Regular Meeting

June 04, 2020 10:00 AM Virtual Meeting

The New Orleans City Council will conduct its next regular meeting via teleconference only on June 4, 2020 at 10:00 AM. 


Access Information

The meeting may be accessed using the following methods:

Live Stream of Meeting:

Live Television Broadcast: Cox Cable Channel 6 in Orleans Parish



During this teleconference meeting, matters will be considered in the attached agenda.


Public Comment

Because of the unprecedented logistical and public health challenges presented by COVID-19, public comment will proceed as follows:

• Only written public comment will be allowed.  Live comment will not be permitted.

• At the beginning of the meeting, the moderator will read aloud the entire council agenda.  Thereafter, the meeting will recess for 30 minutes so that members of the public may provide written public comment on any agenda item.

• Public comments are now being accepted and will be accepted until the end of the 30-minute comment submittal period.  Public comment received after the close of the 30-minute comment submittal period will not be considered.

• Each submission must contain (i) the commenter’s first and last name, (ii) the commenter’s address, (iii) whether the commenter is being paid in connection with his or her comments, and (iv) the agenda item to which the comment pertains. Any comment missing this information will not be read aloud.

• No member of the public may submit more than one written comment per agenda item.

• Before the Council votes on an agenda item, a moderator will read into the record all comments pertaining to that item that have been submitted in accordance with these rules.

• Comments will be read aloud in a normal speaking voice. The moderator will discontinue reading a comment once it exceeds two minutes.

• Any person seeking accommodation as a result of a disability or other circumstance should contact Council Chief of Staff David Gavlinski at  


NOTE: Public comment may be allowed for items not requiring a vote at the discretion of the presiding officer. Such comment may be subject to additional restrictions, limitations, and/or modifications to be announced by the presiding officer at the outset of the meeting.


In order to submit public comment for a meeting, go to


Quorum Certification

This meeting is being conducted remotely due to the extraordinary circumstances imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic and pursuant to the authority conferred by Gubernatorial Proclamation JBE 2020-30.  

In accordance with JBE 2020-30, Sec. 4, this notice shall constitute a certification by the City Council that meeting by teleconference is necessary because of the social distancing mandates imposed by the Governor and the Mayor of the City of New Orleans and that the Council will be otherwise be unable to operate due to the quorum requirements of La. R.S. 42:19 – insofar as they mandate the physical presence of Councilmembers in one location.   



This notice and the accompanying agenda are being provided in accordance with La. R.S. 42:19(A)(1)(b)(iv).  

View Agenda (PDF) View Agenda (MS Word) View completed agenda View agenda with attachments

NEW ORLEANS - During today's regular meeting, the City Council adopted a series of resolutions condemning the murder of George Floyd and all practices of institutional racism, establishing the City Council Cares utility bill relief program, and urging the State of Louisiana to allow Medicaid reimbursement for inpatient treatment of serious mental illness.


The Council also approved measures to update the City's current laws regarding the use of facial masks in public and approve immediate polling place relocations for the Presidential Preference Primary Election. Additionally, Councilmembers Moreno and Williams announced plans to begin the process of renaming Jefferson Davis Parkway to Norman C. Francis Parkway in an effort to honor and celebrate the contributions of the African American community. The Council is set to consider a motion to begin the City Planning Commission (CPC) renaming process at its next regular meeting on June 18.
Photos of Jefferson Davis Pkwy. in Mid-City courtesy of Paul Murphy

Councilmembers Unanimously Condemn Police Brutality and Systematic Racism
As today's first order of business, the Council adopted Resolution R-20-163, strongly condemning the murder of George Floyd, the practice of systematic institutional racism, and police violence against Black Americans and all people. The abusive and unnecessary actions of multiple Minneapolis police officers that resulted in the death of George Floyd on May 25 have initiated widespread peaceful protests across this nation and throughout the world.
As a result of the acts of a few bad officers, countless good law enforcement
officers now have the daunting task of addressing the justified community anger expressed
through the peaceful, lawful protests of the murder of George Floyd while protecting communities, people and property. As stated in the resolution, this heinous act and others, have been largely committed by rogue officers who do not and should not represent the many brave men and women who risk their lives protecting citizens each day.
With the unanimous approval of Resolution R-20-163, the Council denounces all instances of police violence and brutality, joining in solidarity with those who have peacefully protested the murder of Mr. Floyd, and who are also advocating the end to social and economic injustices caused by racism throughout this nation and the world. It also calls upon members of the New Orleans Police Department (NOPD) and law enforcement officers across the state to show great empathy and restraint when confronted by protesters, allowing them to freely express their anger, sadness, and grief. The Council further commits to pursuing necessary reforms and policies to prevent this type of systematic abuse and the villainization of black residents to protect them from future harm. 
"People should not have to march in mass to be seen. People should not have to show their tears and pain in the streets to be heard. But I fully support the masses who have peacefully taken to the streets, risking life and livelihood, to make sure the names of the lost are not forgotten and hold accountable a legal system that has far too often endorsed the heinous acts of evil men. This Council condemns racism and white supremacy as well as the silent assent to their impacts by those entrusted to protect all people, and prays for a day that this is the default virtue among all in this country - especially those who owe a duty of care to this nation and those who built it," said Council President Jason Williams.

Council Cares Program to Provide $22 Million in Utility Bill Relief
The Council approved the creation of a $22M direct bill assistance program for unemployed Entergy customers through the City Council Cares (CCC) program, representing the largest single local source of direct assistance available to New Orleanians. Per Resolution R-20-146, current Entergy customers would simply have to submit proof of unemployment since March 29 in order to qualify for this unprecedented bill assistance. 
The CCC program will provide $400 in bill payments for residential Entergy New Orleans customers who have faced lost or reduced wages. Given that the average Entergy bill is about $110 a month, this program could cover 90% of customers' monthly bills. The program would also waive late fees accumulated during the affected period. 
"The economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic have created an unprecedented crisis for our community. That's why I believe we must have an unprecedented response to give a lifeline for our most impacted people. "The CCC's $22M in direct bill assistance will cushion the economic damage our community is suffering with no additional costs. In fact, it will actually save all ratepayers money on their bills. Bill credits of this size and scope will not only help those struggling with their bills but will help mitigate and avoid future added costs or rate increases due to the pandemic for all Entergy New Orleans customers. The company has lost tens of millions of dollars due to up to 40% of their customers being behind on their bills. Unpaid bills end up costing all of us through rate hikes - by providing this assistance, we're saving all ratepayers money. It's truly a win-win," said Councilmember Moreno.
The funding for CCC comes from a federal legal settlement and excess disaster preparedness reserves, which the Council - as Entergy New Orleans' sole regulator under the Charter and established law - has the authority to utilize for a relief package such as this one. Even after the enactment of this program, Entergy New Orleans will maintain over $67M in storm reserves in case of any further disaster. People interested in this program will be asked to provide proof of unemployment benefits gained consistent with the Federal CARES Act retroactive date of March 29. Those benefits - and therefore the CCC - include salaried workers, and for the first time, "gig" and 1099 workers who are often ineligible for benefits. 
The CCC is expected to go live in early summer, with the first bill credits delivered in time for the July billing cycle. Customers will be notified by paper bill-insert, text message, web presence, social media and other means when the program goes live. The Council expects formal communication from Entergy to launch sometime within the next 30 days.
Photo of an Entergy New Orleans electricity bill courtesy of WGNO

Polling Place Relocations Approved for Upcoming Presidential Primary
The Council passed Motion M-20-152 recommending emergency polling place relocations in preparation for the Presidential Preference Primary Election due to the COVID-19 crisis. The motion identifies immediate relocation of the following voting precincts for the election on July 11, 2020:
Guste High Rise Union Bethel AME Church
Union Bethel AME Church
Nazareth Inn
Dolores T. Aarons Academy
Woldenberg Village
Algiers Regional Library
Mater Dolorosa (Senior Center)
Mater Dolorosa Parish House
Mater Dolorosa (Senior Center)
Mater Dolorosa Parish House
Mater Dolorosa (Senior Center)
Mater Dolorosa Parish House
Mater Dolorosa (Senior Center)
Community Commitment Education Center
Mater Dolorosa (Senior Center)
Community Commitment Education Center
Mater Dolorosa (Senior Center)
Community Commitment Education Center
For additional information or to register to vote, click here.

Council Calls for Medicaid Reimbursement to Treat Mental Illnesses
The Council adopted Resolution R-20-153, urging the State of Louisiana to obtain an SMI/SED Medicaid demonstration waiver under the Social Security Act to allow Medicaid reimbursement for inpatient treatment of serious mental illness. The exclusion of Medicaid payments for Institutions for Mental Diseases (IMDs) over the last several decades has proven a contentious feature of our nation's mental health system, prohibiting the use of federal Medicaid funds for most patients in mental health and substance use residential treatment facilities with over 16 beds. 
As of November 2017, states are permitted to apply for a waiver of the IMD exclusion for individuals with substance use disorder (SUD), and as of November 2018, for individuals with serious mental illness (SMI). Specifically, the waiver allows Medicaid to reimburse IMDs with more than 16 beds for patients with mental illnesses. While Louisiana has obtained an IMD waiver for SUD, it has not yet requested an amendment to also include SMI. 
Lifting the IMD exclusion could help lessen the access and funding gaps between outpatient systems and more acute levels of care, reducing the psychiatric bed shortage and preventing seriously ill individuals from being warehoused in jails due to lack of treatment options available to them in the community. By seeking an amendment to its existing waiver, the State could immediately apply for this additional funding to help finally complete our mental health system and end the injustice perpetuated by antiquated policies. 

Outdated City Laws Amended in Light of COVID-19 Health Crisis
The Council approved Ordinance 32,976 formally amending Section 54-313 of the City Code, which prohibits the public use of facial masks or disguises, to create an exception for those worn to prevent the transmission of disease. As the City of New Orleans continues to fight further spread of COVID-19, health authorities strongly urge the use of facial coverings at all times in public when conducting essential activities. 
With the approval of this ordinance, the Council has simply ensured alignment with what's written in the City Code and official guidelines and recommendations of the New Orleans Health Department and elected officials.
Photo of a New Orleans streetcar conductor wearing a mask to protect themselves and fellow riders  courtesy of

Created on: 2/4/2020 12:27:26 PM | Last updated: 6/15/2020 1:04:28 PM


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