April 11, 2013
City Council Chamber
City Council April 11, 2013 Regular Meeting SummaryThursday, April 11, 2013 - New Orleans, LA - At today's regular City Council Meeting, the CEO of the Louisiana Cultural Economy Foundation presented the foundation's initiatives to promote access to capital and healthcare facilitation, and the Greater New Orleans Chapter of the Buffalo Soldiers was recognized and honored for its patriotic duties. In other business, the Council adopted ordinances appropriating Federal Grant funds for the Violent Gang and Crime Reduction Program. By resolution, the Council supported the nomination of the St. Charles Avenue Streetcar Line as a National Historic Landmark.
Received Presentation on Initiatives to Promote Access to Benefits for Cultural Economy Workforce
Aimee Smallwood, CEO of the Louisiana Cultural Economy Foundation (LCEF) appeared before the Council to present information on the LCEF's recent initiatives to promote access to capital and healthcare facilitation for the cultural economy sector. Launched in 2005, the LCEF is dedicated to supporting and enhancing the numerous cultural industries of Louisiana by serving as a resource to the cultural economy workforce and providing workers with access to programs designed to encourage economic and personal well-being. The cultural economy workforce includes self-employed individuals, non-profits, and businesses working in music, film, performing and visual arts, culinary arts, historical preservation and other disciplines. The LCEF's two major initiatives include the Economic Opportunity Fund (LCEF-EOF) and the Healthcare Initiative (LCEF-HI). The LCEF-EOF is designed to encourage the entrepreneurial capacity of cultural economy producers and provide access to capital through an innovative and unique grant program. The program has distributed over $1 million to more than 400 cultural organizations, artists and businesses. LCEF's Healthcare Initiative coordinates an integrated system of care, providing connections to primary care services, health promotions/screenings, and disease management support for over 1,500 individuals. The organization recently developed a new strategic plan which will maintain and enhance existing programs, while proactively guiding the foundation as it moves forward in its mission to support Louisiana's cultural workers and their families.
District "B" Councilmember Cantrell said, "Our state's cultural economy is thriving, and represents a valuable business sector. The skills and talents of these individuals form the cultural fabric of our city and state and it is critical that we provide them with the support and resources they need to live healthy and proactive lives."
Recognized Greater New Orleans Chapter of Buffalo SoldiersRepresentatives from the Greater New Orleans Chapter #22 of the 9th and 10th Cavalry Association of Buffalo Soldiers, along with other military personnel and representatives of the New Orleans tourism and hospitality industry, appeared before the Council to discuss the group's continuing efforts to honor the history of the Buffalo Soldiers. In the years following the American Civil War, two regiments of African American cavalry were formed with the designations 9th and 10th U.S. Cavalry as part of the government's reorganization of the Army. On September 21, 1866, the 9th Regiment was organized in New Orleans, Louisiana at the present day spot of Audubon Park, while the 10th Regiment was formed further north at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. Following their establishment in the late 1860s, headquarters for the 9th and 10th Cavalry Regiments were transferred to Fort Concho, Texas. It is believed that the nickname "Buffalo Soldier" was given to these African American regiments by the various Native American tribes they encountered. Today, the Buffalo Soldiers have chapters spanning the nation that continue to demonstrate commitment to their patriotic duties through motivational speaking, community service, youth mentoring, and bringing attention to the African American military companies. For the first time, New Orleans will host the Association's annual reunion at the Hyatt Regency Hotel. The event, which will take place in July, will bring different Chapters from all over the nation together to celebrate 147 years of the Buffalo Soldiers.
District "D" Councilmember Hedge-Morrell said, "The Buffalo Soldier legacy and the many community contributions of our local chapter certainly deserves recognition. These men not only represent an essential part of our history, but they serve as mentors to young adults in the New Orleans community."
District "E" Councilmember Gray said, "I am honored to celebrate the Buffalo Soldiers, an admirable group of men who truly stand for patriotism and commitment to the U.S. Military and their communities. We are proud to welcome the Buffalo Soldiers for their annual reunion here in New Orleans."
Supported Nomination of St. Charles Avenue Streetcar Line as National Historic Landmark
The Council passed Resolution R-13-113, co-authored by Councilmembers Guidry and Cantrell, supporting the nomination of the St. Charles Avenue Streetcar Line as a National Historic Landmark. Having operated since the 1830s, the St. Charles Streetcar Line is the oldest operational street railway line in the world. For 180 years, the St. Charles Line has successfully transported New Orleans citizens and visitors and has made a significant impact on the growth and development of the City. While the Canal Street Line closed in 1964, as a result of a decline in the City's trolleys, the St. Charles Line survived by undertaking measures to protect its infrastructure, associated buildings, and iconic rolling stock. Today, the Regional Transit Authority (RTA) continues to preserve and maintain 35 of the original Perley Thomas 900 Series streetcars that serve the line and represent an internationally known symbol of the City of New Orleans. The RTA's diligent efforts have drawn financial support from both public and private entities including, the St.Charles Avenue Association, the Garden District Association, and Iberia Bank for the preparation of the nomination by EHT Traceries Inc., of Washington, D.C.
District "A" Councilmember Guidry said, "The St. Charles Streetcar continues to provide a unique experience for the City's many tourists, while also serving as a valued method of transportation for local citizens. We are proud to support the nomination of this iconic symbol of New Orleans for historic landmark status."
Appropriated Federal Grant Funds for Crime Reduction ProgramThe Council adopted Ordinance Calendar No. 29,467 and Ordinance Calendar No. 29,468, co-authored by Councilmembers Clarkson, Head, Hedge-Morrell, and Guidry, appropriating Federal Grant funds to the Department of Health for the Violent Gang and Crime Reduction Program. In keeping with the overreaching efforts of local government officials to address violent crime in the City, this program will combat the rise in gang-related violence and crime by focusing on youth programs, mentoring, and education. This multifaceted approach will work in tandem with other violence reduction and criminal justice programs and organizations throughout New Orleans.
Council Vice President Clarkson said, "This program's focus on our City's youth is right on track with our goals to reduce gang-related crime. Education and the development of programs aimed at mentoring at-risk adolescents are vital to the program's success."