Mitch Landrieu

Thursday, October 12, 2017

DOJ gives New Orleans "last chance" on NOPD immigration policy

Posted By on Thu, Oct 12, 2017 at 5:33 PM

New Orleans demonstrators rallied to support DACA and immigrant communities in September. - PHOTO BY KAT STROMQUIST
  • New Orleans demonstrators rallied to support DACA and immigrant communities in September.

The Department of Justice (DOJ) is not convinced the New Orleans Police Department (NOPD) complies with federal immigration rules, despite Mayor Mitch Landrieu's repeated assurance that policies limiting officers' involvement in immigration issues are well within bounds.

In a letter to Landrieu, Acting Assistant U.S. Attorney General Alan Hanson said NOPD policies — which include preventing officers from inquiring about immigration status — "may violate" a section of federal law involving local authorities communicating with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). unless it can prove that the policy does not "restrict New Orleans officers and employees from requesting information regarding immigration status from federal immigration officers."

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Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Landrieu issues endorsements in Saturday's election

Posted By on Tue, Oct 10, 2017 at 6:05 PM

Mayor Mitch Landrieu.
  • Mayor Mitch Landrieu.

Without press conference or fanfare, Mayor Mitch Landrieu this afternoon announced his endorsements in Saturday's election.

Most notably, Landrieu did not issue an endorsement in the mayoral race, nor in the race for City Council District A. In the City Council races, he endorsed Helena Moreno and Jason Williams for the At-Large Division 1 and At-Large Division 2 seats respectively, as well as Jay Banks in District B, Nadine Ramsey in District C, Jared Brossett in District D and James Gray in District E. He also urged renewal of three Orleans Parish School Board millages on the ballot.

Under the jump: Landrieu's statement.

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Friday, October 6, 2017

Mandatory curfew kicks in Saturday night in New Orleans as Nate approaches

Posted By on Fri, Oct 6, 2017 at 4:45 PM

Nate's forecast as of 4 p.m. Oct. 6 - NOAA/NWS
  • Nate's forecast as of 4 p.m. Oct. 6
Update: City Hall and NOPD clarified the start of the curfew will be moved up from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Mayor Mitch Landrieu announced a curfew for New Orleans residents to stay off the streets from 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 7 through Sunday morning — and possibly later — to avoid potential wind damage and floodwaters from Tropical Storm Nate, which is expected to become a Category 1 hurricane over the weekend. "Do the best you can to stay off the streets," Landrieu said at a City Hall press conference Oct. 6.

New Orleans Police Department (NOPD) will enforce that curfew; NOPD Chief Michael Harrison urged residents to "adhere to that curfew."

At that time, NOPD will set up barricades and close all underpasses. City officials told residents to find alternate routes. NOPD announced that officers will take "strong enforcement action against anyone found circumventing barricades or found in violation of curfew." Once winds go above 35 mph, the city will suspend public transit.

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Thursday, October 5, 2017

State of emergency issued for New Orleans as Tropical Storm Nate prepares to enter Gulf of Mexico

Posted By on Thu, Oct 5, 2017 at 6:40 PM

Tropical Storm Nate's trajectory as of 4 p.m. Oct. 5. - NOAA/NWS
  • Tropical Storm Nate's trajectory as of 4 p.m. Oct. 5.

Mayor Mitch Landrieu has declared a state of emergency for New Orleans, which could endure heavy rains and winds as Tropical Storm Nate moves into the Gulf of Mexico before making landfall as a Category 1 hurricane.

By early Saturday morning, Nate is expected to move into the Gulf, where the National Weather Service (NWS) expects the storm will strengthen to Category 1 hurricane before it makes landfall on Sunday.

City officials expect the storm to bring 3 to 6 inches of rain over the weekend, and the NWS warns "the threat of direct impacts from wind, storm surge and heavy rainfall is increasing from Louisiana through the Florida panhandle." A hurricane watch and storm surge watch will likely be issued Friday.

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Tuesday, August 29, 2017

New Orleans under flash flood watch as Harvey heads to Louisiana

Posted By on Tue, Aug 29, 2017 at 10:45 AM

National Weather Service projection for Harvey as of Aug. 29.
  • National Weather Service projection for Harvey as of Aug. 29.

With up to 4 inches of rain forecast in New Orleans as Tropical Storm Harvey slowly moves into Louisiana, Mayor Mitch Landrieu urged residents to stay home and off the roads Tuesday, Aug. 29. Some parts of the city got as much as 6 inches of rain yesterday, and a flash flood watch remains through Thursday, as Harvey is expected to move eastward then tick north by Wednesday night.

The city braces for the possibility of more flooding following Aug. 5 floods and the recently publicly revealed compromised pump system. Sewerage & Water Board reports 107 of 120 pumps "are available to be operational in the event of heavy rainfall," according to the city.

Meanwhile, a banner hanging outside pump station No. 1 reads, "I think I can, I think I can."

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Monday, August 28, 2017

Landrieu urges New Orleanians to stay home Tuesday due to anticipated weather

Posted By on Mon, Aug 28, 2017 at 4:39 PM

At a press conference this afternoon, Mayor Mitch Landrieu urged New Orleanians to stay home tomorrow due to what is expected to be some heavy rain.
  • At a press conference this afternoon, Mayor Mitch Landrieu urged New Orleanians to stay home tomorrow due to what is expected to be some heavy rain.

Mayor Mitch Landrieu is recommending New Orleans residents stay home tomorrow in anticipation of what may be heavy rainfall from feeder bands related to Tropical Storm Harvey. At today's press conference of city leaders, Landrieu said that the likelihood of heavy rain and possible tornado activity was what led him to make the call.

"Out of an abundance of caution, I recommend that everyone stay home tomorrow," Landrieu said.

All Orleans Parish public schools and Catholic schools will be closed, as will the University of New Orleans and Delgado College. All New Orleans Public Library branches will be closed. The Louisiana SPCA also will not be open, nor will the New Orleans Museum of Art. Jefferson Parish announced its schools and offices would be open.

Today's rainstorm brought minor street flooding to parts of the city that were most affected by the Aug. 5 flood, including Gentilly, Lakeview and Mid-City. According to the National Weather Service, parts of the city received two inches of rain today.

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Saturday, August 19, 2017

Massive crowd in New Orleans marches against white supremacy and in solidarity with Charlottesville

Posted By on Sat, Aug 19, 2017 at 7:00 PM

Large crowds filled Decatur Street in front of Jackson Square and on the steps across the street. - PHOTO BY ALEX WOODWARD
  • Large crowds filled Decatur Street in front of Jackson Square and on the steps across the street.

As temperatures reached above 100 degrees, Nana Anoa Nantambu sang from a microphone to a growing crowd at Congo Square. Hundreds of people sang along as she led them through "we're gonna stand" and replaced "this little light of mine" with "standing for justice and freedom."

Rev. Marie Galatas asked the crowd to bow its head and pray in silence for Heather Heyer, the woman killed by in Charlottesville, Virginia, during protests against neo-Nazis and fascists rallying in the city to support a Robert E. Lee monument.

On Aug 19, hundreds of people in New Orleans gathered to honor Heyer and victims of attacks in Charlottesville and also challenge city leaders to reconsider Jim Crow-era landmarks with a renewed call for their removal, particularly as the city begins to celebrate its tricentennial. Take 'Em Down NOLA — the latest incarnation of local activists and civil rights advocates demanding the removal of Confederate monuments — organized the Charlottesville solidarity march from Congo Square in Armstrong Park to Jackson Square.

"To the people of Charlottesville, we stand with them," said Take 'Em Down NOLA organizer Malcolm Suber from the steps across from Jackson Square, "and we stand against oppression, we stand against exploitation, and we stand against racism."

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Friday, August 18, 2017

Mayor Sisyphus and his legacy

Posted By on Fri, Aug 18, 2017 at 2:11 PM

"Sisyphus," Franz von Stuck
  • "Sisyphus," Franz von Stuck

Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s legacy always was destined to be a mixture of successes and failures. Such is the fate of all mayors, though history seemed likely to paint Landrieu in mostly positive hues — until recently. The Aug. 5 flood and revelations of systemic dysfunction at the Sewerage and Water Board (S&WB) now threaten to overshadow Landrieu’s accomplishments as mayor.

Which is why he’s working overtime to whip the S&WB (and his legacy) into shape before he leaves office next May 7.

Given the almost daily dose of bad news about S&WB operations and infrastructure problems, Landrieu has a Sisyphean task. That we’re now in the peak of hurricane season raises the stakes for everyone.

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Thursday, August 17, 2017

New Orleans City Council approves $34 million drainage budget after August flooding

Posted By on Thu, Aug 17, 2017 at 6:55 PM

Street flooding in New Orleans Aug. 5. - PHOTO BY WILL COVIELLO
  • Street flooding in New Orleans Aug. 5.

The New Orleans City Council has approved nearly $34 million to cover drainage repair and flood response in the wake of August flooding and systemic failures throughout the Sewerage & Water Board (S&WB) and Department of Public Works (DPW). That $34 million includes $22 million for repairs through DPW and $11.9 from the general fund to target drainage and bulk up future flood prevention.

But members of the Council dodged a vote to approve two new appointments to the S&WB without assurance from City Hall that they're qualified, particularly after the last several days of dysfunction.

More than $14 million from bond funding already is budgeted for catch basin and drainage repair. Mayor Mitch Landrieu's administration requested $11.9 million from the general fund, including $7.8 million for emergency drainage repairs, $650,000 for alarm systems and warning signals, $3 million for Homeland Security readiness, and $500,000 for a so-called "after-action" report to determine what went wrong throughout the city's S&WB system before, during and after Aug. 5 floods. Landrieu opened a request for proposals for that report Aug. 15.

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Tuesday, August 15, 2017

City Hall issues call for reports on S&WB failures; repair costs hit $35 million

Posted By on Tue, Aug 15, 2017 at 5:45 PM

Flooding near Banks and Carrollton Aug. 5. - PHOTO BY KEVIN ALLMAN
  • Flooding near Banks and Carrollton Aug. 5.

As New Orleans officials continue daily updates revealing deep dysfunction at the beleaguered Sewerage & Water Board, the city has put out a call for firms to diagnose the issues leading up to and after Aug. 5 flooding. According to FEMA, more than 800 insurance claims have been filed through its National Flood Insurance Program.

The city is requesting proposals from firms to "deliver a report that details in narrative, diagrams and data the causes of the flood events" and failure of its drainage pump-powering turbines, according to an announcement from Mayor Mitch Landrieu's office.

The statement says "the analysis will provide clear and accurate information to the public from an independent source regarding the system’s capacity and vulnerabilities that can be communicated to the public."

Proposals are due Aug. 21.

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