Chairman of the Mayor's Military Advisory Committee (MMAC), Major General David Mize, USMC Ret., appeared before the Council to lead the 23rd annual Military Day presentation. Chartered in 1972, the MMAC is charged with providing support to local military and their families, educating the public about the economic and social benefits associated with local military organizations, and retaining and growing the military bases in the region. The MMAC is an all-volunteer organization with approximately 100 members.
MMAC representatives presented the MMAC 2016 Annual Report, which included information on the Committee's activities and events over the past year and highlighted the MMAC's efforts to provide housing and support to homeless veterans.
Senior officers from local and regional military organizations, specifically the U.S. Army Reserve, U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Navy and the Louisiana Air and Army National Guard, provided the Council with updates on the programs, projects, ongoing activities, and community involvement of their respective organizations.
The Military Day activities also included performances by the United States Marine Corps Band.
"We owe an incredible debt of gratitude to you every single day," said Councilmember-At-Large Stacy Head. "Not only do you protect our way of life, but you contribute so much to the communities and cities that you live in. We're so proud and glad to have you here today, and we hope that when you retire, you choose to make New Orleans your home."
"The military means everything to me," said District "E" Councilmember Gray. "Several generations of my family, dating back to the American Revolution, have served. Today, my son-in-law, a Navy Commander, is assigned to the Pentagon; several of my nephews and young cousins have seen service in the Middle East. My proudest moment as a United States Marine was to lead a platoon into combat in Vietnam. I offer you all my deepest gratitude and thanks for your service to our country and for what you do for our New Orleans community."
"Oftentimes you hear folks talk about the greatest sacrifice but I think it's worth saying that it's not just about those who pay that sacrifice, but every single one of you all who is willing to pay that cost," said Councilmember-At-Large Jason Williams. "Our country is one of the newest countries, but we are one of the strongest, and we are certainly the freest, and that is because of you. Councilmember Gray is a friend and mentor of mine, and recently I've spoken with him about his time in Vietnam. I am always left in awe of his stories about his time in the service."
"Your influence on children is undoubtedly one of the greatest values that you provide our city," said District "A" Councilmember Guidry. "I hope that we as a city have shown you how thankful we are. I think that our aim to be the first in the country to end veteran homelessness reflects our gratitude and immense respect. Thank you for everything that you do for us and a special thanks to your families for allowing you to be here today.""I've had the opportunity to grow closer to the military through my service in the legislature and working with General Curtis on the National Guard's budget on the Appropriations Committee," said District "D" Councilmember Brossett. "We have a great history in Louisiana with the military, and we consider you all our family members. Each one of you preserves our democracy on a daily basis. I look forward to seeing the new VA, as it serves as an important tool and institution in assisting our service members when they come home and ending veteran homelessness in New Orleans."
The Council unanimously voted to approve an ordinance, which resulted in NOBC as the only surviving nonprofit public benefit corporation. The NOBC now assumes all rights, powers, privileges and immunities of the CSDC.
The mission of NOBC presently includes leasing, developing, and managing real estate assets in New Orleans and stimulating economic development. The CSDC had a very similar mission, making NOBC the logical surviving organization.
The expanded portfolio of NOBC as the surviving entity consists of a board of eleven (11) members, two (2) of whom will be councilmembers and the remaining nine (9) members will be appointed by the Mayor, with the approval of the Council of the City of New Orleans. The new board will be optimal to effectively manage the larger volume of business involving a diverse range of subjects.