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The model ordinance centralizes the responsibility for promoting language access in city government in the Office of Neighborhood Engagement (ONE). The ordinance grants ONE increased funds to implement plans to hire multilingual employees. It also appoints ONE to collect the language-access surveys from each of the city's department's in order to analyze the surveys and present the finding to the City Council nine months after the survey process begins. ONE will also receive increase funding to translate written materials that provide vital information to LEP persons about municipal government services. Under the model ordinance, complaints will be collected through an online form prepared by the Chief Administrative Office. The form will be available in Spanish and Vietnamese online. Within the Chief Administrative Office, the Office of Performance Accountability would be charged with reporting the complaints to the respective departments within a week of the complaints being filed. The ordinance also prioritizes departments that offer emergency-related services and guarantees due process for LEP persons.
EquityNewOrleans is a citywide initiative of the Office of Mayor Mitch Landrieu funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. In partnership with the Foundation for Louisiana, EquityNewOrleans assessed the role of equity in City government using a data-driven process that prioritizes stakeholder engagement. The results inform the development of future strategies and decision-making within City government.
The model ordinance authorizes court-appointed pretrial-services advocates for defendants accused of nonviolent crimes; provides for the basic elements of an effective pretrial-services advocate program; and provides for cost-benefit and outcomes comparison with the general Louisiana pretrial defendant population.
The model ordinance sets a standard for the city to make more efficient and sustainable decisions in its procurement. The ordinance requires the city to procure and contract for environmentally preferable products and services whenever possible, defining 'environmentally preferable' as products and services having less harmful effects on human health and the environment than competing alternatives. The ordinance requires environmental preferability to be assessed under a quantitative system, whereby one point is given for each environmentally preferable characteristic possessed. The ordinance allows the city's chief procurement officer flexibility in setting procedures to best meet the standard. The ordinance requires the city to give fair notice to current vendors and contractors of the new. The ordinance requires current vendors and contractors to be surveyed about product characteristics to aid the city in building a database of environmentally preferable products. The ordinance also calls for establishment of an environmental purchasing committee within thirty days of adoption. The committee will consist of seven members: three volunteer representatives of local non-profit environmental organizations, two volunteer representatives of the local business community, the city's chief procurement officer, and the city's director of property management. The committee will advise the Department of Finance, provide annual reports to the City Council, and offer ongoing assistance to improve the Chief Procurement Officer's compliance. The ordinance requires that all materials generated in connection with the policy be made available to citizens as public records.
Alongside the celebrated entertainment venues and storied restaurants, New Orleans is a center of international trade and industry, as it has been for 300 years – but now with much more and better infrastructure. Today this network of river ports, railroads, pipelines and interstates converges in the super region encompassing both New Orleans and Baton Rouge, LA, where it supports a growing and diversifying economy. In this environment, there is a major opportunity for the super region of New Orleans–Baton Rouge to capture community value from the largely underutilized rail system as the region grows through transit-oriented development (TOD) and cargo-oriented development (COD).
Corporations and their political allies deploy state preemption to stop local progress and block the abilities of local governments to act on the values and needs of their communities. This report uses data from Colorado, Louisiana, Pennsylvania, and Tennessee to demonstrate how communities, particularly low-income women of color, are working towards equitable policies around paid sick days, wages, and affordable housing, only to be blocked at the state level by lawmakers caving to corporate pressure or following an anti-regulation agenda.
Memphis is experiencing unequal growth; while some neighborhoods are benefitting from new development, increased investments and an increase in high-paying jobs, others are experiencing decline or lagging in growth. This paper examines how economic development activities are structured, organized, and financially supported in Memphis as one explanation for its current growth challenges. Additionally, this report looks at how Atlanta, Detroit, St. Louis, and New Orleans organize their economic development agencies and activities, in order to explore other models that might bring Memphis greater equity and inclusion.
Public school students in the U.S. suffered poorer schools—and local and state taxpayers paid higher taxes—in 2019 due to corporate tax breaks; economic development tax abatements given to corporations cost public school districts at least $2.37 billion in foregone revenue in FY 2019. This report presents case studies from schools in Louisiana, Missouri, New York, South Carolina, and Texas where schools are losing significant revenue to tax abatements. Additionally, this report makes recommendations to these states and offers suggestions to the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (BASB); these recommendations include capping the share of each locality’s property and sales tax base that can be abated in the name of economic development, giving school boards control to opt in or out of tax-break deals, requiring all governments that are making abatement agreements to report the costs of such deals to all affected jurisdictions, and more.
Using local and state associations, massive corporations and their overwhelmingly white, male leadership are driving forward a strategy to keep wages low and rents high by stripping away local democratic power. This report focuses on five states—Tennessee, Pennsylvania, Louisiana, Michigan and Colorado—where people’s campaigns are underway to challenge corporations’ hold on democracy and allow cities to protect workers and tenants. By exposing these corporations and their harmful, anti-democratic actions, this report aims to help the many people organizing to challenge corporate interference.