Neighborhood-wide meetings: second monday of every month at Warren Easton Charter School: 3019 Canal Street at 6:30PM.

BioDistrict Progress Page

Thursday, June 2, 2011

HB 576 was debated today on the House Floor. MCNO sent a letter stating our position and requesting amendments to the Bill. With the aid of Rep. Neil Abramson and Rep. Leger an amendment to the Bill created two positions for residents who reside within the boundaries of the BioDistrict to sit on the BioDistrict Board. These Board members will be appointed by local Representatives and Senators who represent the legislative districts that overlap the BioDistrict.

The Bill now goes to the Senate and MCNO will continue to push for our other amendments.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The MCNO Board voted to adopt the following updated position:

Motion: That MCNO will push for the following changes in HB 576, which goes to the House floor Thursday and will subsequently proceed to Senate committee and Senate. Once adopted, this position will become MCNO’s formal position regarding the BioDistrict and will guide the efforts of the BioDistrict Committee. The BioDistrict Committee agrees to maintain progress reports of its efforts as per the forthcoming Communications Policy:
  1. OPT OUT: Since there is a mechanism to get into the Biodistrict, there should be a way for a neighborhood to get out of the Biodistrict – without restrictions.  The board would like the bill amended to include an opt-out provision;
  2. Master Plan: We would like the bill amended to include that all planning and development undertaken by the Biodistrict must adhere and follow the New Orleans Master Plan  (Master Plan for the 21st Century);
  3. Representation on the Board: Add two members to the Board of Commissioners for BioDistrict New Orleans who live inside the footprint of the BioDistrict as defined in the bill and are appointed by MCNO.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

The BioDistrict held a Special Board of Commissioners meeting today. The Proposed Agenda included the pending legislation in the House.

Later at 5:30 Karen Carter Peterson called a meeting of the Select Committee on Hurricane Recovery. The meeting was long but we sent in our Public Comment to the members in attendance. Feel free to send your own comment to the members:

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The following editorial appeared in today’s edition of the Times Picayune. Copy below is from Nola.com.

For nearly nine months, The Times-Picayune has failed to write a story on the long-standing controversy surrounding the Greater New Orleans Bioscience Economic Development District. Readers have been privy to stories about chickens in the Seventh Ward, nutria couture and Nicholas Cage’s French Quarter exploits, but we have not seen a single piece on a neighborhood organization’s effort to escape “BioDistrict New Orleans.”

The BioDistrict, as it is known, is a state entity that encompasses 1,500 acres of New Orleans – including most of Mid-City. The entity’s board is not democratically selected, and it does not contain a representative of the Mid-City or Gert Town neighborhoods that will be affected by its decisions. And the BioDistrict’s mission is not neighborhood development, despite its repeated efforts to paint a rosy picture for residents. The board’s legislative charge is the development of a biosciences industry – something that is not appropriate for large portions of the 1,500-acre district that contains several historic neighborhoods.

Recently, the tensions, apparent at multiple meetings over the past nine months, boiled over. The Mid-City Neighborhood Organization issued a press release stating its opposition to being included in the BioDistrict. Legislators have not heeded the neighborhood’s call to be removed from the boundaries. This is a significant public issue.

Alex Avery

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

HB 576 is now scheduled to be debated before the full Louisiana House of Representatives on Thursday, June 2.

Monday, May 23, 2011

HB 576, as amended, not yet scheduled for debate in the house, per the legislative website. To track the bill yourself, click here.

To view the amended version of the bill, excising the Civil Service provision, click here.

Saturday, May 22, 2011

MCNO learns that BioDistrict New Orleans Board of Commissioners will hold a special meeting on Thursday, May 26 from 12:0.0-1:30 p.m. at 134 LaSalle St., New Orleans LA. The meeting is open to the public.  To view the meeting agenda, click here. Members of the Working Group will be in attendance, but we encourage anyone who is interested to attend.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

House Bill 576 passes the House municipal affairs committee with an amendment that removes any reference to making BioDistrict employees unclassified members of the Civil Service.  To view the committee hearing, click here.