Residents say broken Upper 9th Ward streetlights a hazard

Link to WWLTV article and video

NEW ORLEANS — Lights are out along two major overpasses in the Upper Ninth Ward. Community activists are concerned about public safety, saying they’ve reached out to the city in the last year and nothing has been done.

The city of New Orleans is once again blaming copper thieves for the blackout.

“That bridge makes a curve. If you’re not familiar with it, you could just as well go off the bridge. So all of this is a concern for me,” said Debra Campbell, chairperson for A Community Voice in the Upper Ninth Ward.

Broken streetlights and missing guardrails dot the France Street overpass in the Upper Ninth Ward along the Industrial Canal. Those safety concerns are weighing on the mind of Campbell and her neighbors.

Our camera captured blacked-out lights at sunset along a nearly two-mile stretch from North Dorgenois Street at France Street all the way to the Alvar Street overpass near 1-10.

Campbell is chairperson of the Upper Ninth Ward chapter of A Community Voice. She said residents’ complaints to the city continue to go mostly unanswered.

“I’m just concerned for their safety. I think something needs to be done. I’m not opposed to the areas we’ve given to the bicyclists, but we have to protect them,” said Campbell.

The New Orleans Department of Public Works confirms thieves stole the copper wiring inside some of the streetlight poles, damaging a feed point at the France Street overpass.

“It’s a big hazard. It’s an overpass where people could get hit. A bicyclist, a vehicle could go off road. The lighting needs to be addressed at this overpass,” said Councilman Jared Brossett, who said his office is aware of the problem.

Brossett said the Department of Public Works informed his office that major repairs are needed and an estimate is being drawn up to figure out a price tag.

“I’m hoping the Department of Public Works can act swiftly on this, as it is a hazard. I’m working with the community to address their concerns,” Brossett said.

For those who regularly drive, cycle or walk along these Upper Ninth Ward overpasses and streets, the unlit stretch is seen as a ticking time bomb.

“We have bikers that go over after dark. We’re asking the city to please give us some lights back here,” Campbell said.

In a written statement, the Landrieu administration said “97 percent of the city’s streetlights are now working more than before Hurricane Katrina.”

In this case, the city confirms it is taking measures to restore some streetlights until permanent repairs can be done. City officials urge citizens to call 911 if they spot anyone attempting to vandalize city streetlights or any public property.

Support Education Bill in Baton Rouge!!

Screen Shot 2015-04-30 at 12.14.54 PMTo Join us:


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The Education Committee of the Louisiana House of Representatives meets Wednesday May 6th at 9:30 am.  at the Louisiana Legislature in Baton Rouge.

Supporters of House Bill 166 sponsored by Representative Joseph Bouie are asked to write letters, email, and attend the hearing. The law would require that all schools taken from the Orleans Parish School by the Recovery School District that have recovered academically be returned to the Orleans Parish School Board by beginning of fiscal year 2016-2017 school year.

Under present law and BESE policy schools can determine if they want to return to Orleans Parish Schools and they can keep public schools forever.

Thirty-Three schools have achieved academic success and have recovered from failing status on tests administered to students. Under Representative Bouie’s bill, approved by the Orleans Parish School Board, these schools would finally return to local control.

The Education Committee is comprised of persons outside Orleans  Parish, except Rep. Wesley Bishop and Rep. Walt Leger, added to the committee because Leger is House Speaker Pro Tem.

You are urged to write letters, emails and make phone calls to these representatives letting them know that you support this legislation. Below please find a link to a bill summary and a link to the Committee members contact information.

It is important that the New Orleans delegation to the Legislature be contacted. We have also attached their contact information.

Bill summary:  https://www.legis.la.gov/legis/ViewDocument.aspx?d=931352

Education Committee and the New Orleans delegation contact information is attached below. Hold ctrl + click over each member’s name to get information for the representative.

Please Support the Houma Nation

Five years ago, the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill off the coast of Louisiana decimated the fisheries of the Gulf Coast, and the livelihoods of the people who live there – including the 17,000-member United Houma Nation, a tribe native to southern Louisiana.

But, when the Houma sought payment for damages from BP, they were denied because the tribe is not officially recognized by the U.S. government.

The United Houma Nation is recognized by the state of Louisiana — but not by the federal Department of the Interior. Federal recognition would mean a shot at fair compensation from BP, and allow the tribe to apply for disaster relief after major storms. Can you join with thousands of other Louisianans calling for recognition for the United Houma Nation?

Click here to tell the United States Department of the Interior to recognize the United Houma Nation.

The United Houma Nation is on the front line of climate change. Faced with increasingly severe storms, they are unable to apply for disaster relief because they are not federally recognized.

The coastal location of the Houma’s tribal communities puts them in the path of oil pipelines and drilling operations in the Gulf Coast that further erode their land, yet they cannot contribute to decision-making about land use and environmental restoration.

For more than three decades, the Houma have fought for official recognition from the federal government. Recognition would give the Houma more power to protect their land, food systems and way of life as they stand on the front line of climate change.

Click here to stand with the United Houma Nation in their fight for land sovereignty and climate justice.

Katrina 10 Years After Commemoration Event

We are having a community awards program for our Katrina 10th Year Commemoration.  The event will be held on Saturday, August 1st from 2pm to 5pm at Holy Angels at 3500 St. Claude Avenue.   This program will honor the regular heroes of our community who work every day to help rebuild our neighborhoods.  Your donation will help us with our awards program and support the work that we do in the community.

Donations are $10/ticket to help support:

  • homebuyer programs and credit counseling
  • home repair programs
  • fighting for equal funding for all neighborhoods

Please support if you can and come out to our event.  Call us at 504-941-2852 or 800-239-7379 with any questions.

Thank You!!


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Help Bring Someone Home to the Lower 9th Ward

Our sister nonprofit, Southern United Neighborhoods, is helping a woman come back to the Lower 9th Ward who was a major victim of contractor fraud. She is elderly, disabled and really struggling to become whole. A contractor took off with all her money and left her home UN-livable. SUN can only do so much. She needs help getting her appliances, light fixtures and making her home as accessible as possible. She needs funds to buy basic things. Please help if you can. Visit southernunitedneighborhoods.org to donate today. We have fixed 23 homes in the Lower 9th Ward and helped residents who thought they would never be able to come back to the Lower 9th Ward.

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Blight is a Fright Action Lower 9th Ward

October 30th, 2014

Protest at the former SOUL headquarters (Jon Johnson) 1938 Caffin – been on the demo list since July. Lower 9th Ward is full of Haunted Houses and every day is Halloween thanks to the City. This is a bus stop and students walk by this every single day they go to school. Please vote YES to Amendment 13th on November 4th to allow residents to buy lots for $100.

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Lake Charles Housing & Community Fair 10-25-2014

October 25th, 2014

Lake Charles A Community Voice hosted their 22nd Annual Housing and Community Fair.  Over 200 people came out.  ACV would like to thank our sponsors:  Southern United Neighborhoods, Tri-Star Management, Louisiana Small Business Development Center, Capital One Bank and Isle of Capri Casino.

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Stop Blight & Crime Protest Upper 9th Ward 9-25-2014

On September 25th, 2014, ACV members held a Stand up and Fight Back against growing blight, lack of city response and no police patrols.

The 1600 block of Louisa (at N. Claiborne) is a hazard with overgrown grass so you can’t see to turn onto Claiborne, 3 wide open abandoned homes, people allowed to buy property at discount and never keep it up, and an unsafe bus stop. Residents are sick of overgrown grass, vacant homes and unsafe bus stops.  Councillmember Jason Williams’ office made a commitment to get something done within 3 weeks.

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A Community Voice 9 Years & Fighting Protest August 30th New Orleans

flyer for August 30th
As you know it is that time of year and we are coming up on Hurricane Katrina’s 9th anniversary.

Do you think that we should take this opportunity to send a message to the nation that the funds are not being spent in our community  even though the funds were raised to fix our neighborhoods?

We have documents that show that the city spent $30 million on the Crescent Park on the river by the Marigny and built a new park at Lafitte and spent funds across the river on parks and many things but didn’t fix our area.  Do you think that we should fight for our fair share of the funds?

For about an hour we will be at Reynes and St. Claude by the bridge at 10 a.m. – 11 a.m.  Sat. Aug. 30th, to Memorialize and Protest 9 years later and we need more.
Please Join Us! 504-941-2852