminal Justice and Budget Committee meetings on the criminal justice system and their budgets.
The next meeting is Wednesday July 24th at 1 p.m. Representatives with Juvenile Court, the Public Defender’s Office, the Coroner’s office and NOLA for Life will be present in the City Council Chambers.
The presentation will include a review of funding, whether actual revenues and expenditures have been met, any significant changes in projected revenues and/or expenditures for the remainder of the year, and identification of any steps taken to improve operational effectiveness and/or efficiency.
The meeting is open to the public. You also can watch the meeting live at the City Council’s website at the following link: http://nolacitycouncil.com/video/video_legislative.asp
Special Needs Registry
The New Orleans Health Department, New Orleans EMS, and NOLA Ready have joined together to develop a Special Needs Registry for New Orleanians with disabilities, chronic conditions, and other special healthcare needs. This system is designed to identify individuals who require special assistance during emergencies, including, but not limited to hurricanes, evacuations, sheltering-in-place, and chemical spills. Enrollment in the Registry does not guarantee assistance, but allows first responders to appropriately plan for, prepare for, and respond to the needs of the community.
You can enroll in the New Orleans Special Needs Emergency Registry by calling 311 or filling out an online application here.
If you are interested in volunteering, you can be part of the New Orleans Regional Medical Reserve Corps (NOMRC). Their goal is to augment local community health and medical services staff with pre-identified, trained and credentialed volunteers.
The NOMRC needs both licensed health care professionals as well as non-health professionals who will fill support roles.
Healthcare providers must have an active Louisiana license in order to practice medicine. Healthcare professionals that do not have a current license may still volunteer in a support role.
Non-professional volunteers will fill key support roles such as greeters, educators, security, registration, interpreters, pet care, and chaplain services, etc.
For more information on how to sign up visit www.lava.dhh.Louisiana.gov.