Hospitality Zone bill not passed; can we now work together and move forward?
As of 5:18 PM CDT today with the adjournment of the 2012 Legislative session, Louisiana Senate Bill 767 “SPECIAL DISTRICTS: Creates the New Orleans Hospitality Zone” expired without being called from the calendar for its third reading and final passage.
I wish to commend the following elected officials that are on record for being responsive to their constituents as a priority over answering to the desires of industry-related bureaus and corporations: Senator Karen Carter Peterson, Senator Jean-Paul Morrell, Representative Helena Moreno, New Orleans City Council President Jackie Clarkson, Councilmember Kristen Gisleson Palmer, and Council At-Large Stacy Head.
This victory belongs to every single person who wrote to or called our elected officials, wrote about, reported about, or discussed the bill (publicly or privately), and who supported the rally cry of “We are a community — not a commodity!” Together we gave these words meaning: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” ~ Margaret Mead (1901 – 1978)
The idea of a Hospitality Zone with dedicated funding for infrastructure, maintenance, provision of appropriate and much-need services, and inclusive management (allowing for resident involvement in the process) is admirable and well worth pursuing. I hope that Mayor Landrieu, our Senators, and our Representatives will go back to the drawing board and revisit this proposed special district in a manner that incorporates community meetings and invites citizen input, as well as ensuring community involvement, transparency, and accountability subsequent to the Hospitality Zone’s possible implementation at a later date.
In the interim, I ask that the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, the New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau, the New Orleans Tourism and Marketing Corporation, and all other tourism and hospitality industry “stakeholders” carefully consider the opportunity that now exists to do the right thing: please release the $30 million from the canceled Phase IV expansion of the Convention Center and follow through on the previously-noted plans for much-needed infrastructure repairs and improvements. There has been no significant investment in the care and upkeep of our city’s historic heart for almost 30 years’ time; please recognize that these efforts are, in fact, long overdue. Significant wear-and-tear or deterioration of such improvements will not occur between now and commencement of the 2013 Legislative session and the passage of any relevant legislation during that session.
To our elected officials and the hospitality and tourism industries: You have in your hands at this moment the opportunity to create unity between the residents who will continue to make the proposed Hospitality Zone a living and vibrant community and the economic interests that derive benefit from such. Please consider paying it forward by demonstrating your genuine commitment to protect the areas of our city that you seek to promote. Please use the time between now and the 2013 Legislative session to create a true and meaningful consensus.
Let us all make the best effort to work together from this point forward by choosing to create a partnership that is embraced by and inclusive of all concerned parties within this community.
To the readers of this post: I invite you to consider sending an email encouraging our elected officials and the tourism and hospitality industries to move forward with plans to dedicate the $30 million derived from tax revenue previously budgeted for the canceled Phase IV development of the Convention Center to much-needed infrastructure, maintenance, and service improvements within our city. Please commend them for their interest and request their consideration to do what’s best for our city now. Please clip and paste the following addresses to send emails of support for this effort:
firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
Let’s prepare for celebrating New Orleans’ upcoming 300th anniversary in May 2018 as a community. It’s time for all of us to work together to do right by and properly care for our beloved lady who has a pretty face with dirty feet.
Posted on June 4, 2012, in Culture, Local Politics, Louisiana, Louisiana Politics, Media, New Orleans History, Politics, Tourism and tagged Councilmember At -Large Head, Councilmember Clarkson, Councilmember Palmer, Hospitality District, Hospitality Zone, LA SB 573, LA SB 767, Mayor Landrieu, New Orleans, Senator Edwin R. Murray, Senator J.P. Morrell, Senator Karen Carter Peterson, Tourism. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a Comment.