Two Hot Issues -- One At The State And One Local!

We again have two important issues needing your energy.

Issue #1: Tell your Louisiana legislators that kids don’t belong in jail

Across this state, 80% of children who are locked up in juvenile detention centers are charged with a non-violent offense. These children are unnecessarily exposed to the dangers of incarceration: abuse, trauma, and even suicide. Just this February, two children – Solan and Jordan – took their own lives in one of Louisiana’s juvenile jails.

The best way to prevent tragedies like these from happening is to keep children out of jail in the first place. HB 158 will help reduce the use of detention by requiring jurisdictions to use objective criteria when deciding whether to jail a child. It will encourage the use of alternatives that are less expensive, less traumatic, and more effective at keeping kids out of trouble.

This bill is scheduled to be heard by committee tomorrow, Tuesday, May 7th. Please join us in telling our lawmakers to vote YES on HB 158. Please take a moment to tell committee members that kids don't belong in cages! It’s quick and easy to send letters with this link!

Issue #2: Tell the New Orleans City Council how you feel about short term rentals

Next Thursday, May 16th, the New Orleans City Council will have a special meeting, taking up the City Planning Commission (CPC) recommendations for short term rentals, which are:

1. Mandatory Homestead Exemption for Short Term Rentals in Residential Neighborhoods. This means that STRs in most neighborhoods must have an owner-occupant present. The owner-occupant can either rent out rooms in their home, or the other half of their double. Triplexes and fourplexes may be subject to block face limitations.

2. Capping the number of commercial Short Term Rentals in apartment buildings. Commercial STRs do not have to have an owner occupant present. The Planning Commission said that only 25% of a building should be used as STRs, with additional STRs allowed if they are tied to the creation of affordable housing.

3. Increasing nightly fees to support affordable housing development. City Planning recommended that owner-occupied STRs have an $8 per night fee assessed for affordable housing, and a $10 per night fee for commercial STRs.  

Unfortunately, that last point has been threatened by House Bill 43, which would redirect the Short Term Rental fee increase to be shared between infrastructure funding and (shockingly in the midst of a tourism driven housing crisis) to New Orleans & Co. for tourism marketing!    

With the Mayor’s deal for infrastructure funding pinned down by negotiations with our tourist industry’s unelected, unaccountable “leadership” it’s more critical than ever than we limit the impact of short term rentals on our neighborhoods.  Making sure New Orleans doesn’t drown is incredibly important, but if all we’re doing is preserving a city-wide open air hotel, then we’re still losing our home.  

Please call your council member and the At-Large council members and tell them to support the City Planning Commissions recommendations! 

Council Member at Large: Helena Moreno: 504-658-1060.
Council Member at Large: Jason Williams: 504-658-1070.
Councilman - District A: Joe Giarrusso: 504-658-1010.
Councilman - District B: Jay Banks: 504-658-1020.
Councilwoman - District C: Kristin Palmer: 504.658-1030.
Councilman - District D: Jared Brossett: 504-658-1040.
Councilwoman - District E: Cyndi Nguyen: 504-658-1050.