Regular Meeting

June 23, 2016 

City Council Chamber

City Council June 23, 2016 Regular Meeting News Summary

NEW ORLEANS - At today's City Council meeting, the Council adopted an ordinance, entitled the Equal Access to Employment Act, making it unlawful for city contractors to seek or use the consumer credit history of a current or prospective employee for any decision regarding the hiring or compensation of an employee or the terms, conditions or privileges of employment.

In other news, the Council approved a motion to relocate 11 polling places for the November 8, 2016, Presidential Election, adopted an ordinance establishing a "Clean Zone" for the 2016 Essence Festival, and recognized the Good Work Networks' Phyllis Cassidy, the Silverback Society and Nicholas Albert for their contributions to the New Orleans community.

Lusher Graduate Nicholas Albert Bound for Harvard University this Fall

City Councilmembers Pictured with Nicholas Albert

The Council feels it is vital to highlight the achievements of New Orleans' youth. Doing so provides positive role models for the younger generations to look up to and admire. Nicholas Albert stands for all of the values that the New Orleans community aims to embody. He is a decorated athlete and scholar that received multiple academic awards. Albert is a member of the National Honors Society and was presented football and track awards from the Louisiana High School Athletic Association for being the student athlete with the highest grade point average.

As a result of Albert's hard work and dedication, the support of his exemplary family and the educational opportunities provided in the city, he will attend Harvard University this fall. Albert plans to return to the city following graduation to make a difference in the community that provided him with so much opportunity.

"Mr. and Mrs. Albert, thank you again for your dedication to your boys," said Council Vice President Williams. "Not only have you created men that have a certain discipline for their own lives, but also compassionate men who have a desire to create a difference in their community."

Approved Relocation of 11 Polling Places for the 2016 Presidential Election

The Council passed Motion M-16-249, approving the relocation of certain official polling places throughout the City for the November 8, 2016 Presidential Election. To view the full motion and the polling place location changes, click here. Orleans Parish polling location changes will be reflected in the Louisiana Secretary of State Polling Place Finder upon receipt of Council Motion M-16-249. To view the current Louisiana Polling Place Finder, click here.

Adoption of the Equal Access to Employment Act

District _D_ Councilmember Jared C. Brossett
District "D" Councilmember Jared C. Brossett
Ordinance Calendar No. 31,258, The Equal Access to Employment Act, was adopted at today's City Council meeting, making it unlawful for city contractors to seek or use the consumer credit history of a current or prospective employee for any decision regarding the hiring or compensation of an employee or the terms, conditions or privileges of employment.

"The Equal Access to Employment Act eliminates unnecessary barriers to employment that are created by job seekers' credit history," said District "D" Councilmember Jared C. Brossett. "I firmly believe that someone's credit history should not be a barrier to becoming employed. Too often, job seekers find themselves in the position where they cannot get a job because of their credit history, and thus, cannot repay their debts or improve their quality of life because they are unable to obtain a job."

The Equal Access to Employment Act will eliminate the use of credit history by city contractors except in certain very narrow circumstances. In order to ensure compliance, the Office of Workforce Development will be responsible for investigating employee complaints and monitoring compliance. City contractors will also be required to post a notice regarding the applicability of the Equal Access to Employment Act in every workplace where current or prospective employees are under the city contractor's custody and control.

The Council Passed a Motion Requesting the City Planning Commission to Consider Changes to the Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance Expanding the Requirements for Properties to Qualify as Multi-Family and Established Two-Family Residence

District "B" Councilmember LaToya Cantrell
The Council passed a motion directing the City Planning Commission (CPC) to consider an amendment to the Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance (CZO) that reduces the number of years required to qualify for the uses of Established, Multi-Family and Established Two-Family dwellings.

"As I have said repeatedly, we are in a housing crisis in New Orleans," said District "B" Councilmember LaToya Cantrell. "One of the things that we must do to address that crisis is preserve and restore the affordable housing that we already have in the city."

The amendment to the CZO would reduce the requirements by providing two methods for properties to qualify as a multi-family and established two-family residence. First, property owners would have to prove to the CPC that the structure was in existence for 30 years instead of 50 years. Secondly, the CPC will allow a property to be considered if it can prove that it has a multi-family or two-family structure that had received legal nonconforming status at some point.

Designated "Clean Zone" for 2016 Essence Festival

The Council adopted Ordinance Calendar No. 31,358 to provide for the designation of public property within areas of the City as a temporary "Clean Zone" relative to the use of this area in conjunction with the 2016 Essence Festival, which begins on Thursday, June 30, and ends on Sunday, July 3.

This designation provides for the temporary prohibition of transactions of any business on public streets, sidewalks, rights of way and outside of an enclosed building, including the sale of food, beverages, and/or merchandise within the "Clean Zone" areas. Permits relative to the aforementioned prohibited activities shall be suspended, and inflatables, unauthorized general advertising and the placement of unauthorized tents will be prohibited within the "Clean Zone" during the effective dates and times.

The Ordinance establishes the "Clean Zone" within the area bounded by Earhart Boulevard to Calliope Street, Religious Street to Orange Street proceeding across the Mississippi River along the West Bank Levee, continuing across the Mississippi River to Elysian Fields Avenue, North Claiborne Avenue to Tulane Avenue, North Broad to Earhart Boulevard thereto, the Mississippi River, excluding the Mercedes-Benz Superdome property, the New Orleans Smoothie King Arena property and the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center property. The temporary "Clean Zone" will be effective from 6 a.m. on Sunday, June 26 until 6 p.m. on Monday, July 4.

"New Orleans is proudly the host of multiple iconic festivals each year, and one of those, in particular, is the Essence Festival," said Councilmember Cantrell. "We want our citizens and visitors that are in the city for Essence Festival to be able to safely enjoy the unique New Orleans culture for a memorable experience."

Silverback Society Recognized for its Contributions to New Orleans

City Councilmembers Pictured with members of the Silverback Society

The City Council recognized the Silverback Society for its contributions to the city of New Orleans. The Society partners with more than 20 area schools to mentor and develop young men by providing role models to promote positivity and academic achievement. The Silverback Society's work creates a  network of young men and mentors alike, and it establishes an upcoming generation equipped with the skills and experiences to act as leaders for future communities.

The Silverback Society's membership continues to grow and incorporate several successful mentors that have an immense impact on the young men of New Orleans. The Society's work and dedication will aid the community for years to come. Through empowering these young men with the values they need to flourish, the Society is in turn teaching them to help all those around to do the same.

"The Silverback Society is filling a void that has been created over several generations," said Council Vice President Jason Williams. "I know that the men standing behind you are exceptional in their own right, and provide excellent opportunities for the young men they mentor. I want to thank you for putting a system in place that will outlive you, me and many generations to come."

Phyllis Cassidy honored for Her 15 years of Service as the Executive Director and Founder of Good Work Network

City Councilmembers Pictured with Phyllis Cassidy and Eugene J. Green, Jr.

The Council honored Phyllis Cassidy, founder and executive director of the Good Work Network in New Orleans, for her commitment over the past 15 years to providing business development services to minority- and women-owned businesses throughout the Southeast Louisiana region.

"So many nonprofits needed to be reestablished in the post-Katrina environment, and you saw the opportunity to help make that come through," said Councilmember Cantrell. "You were right there with us in our efforts to rebuild this city, and it is an honor to have seen what you have done."

The Good Work Network has helped start over 300 minority- or woman-owned businesses and assisted 161 clients in obtaining nearly $29 million in contract awards. In addition, the organization has helped clients with obtaining millions of dollars in business capital development services, developed Roux Carre and helped member businesses create or sustain over 1,300 jobs.

Created on: 6/21/2018 11:30:14 AM | Last updated: 6/21/2018 11:30:14 AM


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