February 09, 2017
City Council Chamber
City Council Regular Meeting News Summary February 9, 2017
NEW ORLEANS - At today's City Council meeting, the Council celebrated Mardi Gras 2017 with a presentation from the Zulu Social Aid and Pleasure Club, voted to establish the Equal Pay Advisory Committee, and passed a resolution opposing the recent Presidential Executive Order regarding immigration bans.
Additionally, the Council paid tribute to former Council Chaplain, Reverend Dr. Norwood Thompson, Jr., who recently passed away.
Equal Pay Advisory Committee Established
The Council unanimously voted to approve the creation of the Equal Pay Advisory Committee, which was introduced by Councilmembers Brossett and Cantrell at the last City Council meeting on January 26, 2017. The Advisory Committee will provide advice, feedback, guiding principles, policies and subject matter expertise to the City Council on matters relating to pay equality, wage discrimination, poverty in New Orleans.
The committee will tentatively consist of nine members. The advisory committee shall be appointed as follows:
- Each Councilmember shall appoint one member to the advisory committee;
- The Director of the Office of Workforce Development shall serve on the committee or select a designee; and
- The Director of the Civil Service Department shall serve on the committee or select a designee.
The median annual pay for a woman holding a full-time job in Louisiana is $31,600, while the median annual pay for a man holding a full-time job is $48,000. Therefore, women working in Louisiana are paid only 65.3 percent of that of their male counterparts. This data ranks Louisiana 50th out of all the states, including the District of Columbia, for pay inequality.
The establishment of this advisory committee is part of a larger equal pay strategy to address the perceived wage gap between men and women throughout the state of Louisiana.
"Establishing the Equal Pay Advisory Committee is another important step in making New Orleans a fair and equitable city for all its residents," said District "D" Councilmember Brossett.
Resolution Opposing Presidential Executive Order on Immigration Bans Adopted
The Council voted to adopt Resolution No. R-17-79, which opposes the Presidential Executive Order, "Protection of the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into The United States," issued on January 27, 2017.
The resolution, introduced by District "C" Councilmember Ramsey, requests the President to rescind the Order, which suspends immigration for 90 days from seven mostly Muslim countries deemed to have ties to Islamic terrorists.
The resolution was developed in light of world-wide sentiment, the federal court's orders to stay the Order, and recent incidents such as the rally outside City Hall on January 29, at which citizens joined the growing nationwide protest against the Trump Administration's freeze on refugee and foreign national travel to the United States.
"The United States has made similar mistakes in the past, which should not be repeated," said District "C" Councilmember Ramsey. "This is a moment in history when an international and welcoming City such as New Orleans should not be silent."
Zulu Social Aid and Pleasure Club Presentation
At today's meeting, the Council celebrated the coming of Mardi Gras 2017 with a presentation from members of the Zulu Social Aid and Pleasure Club as the first order of business. Presenters included Naaman C. Stewart, President, Clarence A. Becknell, Sr., Director of Public Relations/Historian, Emeritus Andrew Sanchez, Chairman of Carnival Activities. The Council also heard from 2017 Zulu King Elect Adonis C. Expose and Queen Select Donna M Glapion in addition to the 2017 Zulu Characters.
The Zulu organization is proud of its standing in the local community and also takes pride in its national and international status. Having grown tremendously over the years, the Krewe credits its members for their love, loyalty, and dedication to this organization. Membership is composed of men from all walks of life -- from laborers, City Councilmen, and State Legislators, to United States Congressman, educators, and men of diverse professions.
This year, there will be a coherent theme of "stop the violence" on every float of the Zulu parade. President Naaman C. Stewart addressed the Council saying this was very important for them to be socially conscious this year in light of recent events.
The Krewe of Zulu parade rolls Tuesday, Feb. 28, at 8:00 a.m. in Uptown New Orleans. For more information on the Zulu Social Aid and Pleasure Club, click here.
Former City Council Chaplain Honored
The Council honored the memory of Reverend Dr. Norwood Thompson, Jr., who served as New Orleans City Council Chaplain longer than any other in Council history, and who passed away on Wednesday, February 8th. The Reverend started every Council meeting with a strong voice of faith and unity for years. His final meeting as Chaplain was on December 15, 2016.
The reverend was also a fierce advocate for the African-American community in New Orleans. He served as chair of the MLK Holiday Planning Commission, which was developed to spearhead a city-wide celebration in observance of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the philosophy he espoused.
Reverend Norwood inspired the Council to use each day as an opportunity serve with grace and spread God's love. At today's meeting, members of Reverend Thompson's family were invited to speak on his behalf and commemorate the life of such a remarkable man and friend to the Council.
"We will always remember how he shared his spirit of inclusion and unity with us and all New Orleanians," said Council President Stacy Head.