Saturday, February 10, 2007

Today is the Deadline

I'm running a couple days behind. I thought this might be useful to some of you.

For Immediate Release
:

UNOP Planners Encourage New Orleanians to 'Weigh In' on LA Speaks Regional Vision

NEW ORLEANS, LA (February 1, 2007)

Today planners working on the Unified New Orleans Plan (UNOP) and members of the Community Support Organization (CSO) are encouraging residents to 'weigh in' on the Louisiana Speaks Regional Vision.

DEADLINE IS FEBRUARY 10: New Orleanians and residents across South Louisiana have an opportunity to weigh in and help decide the future of our region.

• Click here to complete the LA Speaks poll online.

• Call the LA Speaks toll free number (888) PLAN-2050 or (888) 752-6205 to complete the poll over the phone.

• Visit a LA Speaks community polling station to pick up a copy of the Louisiana Speaks newsletter or drop off a completed response sheet.

“Over the last six months, thousands of New Orleanians have provided valuable input that has resulted in the development of a comprehensive recovery and rebuilding plan for our city,” said Stephen Bingler, principal of Concordia, one of the local planning and architecture firms working on the unified plan. “Now, as the UNOP process draws to an end and we prepare to submit the unified plan for approval, its important that we look beyond city and parish lines and consider how New Orleans can strengthen the region and help Louisiana as a whole compete more effectively with other states for jobs and investment from around the world. The Louisiana Speaks Regional Vision will help us do just that.”

Last week, Louisiana Speaks launched a major public outreach campaign to engage citizens across South Louisiana on a range of issues including community growth, transportation, coastal protection and economic development. The responses generated from this unprecedented, privately-funded outreach campaign will serve as the foundation for the Louisiana Speaks Regional Vision.

“Citizens of New Orleans are getting a once in a lifetime chance to shape the way we plan for our future,” said David Voelker a member of the Louisiana Recovery Authority and the Community Support Organization. ?The Unified New Orleans Plan and the Louisiana Speaks Regional Vision are two complementary planning efforts that will work together to guide strategic investments for our city and our region.“

Spanning parishes from the Texas to Mississippi border (including the Houma/Thibodaux, New Orleans, North Shore, Baton Rouge, Lafayette and Lake Charles metro areas), the Louisiana Speaks Regional Vision will provide the framework for local and parish plans to thrive in and serve as a guide for South Louisiana's long-term recovery and future growth over the next 50 years.

”It is crucial that we lend Louisiana Speaks our voice not only as proud New Orleanians, but as proud South Louisianians,“ said Anthony Patton, President, CEO and Founder of EBONetworks. ”This is not just about planning for physical infrastructure. This is about planning to make our lives better. I'm not going to miss this chance, and I hope you won?t either.“

More than 150 community polling stations have been set up at public libraries and coffee houses throughout South Louisiana. Public libraries in Orleans Parish that are operating as LA Speaks Community Polling Stations include:

• Algiers Regional Temporary Library, located at 3014 Holiday Drive

• Alvar Branch, located at 913 Alvar Street

• Children's Resource Center (Napoleon Branch), located at 913 Jackson Avenue

• Cita Dennis Hubbell Branch, located at 725 Pelican Avenue

• Milton H. Latter Memorial Branch, located at 5120 St. Charles Avenue

• New Orleans Public Library, located at 219 Loyola Avenue

• Nix Branch, located at 1401 S. Carrollton Avenue

• Robert E. Smith Branch Bookmobile, located at 6301 Canal Boulevard

Louisiana Speaks is a community planning initiative of the Louisiana Recovery Authority (LRA) Authority that is supported with private funds made possible by the LRA Support Foundation. To learn more about the Louisiana Speaks Regional Vision, or to 'weigh in' now, visit www.louisianaspeaks.org.

Louisiana Speaks is the long-term planning initiative of the Louisiana Recovery Authority. With support from the LRA Support Foundation, Louisiana Speaks has engaged a team of top local and national planning experts to gather public input and support the development of a regional vision for South Louisiana that will guide long-term recovery and future growth. This work combines the efforts of many experts, stakeholders and citizens into a comprehensive approach that will be used to guide investments and secure additional resources for Louisiana.

The Unified New Orleans Plan (UNOP) is a process that will link all New Orleans neighborhoods under an equal, unified infrastructure plan. By developing a common, unified set of priorities for the recovery of New Orleans, this process will play a critical role in shaping public and private investment in rebuilding our city. The UNOP process will incorporate all community, professional and volunteer driven planning work, as best identified by UNOP and the community, which is complete and or underway.

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