Monday, May 25, 2009

A simple but important request

Last week at, I wrote about Rep. Rick Nowlin's House Bill 780 which provides some very basic protections for homeowners in Lower Mid-City, residents of New Orleans, and taxpayers statewide.

Click here to register your support for House Bill 780


The bill prohibits the state from expropriating private property in the hospital footprint until the Legislature approves a financing plan from LSU.

This very simple measure will safeguard against possible botched developments that languish as empty lots for years or are outright aborted prior to completion. One doesn't have to look any further than the DOA convention center expansion or Central City Albertson's to see evidence of that here in New Orleans.

Given that there are very real questions about LSU's financing outlook for the proposed $1.2 billion development, it seems like plain common sense to require that a funding plan be in place BEFORE the state starts razing homes and businesses.

The convention center and Albertson's footprints once held structures that were prematurely razed to make way for development that never occurred. New Orleans residents, Lower Mid-City property owners, and state taxpayers deserve protections to ensure that this doesn't happen again.

The National Trust has made it very easy to lobby for the passage of HB 780 right from the comfort of your desk, couch, or bed. It will take less than five minutes and you'll be making a difference.

Click here to support House Bill 780!

The more involved I get with this fight, and with the processes of government in general, the more I have come to recognize how critical every little email or phone call is. It's easy to be cynical about this kind of basic participation because it's so hard to see where your 5 minutes makes an impact. But trust me - it does. When politicians see their inbox explode, votes change. I know that a lot of legislators are on the fence. This one is going to be close. Every single phone call or email is going to make an important difference.

I know that there are a lot of mixed opinions about the LSU/VA vs. Charity controversy out there, even just within the comments section here at WCBF. House Bill 780 is not an either/or proposition as far as that controversy is concerned.

It does not matter whether or not your are for or against the LSU/VA plan. This bill protects everyone from abusive expropriation policy. It does not further delay LSU; instead, it forces them to prove they have a plan to finish the job.

Please, click here to send letters to the legislators of the Health and Welfare Committee.

Have you done it yet? Let me know with a comment below.

If you want to be really really cool, you'll call the Committee Clerk in Baton Rouge at 225-342-2404. Just say "I'm calling to register my support for the passage of HB 780!"

Then, there are three New Orleans area reps on the Health and Welfare Committee. If readers are represented by any of the following, please make an additional special call to their office.

Neil Abramson (504) 275-8051

Walker Hines (504) 756-4675

John LaBruzzo (504) 833-7788


Damian said...

Great post today, E. I just submitted my version of the comment form.

You're absolutely right: it doesn't matter if you're pro-VA, anti-VA, or agnostic (as I would probably call myself); requiring LSU to demonstrate a plan and proof of funding prior to seizing people's private property is a thoroughly common-sense measure that most people should be able to stand behind.

E said...

Thanks Damian. I really appreciate it.

MAD said...

All done. Good to be on the same page with you on this, E.

E said...

Yep. And tell your friends!

judyb said...

Sent mine out the other day. I also did a post showing phone numbers and email addresses of all of the Louisiana House Health & Welfare Committee. It took only about 5 minutes to send the emails out.

GentillyGirl said...

Emailed and called.