Regular Meeting

September 12, 2013 

City Council Chamber

City Council september 12, 2013 Regular Meeting Summary

Thursday, September 12, 2013 - New Orleans, LA - At today's regular City Council Meeting, the Council passed resolutions supporting the Orleans Parish Sheriff's new policy governing immigration detainer requests, and urging immediate action relative to gun violence in the City. The Council also passed resolutions supporting public education about the Affordable Care Act, and encouraging preventive screenings for prostate cancer. The Council also adopted ordinances extending the PediCab Pilot Period and supporting the development of St. Roch Market.

In other business, the Council celebrated September as Hispanic Heritage Month and received a presentation from Romi Gonzalez regarding Carnaval Latino. The Council also received a presentation on the New Orleans Opera Association's youth education outreach.

Supported Sheriff's New Policy Governing Immigration Detainer Requests

The Council passed Resolution R-13-327, introduced by Councilmember Cantrell, recognizing the Orleans Parish Sheriff for adopting a new policy limiting voluntary compliance with Form I-247 Immigration Detainer requests, and supporting the collaborative development of more strategic detention policies.

In May of this year, the Council passed Resolution R-13-164 urging the Sheriff's Office to examine and revise its policy relative to voluntary compliance with Form I-247 Immigration Detainer requests.

Federal regulation authorizes a federal immigration officer to issue a Form I-247 Immigration Detainer to a local law enforcement agency, allowing the local agency to detain the individual in question for up to 48 additional hours after the point when there is no longer any local law enforcement basis for detention. However, the federal government is not required to indemnify against liability nor compensate the local agency for any costs associated with additional detention.

In practice, Immigration Detainer requests often result in the continued detention of individuals that would otherwise be able to secure release from custody, leading to an increase in the average jail stay of affected individuals and a subsequent increase in annual detention costs by millions of dollars. Federal regulation explicitly characterizes a Form I-247 Immigration Detainer as a "request," and in recent years numerous cities and states across the country have exercised their federal constitutional right to limit compliance with these requests in a manner consistent with local interests and values.

Sheriff Marlin Gusman appeared before the Council to outline his policy in detail, emphasizing the balance between cooperating with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, while also protecting the constitutional right of citizens. Community members were also present to thank the Council and the Sheriff for their leadership and dedication to addressing this community issue.

District "B" Councilmember Cantrell said, "I am very proud of the hard work and collaboration between the Sheriff's Office and the members of this Council to finalize a policy which reduces costs while prioritizing local interests and ultimately protecting the rights of our citizens."

Extended PediCab Pilot Period

The Council adopted Ordinance Calendar No. 29,719, authored by Councilmember Gisleson Palmer, to amend and reordain the relevant section of the City Code to extend the PediCab Service Pilot Period from September 15, 2013 to December 31, 2013.

The Pilot Period is designed to facilitate the public adaptation to the presence of pedicabs around the City. The number of permitted pedicabs during the pilot period may not exceed 45.

District "C" Councilmember Gisleson Palmer said, "PediCab service has become a popular means of transportation both with locals and tourists visiting our City. We are encouraged by the success of this new industry and hope to support continued progress by extending the pilot period."

Supported Public Education About Affordable Care Act

The Council passed Resolution R-13-300, co-authored by Councilmembers Cantrell and Gray, stating the Council's commitment to continue educating the public about the benefits associated with the implementation of the Affordable Care Act and advocating for Medicaid expansion in Louisiana. The Resolution also recognizes the ongoing efforts of The Jeremiah Group, a broad-based, institution-based community organization, which recently delivered to the Governor thousands of letters in support of Medicaid expansion.

The Legislative Fiscal Office estimates that Medicaid expansion in Louisiana would save at least $185 million over the next decade and give 290,000 people across the state better access to preventative health care.

District "B" Councilmember Cantrell said, "In the coming months we will start to see certain provisions of the Affordable Care Act go into effect and we want to make sure that the public is informed about its many benefits. It is our hope that our citizens will be able to take advantage of the program's expanded opportunities to improve access to health care."

Supported Development of St. Roch Market

The Council adopted Ordinance Calendar No. 29,700, authored by Councilmember Gisleson Palmer, authorizing the Mayor to enter into a Cooperative Endeavor Agreement (CEA) between the City and the New Orleans Building Corporation to advance the public purpose of developing the St. Roch Market by determining its highest and best use.

The St. Roch Market, located at 2381 St. Claude Avenue, was built in 1875. Originally an open-air market, the market eventually became home to vendors selling fresh fish and produce. In 2005, the floodwaters of Hurricane Katrina damaged the market and resulted in its closure. In July 2012, the City began a $3.7 million redevelopment project to reopen the St. Roch Market.

District "C" Councilmember Gisleson Palmer said, "The St. Roch Market is a neighborhood landmark rich with history and we are dedicated to completing its revitalization. We owe it to the St. Roch community and our City as a whole to get this right and work collaboratively to ensure that this beloved community symbol is put to its best use."

Called for Action to Reduce Gun Violence

The Council passed Resolution R-13-324, collectively urging that immediate action be taken to reduce crimes of violence, especially gun crimes, in New Orleans.


Specifically, the Resolution:

  • Urges prosecuting bodies, including the District Attorney and United States Attorney, to focus their efforts on gun felonies, particularly those committed by prior offenders
  • Calls on the Louisiana Department of Corrections, particularly the Division of Probation and Parole, to provide additional Probation and Parole officers to New Orleans so that efforts can be increased to reduce violent crime
  • Requests that the judiciary consider crimes of violence, especially gun crimes, with particular caution and set appropriate bond amounts.
  • Calls for the support and adoption of state and federal firearms legislation to promote safety, education, and responsibility in the purchase, possession, and use of firearms and ammunition.

Celebrated Hispanic Heritage Month

Romualdo "Romi" Gonzalez, Executive Director of Carnaval Latino, appeared before the Council to give a presentation on Carnaval Latino and celebrate September as Hispanic Heritage Month.

Carnaval Latino, presented by the Hispanic-American Musicians and Artists Cultural Association, is a three day celebration of Hispanic Heritage held in September in conjunction with Hispanic Heritage Month and the Independence Days of Mexico and Central America. The Carnaval features local and international music, food, artists and cultural groups. Carnaval Latino will take place from September 13 - September 15 at Mardi Gras World.

District "C" Councilmember Gisleson Palmer said, "It is so important that we recognize and celebrate the many diverse communities in our City. New Orleans' Hispanic community has grown immensely in the last five years and represents an important piece of our City's cultural fabric."

Received Presentation on Opera's Youth Education Outreach Efforts

The Council received a presentation from representatives of the New Orleans Opera Association on the Opera's educational outreach efforts for youth, including Children's Opera.

The presentation outlined the Opera's history of community and educational initiatives and also provided details on the educational programs currently offered by the Opera including, Opera in the Classroom, Classroom at the Opera - Student Previews, and Opera Camp.

Council President Clarkson said, "Since New Orleans had the first opera in America and is the birthplace of jazz, there's a high correlation between our two only art forms of music in the world. They belong primarily to our city. Our children have inherited this rich legacy and our opera is giving them an opportunity to be a part of it through education and outreach."

Encouraged Preventive Screenings for Prostate Cancer

In recognition of September as National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, the Council passed Resolution R-13-322, introduced by Councilmember Gray, encouraging all men, especially those over age 60, to talk to their doctors about getting screened for prostate cancer.

Prostate cancer is the second-most commonly diagnosed cancer among men in the United States. Kevin Stephens, Sr., M.D., J.D., Chief Medical Officer Coventry Health Care Louisiana, appeared before the Council to give a presentation on prostate cancer, outlining symptoms and recommendations for early diagnosis and preventive care.

District "E" Councilmember Gray said, "Education of the public and proactive screenings are critical to ensuring early diagnosis and treatment of this cancer. We hope to continue to inform citizens about this important issue and the resources available to them to get tested."

Created on: 6/21/2018 11:46:18 AM | Last updated: 6/21/2018 11:46:18 AM


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