Stop the Expansion of the Industrial Canal, Move it to an Unpopulated Area in St. Bernard Parish

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Vanessa Gueringer, Secretary, A Community Voice and Debra Campbell, Chairperson Upper 9th Ward A Community Voice 504-941-2852 and day of event: 504-710-2844

Stop the Expansion of the Industrial Canal, Move it to an Unpopulated Area in St. Bernard Parish

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A Community Voice Members to Meet With Elected Officials at Trinity Lutheran Church March 24, 5234 N Claiborne

6:00 p.m, Friday, March 24

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Also: Info on Fighting the Florida Ave Freeway

NEW ORLEANS — While the Corps of Engineers’ reinvigorated plan to expand the Industrial Canal was most recently resurrected, members of A Community Voice who reside in the upper and lower 9th wards began organizing to fight it. Fresh on their minds, is the recent mistake by Corps’ with the design and execution of walls at the Industrial Canal that resulted in the subsequent flooding of the city. The Corps cannot be sued for anything there. Also, at issue are many other issues: problems from 13 years of heavy construction, pile-driving, dust, traffic issues, relentless noise, safety problems from simultaneously having both bridges up (no access by police, fire, ambulances, etc.), to delays for workers and parents.

Members of A Community Voice, will be on hand to urge Councilman at Large Jason Williams to ensure that the City of New Orleans take an interest in the potential problems associated with the expansion, including Resolutions to Congress and the state of Louisiana. State Rep. Jimmy Harris and others will be on hand to work with the community group.

For more on the Expansion of the Industrial Canal.

A Community Voice members in the Upper and Lower 9th ward are working with others from St. Bernard Parish to gain support for moving the toxins from the Industrial Canal, and its main operations to an unpopulated area in St. Bernard Parish.

Please join us Friday, at 6:00 p.m, at 5234 N Claiborne to fight for the neighborhoods in the 9th ward.

Vanessa Gueringer
Vice President
A Community Voice
and
Chairperson Lower 9th Ward A Community Voice
Debra Campbell
Secretary
A Community Voice
and Chairperson
Upper 9th Ward A Community Voice
504-941-2852 office
504-617-6215 fax

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Comments Due to Army Corps of Engineers by March 14th on Industrial Canal Expansion

Join ACV in fighting against the Industrial Canal Expansion. 

Comments may be submitted to:

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (PDC-CEC)
c/o Mark Lahare
P.O. Box 60267
New Orleans, LA 70160-0267
Fax: (504) 862-2088
This contains some of our comments to the Corps.
As you know, the history of the expansion of the Industrial Canal includes the uniform opposition by those neighborhood members and groups who line the canal. At present, there are many issues with the expansion that has led most of us to conclude that the canal needs to be moved to an un-populated area of St. Bernard Parish. We are working with elected officials from St. Bernard who are for this move, as well. Most folks recognize that the future of the Industrial Canal will continue to be against other expansion efforts, why not just move it to a place where the future won’t guarantee a fight?

The current basis for the log-ramming effort to expand at its existing location is based on out of date information. At the very least, a new Traffic Study should be conducted to give you the data that this site is out of date, past info suggesting anything positive about this site is out of date and that a new paradigm is needed since the largest ships cannot even navigate the Mississippi River, but a downriver site would be much closer for them.

As we requested at the meeting this week in the lower 9th ward, another hearing is necessary for the upper 9th ward side, which would also require an extension of the comment period to April.

As the near sole beneficiary of this log-ramming effort, post the Trump inauguration is his major fundraiser Boysie Bollinger, it is time for our Congressional delegation to request a GAO investigation into the misuse of federal funds on this project.

Of course, the St. Claude bridge needs work, a bikeway and pedestrian upgrade, and local residents should enjoy the benefit of jobs on this section of the canal.

This project should be moved away from urban areas and to where large barges towing hazardous cargoes could negotiate the river, away from the treacherous bends, and currents around New Orleans in the busiest and most dangerous section of the Mississippi River.

This project will not benefit the 9th Ward: in fact it will do much damage. Thousands of pilings will be driven that will damage historic structures in neighborhoods bordering the canal. Further construction dust, noise, vibration, exposure, disruption, devastation, are accompanied with guaranteed uncompensated risk, as the Corps’ arbitrary decisions are immune from lawsuit.

The 13-year construction project will create a bottleneck for transportation- and problems for residents, businesses, and all forms of transit that would paralyze this area. The demand that residents move from their homes is inhumane.

Fabricating studies, ruining wetlands, risking communities, and a lack of accountability to citizens and nation, along with the Corps’ history instructs that this project should be moved to an unpopulated area.

It is dangerous to disturb toxins in the canal bottoms and expose the community to further danger from their transportation and disposal. The environmental hazards to both our communities and anywhere they decide to dump these toxins is unknowable and potentially illegal.

All of these points constitute Environmental Racism.

We look forward to your response and to working with you to achieve a fair and impartial just solution for this project. Please accept this letter as our deep opposition to this project as it is currently proposed.

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Candidate Forum set for Saturday March 4th 1pm Allen P August Multi-Purpose Center Lake Charles

A Community Voice (ACV) is pleased to announce that we are hosting a public candidate forum on:

Saturday March 4th    1pm

Allen P August Multi-Purpose Center

2001 Moeling Street.

This forum will introduce the public to candidates running for Mayor and City Council District A, B, C, F and inform as many people as possible the positions of each candidate. Some of the main issues of concern are affordable housing, economic development and jobs, as well as health care.

Mayoral candidates will go first at 1pm, followed by City Council candidates at 2pm. Candidates will be allowed brief introductions, following with a question and answer sessions. The audience will have an opportunity to submit questions in writing. The moderator for this candidate forum will be Crystal Stevenson from the American Press.

Everyone is invited to attend. Please contact A Community Voice at 337-707-1517 or email at info@acommunityvoice.com for questions or additional information.

Press Release for ACV Candidate Forum March 4th

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Stop Environmental Racism in the 9th Ward

Fight the Industrial Canal Expansion

  • There are NO Jobs or Benefits for Impacted Communities
  • It Only Benefits Trump Mega-Fundraiser Bollinger Shipyards
  • Waste of 1 Billion of Taxpayer dollars
  • Barge Traffic carrying toxins is Dangerous for the large bordering neighborhoods
  • Damage from pile driving near homes will lower property values and the Corps is protected from liability.
  • This Project calls for a 2nd Canal to be dug in the Lower 9, which will leave homes more vulnerable to flooding.
  • Construction will disturb heavy metals, contaminate the canal, and pollute the entire City.
  • Impede traffic flow, including those driving into St. Bernard, and threaten the community during hurricane season.
  • Existing canal has been improperly maintained, due to nonunion work.
  • Mitigation money should be used to pay reparations to the community for past damages

Problems with the New Freeway

Through the 8th & 9th Wards

  • Benefits only St. Bernard Parish & no benefits to Orleans Parish
  • Trucks can easily use Paris Rd. in St. Bernard to get to I-10
  • 100 Affordable Housing units will be TORN DOWN in Lower 9
  • New Bridges & Bike Paths can be built without this Freeway

What You can Do NOW to . . .

Please Make Phone Calls & Send a Note to the Army Corps

Are You Against the Expansion of the Industrial Canal?

Mayor Landrieu mayor@nola.gov 504-658-4000

Councilmembers

Jason Williams jasonwilliams@nola.gov 504-658-1070

Stacy Head shead@nola.gov 504-658-1060

Susan Guidry sgguidry@nola.gov 504-658-1010

Latoya Cantrell lcantrell@nola.gov 504-658-1020

Nadine Ramsey districtc@nola.gov 504-658-1030

Jared Brossett councildistrictd@nola.gov 504-658-1040

James Gray jagray@nola.gov 504-658-1050

Governor John Bel Edwards 866-366-1121

Congressman Cedric Richmond 504-288-3777

Comments in Writing only to Army Corps of Engineers

By March 1st

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New Orleans District

c/o Mark Lahare

CEMVN-PDC-CEC

7400 Leake Ave.

New Orleans, LA 70118

mark.h.lahare@usace.army.mil

Are you against a new freeway through the 8th & 9th Wards?

Please Make Calls & Leave this Message

  1. No to the Louisiana State DOTD Florida Project that puts a freeway through New Orleans Black Neighborhoods
  2. Yes to new bridges that have bike/walk access at Florida and Claiborne and a new bike/walk bridge at St. Claude.

Governor John Bel Edwards 866-366-1121

Congressman Cedric Richmond 504-288-3777

Rep. Jimmy Harris harrisj@legis.la.gov 504-243-1960

Rep. Joseph Bouie bouiej@legis.la.gov 504-286-1033

Rep. Neil Abramson abramson@legis.la.gov 504-275-8051

Rep. Walt Leger legerw@legis.la.gov 504-556-9970

Rep. John Bagneris bagnerisj@legis.la.gov 504-243-7783

Rep. Helena Moreno morenoh@legis.la.gov 504-568-2740

State Sen. Troy Carter cartert@legis.la.gov 504-302-3682

State Sen. JP Morrell morrelljp@legis.la.gov 504-284-4794

State Sen. Karen Carter-Peterson 504-568-8346

State Sen. Wesley Bishop bishopw@legis.la.gov 504-284-4794

Mayor Landrieu mayor@nola.gov 504-658-4000

Councilmembers

Jason Williams jasonwilliams@nola.gov 504-658-1070

Stacy Head shead@nola.gov 504-658-1060

Susan Guidry sgguidry@nola.gov 504-658-1010

Latoya Cantrell lcantrell@nola.gov 504-658-1020

Nadine Ramsey districtc@nola.gov 504-658-1030

Jared Brossett councildistrictd@nola.gov 504-658-1040

James Gray jagray@nola.gov 504-658-1050

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ACV Fights to Stop the Expansion of the Industrial Canal in the Lower 9th Ward

Sign the A Community Voice Petition Against the Expansion of the Industrial Canal

Copy of the Petition to take to your church, school or workplace. Industrial canal expansion petition

To: Louisiana Elected Officials and the Army Corps of Engineers, Mark H. Lahare

Fr: A Community Voice, a membership based, nonprofit in New Orleans, LA, with over 3,000 membership families in the 9th ward.

Re: Jeopardizing the 9th Ward with the Expansion of the Industrial Canal

1. The affected communities in New Orleans have always opposed the expansion of the Industrial Canal because there are no community benefits from this project but many devastating consequences. There are no jobs and no dbe requirements. This is the Corps’ gift to our 300 year old city? No thank you.

2. The project primarily benefits Trump fundraiser Boysie Bollinger’s shipyards on the Industrial Canal and was re-prioritized for that payoff.

3. This is a waste of nearly one billion tax payers that we have paid for government services, and not for the proposed subsidies to the chemical/oil/gas industry. Reparations should be paid to the families in the 9th ward, who lost or had damage to lives and their homes due to neglect by the Corps.

4. The existing barge traffic is dangerous and needs to be moved to a location with reduced residential population. Move the Industrial Canal to a safer, unpopulated location.

5. The damaging effects of pile-driving on historic residential homes cannot be under-estimated, particularly since redress to the usual channels in the courts is removed by the immunity of the Corps from litigation. The noise will cause additional stress on community residents, from senior citizens to babies who will be hurt by this project. The dust and construction debris and intrusions are further health issues that will hurt the population. Property values will plummet. Making the 9th ward an Industrial work area with toxins coming through daily is wrong and racist.

6. Another dubious and dangerous part of the proposal is a “temporary canal” that would be dug on the eastern side of the original canal that will endanger especially the lower 9th ward. IT turns out that they plan to keep this 2nd canal, and turn the lower 9th ward into an Industrial toxic dump. Again, there’s no problem for the Corps, since they have immunity, and now, a track record for us all to see. Flooding the lower 9th ward is part of that legacy and this project must be stopped for all of these reasons.

7. The plan, to disturb the heavy metals and contaminants in the canal and to send them to local landfills is basically against all known and legal procedures for disposal of hazardous material. Why these toxins have to be pumped into the wetland based New Orleans landfills is outrageous and antithetical to common sense. Further, people in the community use the canal for fishing, boating and recreation. We don’t need to be exposed to these toxins.

8. The threat to the community will be increased during hurricane seasons in by the actual construction process that will impede traffic flow over the canal.

9. Who are you asking us to trust with no accountability mechanisms at all to a local population, and that it has already extremely victimized with its independent decisions that can’t be challenged in court? It was its own original plan to assist the chemical/oil/gas industry by building a basically unnecessary Mississippi River Gulf Outlet that created a superhighway for Hurricane Katrina. That single court case, was allowed by the Judge due to the fact that the Army Corps of Engineers dreamed up a brand new project MRGO, one that didn’t have to do with existing canals and levees. It has been ruled by the court system, and by their own admission, as the primary reason for the flooding of New Orleans. Further their poorly designed and executed levee system failed and killed thousands of innocent people, who were not even warned about the impending failure of the levees, even though the Army Corps of Engineers knew well in advance of the storm that the levees would fail, and did nothing to prevent the horror of the end of those lives. They further traumatized an entire population that didn’t immediately die and never apologized to anyone.

10. This project is “old school” in a world that is rapidly changing, including with new delivery systems that utilize drones. Furthermore, scientists encourage us to conserve and shrink, which electric cars and bullet trains are some examples, not this Corps project.

11. Ironically, and you can’t make this up, the Corps cites their own incompetence at selection of non-union contracts that have failed to properly repair and maintain the canal, as to why the traffic on the canal is so slow. These higher maintenance problems should not be born on the backs of the 9th ward. The GAO needs to evaluate this situation and get it under control instead of blowing up the neighborhoods with this unfeasible plan. The Industrial Canal needs to be moved to a truly industrial area.

12. The remnants to be spent, of the original $56 million on “mitigation” is another bogus carrot to hang before the community, as if there is any purchase that would restore to the community the losses from this hugely dangerous and damaging This should be spent on reparations to the community.

Army Corps Project

Nola.com article.

A Community Voice – 2221 St. Claude Ave., New Orleans, LA 70117

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No Florida Avenue Freeway: Save Our Homes & Community Health

Fact Sheet

The “Florida Project” is a joint federal and state funded proposal to expand Florida Avenue and create a new freeway through the 8th and 9th Wards on Florida, for heavy trucks that are in transit from the St. Bernard Port.

Currently, there are problems associated with Florida Avenue in the Upper 9th Ward, such as the truck traffic that diverts from there down Pauline and damages the homes of senior citizens and long time residents of the area.

A further expansion of Florida Blvd will create an unnecessary freeway for heavy trucks to come through Orleans Parish to reach Elysian Fields and then gain access to the interstate.  The option to have the trucks take Paris Rd. in St Bernard is by far the cheaper and more expedient option for the trucks and state.  Frankly, imposing a freeway on African American communities is simply environmental racism.

Elected officials are telling residents that a new Florida Avenue Bridge is completely contingent on the whole Florida “freeway” project. This is not true, as funding for this bridge has to be a separate item.

A freeway through our community would create noise, congestion, pollution, and access points for heavy trucks to cut through the neighborhoods.  It is particularly mind-boggling that they would attempt to put this truck traffic onto Elysian Fields at I-610 where there is currently so much congestion and an existing danger from the current heavy traffic.

A Community Voice supports:

  1. A new Florida bridge
  2. Replacement of the Claiborne/Judge Seeber bridge
  3. An additional bike and pedestrian bridge at St. Claude
  4. All St. Bernard Parish truck traffic needs to stay in St. Bernard Parish, and use Paris Rd. to get to the interstate

Join us. Sign our petition

Print out fact sheets for your church or organization.

no-florida-avenue-freeway-fact-sheet

Have your church or organization join the fight.

church-sign-on-form

organization-sign-on-form

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NOLA Housing & Community Fair April 23rd

Southern United Neighborhoods, in conjunction with our sister organization, A Community Voice is hosting a housing, jobs, health care and small business fair for residents interested in owning their own homes, fixing their own home, buying rental property and receiving information on needed social services. SUN’s program is certified through the Louisiana Homebuyers’ Collaborative and assists those who attend our First-Time Homebuyers’ Classes with obtaining bond money through the City. Our rehab program has repaired over 35 homes in partnership with the City of New Orleans Office of Community Development.

Our annual housing fairs:

*supports one to one credit counseling

*supports special programs for low income families including free housing rehab and annually connects over 1000 families to affordable housing programs

*provides annual grassroots outreach to over 300,000 families, with information about our programs and of our sponsoring organizations

*connects residents to area businesses

Southern United Neighborhoods (SUN) will host the special Housing, Jobs, Healthcare, and Small Business Fair, Saturday April 23rd, 2016 from 10am to 1pm at First Presbyterian Church of New Orleans at 5401 S. Claiborne Avenue (at Jefferson Avenue).

This event will draw over 300 low to moderate income families who are interested in receiving information about affordable housing programs, available job opportunities, healthcare and social services available in their community.

As an organization and business that the community needs to know about and participate in, we would very much appreciate your sponsorship of the upcoming fair. Sponsorship of the fair includes: literature and a table at our event, listing as a sponsor in all publicity, including media, flyers, and other outreach vehicles to churches, schools and PSAs.

Please fill out the form below if you are interested in participating in our fair. Feel free to call us at 800-239-7379 or email director@southernunitedneighborhoods.org or info@acommunityvoice.com if you have additional questions or would like to meet with us about our organization.

Letter for Fair & Form 

Flyer for the Fair 

Table at Housing and Community Fair


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