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DISTRICT C

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Kristen Gisleson Palmer

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Palmer: Any individual in New Orleans who helps to honor and share the unique cultural values and experiences of this city. Someone who has shown the desire to learn about our culture and who honors its roots.

Palmer: Any individual in New Orleans who helps to honor and share the unique cultural values and experiences of this city. Someone who has shown the desire to learn about our culture and who honors its roots.

Palmer: We must reduce blight, create affordable housing with incentives for homeownership, and amend the Short Term Rental Ordinance. New Orleans still has roughly 35,000 vacant and blighted houses. When I served on the City Council from 2010 - 2014, I made blight reduction a major focus of my tenure. I created the Algiers Blight Committee, which met monthly with all relevant city agencies including community members. We worked through a list of the most egregious situations of blight. The committee successfully dealt with over 500 units. If elected, I would seek to re-establish this committee. I also extended the Lot Next Door Program making vacant lots available to surrounding neighbors who were not eligible under the original program. Moreover, I asked for and won a set-aside allocation of $52 million of disaster CDBG for soft second money. This allowed access to funds for first time homebuyers to help with down payments and closing costs. The program was widely successful and utilized the entirety of the allocation. I believe homeownership is the best way to accumulate wealth and gain economic equity. In office, I will advocate for similar programs for first time homebuyers, making homeownership more affordable throughout New Orleans. Additionally, I will back special incentives for first time buyers to purchase NORA properties to get these houses back into commerce. STRs are currently banned in the French Quarter. However, the Marigny, Bywater, St. Roch and Treme are over-saturated since the French Quarter moratorium went into effect. Residents complain of feeling like they live in a residential hotel, businesses struggle to stay open without a local customer base, and an exodus of permanent neighbors means opportunities for crime to flourish unseen. Furthermore, remaining residents are now being subject to exorbitant rises in property taxes. A “one-size-fits-all” policy is impractical for the diverse neighborhoods of New Orleans. I’m in favor of neighborhoods self-determining the limits of STRs, encouraging homestead exemption STRs, and capping and regulating whole-home rentals the same as existing commercial properties. Essentially, they should be treated as commercial endeavours and follow the zoning laws as such.

Palmer: We must reduce blight, create affordable housing with incentives for homeownership, and amend the Short Term Rental Ordinance. New Orleans still has roughly 35,000 vacant and blighted houses. When I served on the City Council from 2010 - 2014, I made blight reduction a major focus of my tenure. I created the Algiers Blight Committee, which met monthly with all relevant city agencies including community members. We worked through a list of the most egregious situations of blight. The committee successfully dealt with over 500 units. If elected, I would seek to re-establish this committee. I also extended the Lot Next Door Program making vacant lots available to surrounding neighbors who were not eligible under the original program. Moreover, I asked for and won a set-aside allocation of $52 million of disaster CDBG for soft second money. This allowed access to funds for first time homebuyers to help with down payments and closing costs. The program was widely successful and utilized the entirety of the allocation. I believe homeownership is the best way to accumulate wealth and gain economic equity. In office, I will advocate for similar programs for first time homebuyers, making homeownership more affordable throughout New Orleans. Additionally, I will back special incentives for first time buyers to purchase NORA properties to get these houses back into commerce. STRs are currently banned in the French Quarter. However, the Marigny, Bywater, St. Roch and Treme are over-saturated since the French Quarter moratorium went into effect. Residents complain of feeling like they live in a residential hotel, businesses struggle to stay open without a local customer base, and an exodus of permanent neighbors means opportunities for crime to flourish unseen. Furthermore, remaining residents are now being subject to exorbitant rises in property taxes. A “one-size-fits-all” policy is impractical for the diverse neighborhoods of New Orleans. I’m in favor of neighborhoods self-determining the limits of STRs, encouraging homestead exemption STRs, and capping and regulating whole-home rentals the same as existing commercial properties. Essentially, they should be treated as commercial endeavours and follow the zoning laws as such.

Palmer: I want to make sure that all forms of transportation, including ferries and streetcars, are connected to circulators and bus rapid transit. As former chair of the Transportation Committee, I passed transformative legislation (Complete Streets Ordinance) to ensure that connectivity is the basis of all forms of transit. Increased bus routes and connectors are hugely important in District C. The number one reason workers are fired from a job is because they are late for work. We have to focus on buses and all other forms of transit to bring equity to our people. Additionally, I will refuse to increase parking meter rates and parking fines in areas where hospitality and cultural workers rely on parking. We shouldn’t generate revenue with a regressive tax on our service and hospitality workers, musicians, performers, and artists who make up the backbone of our tourism industry. I will support the creation of special parking passes and rates for workers while also finding other sources of revenue that don't burden our hardworking residents.

Palmer: I want to make sure that all forms of transportation, including ferries and streetcars, are connected to circulators and bus rapid transit. As former chair of the Transportation Committee, I passed transformative legislation (Complete Streets Ordinance) to ensure that connectivity is the basis of all forms of transit. Increased bus routes and connectors are hugely important in District C. The number one reason workers are fired from a job is because they are late for work. We have to focus on buses and all other forms of transit to bring equity to our people. Additionally, I will refuse to increase parking meter rates and parking fines in areas where hospitality and cultural workers rely on parking. We shouldn’t generate revenue with a regressive tax on our service and hospitality workers, musicians, performers, and artists who make up the backbone of our tourism industry. I will support the creation of special parking passes and rates for workers while also finding other sources of revenue that don't burden our hardworking residents.

Palmer: Much of the dedicated tourism revenue (Hotel and Motel tax etc) is collected by the state and it is our state legislators that have control over where that revenue goes. Unfortunately, the majority of those revenues do not go to the city government. However, I am committed to working with the CVB, New Orleans Tourism and Marketing Corporation and other entities that receive monies to find ways in which our workers benefit. Together with these groups we can advocate for increased transportation opportunities to potential licensing agreements for musicians, Mardi Gras Indians, etc. I would also like to see our financial institutions help our industry workers by creating financial literacy programs and providing pre-approval services for home purchasing. The fastest way to grow equity and wealth is through home ownership, however, often the hospitality and cultural workers are paid in cash and it is more difficult to get them qualified. We should work together to find more solutions to this issue.

Palmer: Much of the dedicated tourism revenue (Hotel and Motel tax etc) is collected by the state and it is our state legislators that have control over where that revenue goes. Unfortunately, the majority of those revenues do not go to the city government. However, I am committed to working with the CVB, New Orleans Tourism and Marketing Corporation and other entities that receive monies to find ways in which our workers benefit. Together with these groups we can advocate for increased transportation opportunities to potential licensing agreements for musicians, Mardi Gras Indians, etc. I would also like to see our financial institutions help our industry workers by creating financial literacy programs and providing pre-approval services for home purchasing. The fastest way to grow equity and wealth is through home ownership, however, often the hospitality and cultural workers are paid in cash and it is more difficult to get them qualified. We should work together to find more solutions to this issue.

Palmer: We can address this through the permitting structure at City Hall. This is a huge issue in District C as the vast majority of special events and second lines are held here. I will work with the various departments that are in charge of permitting to streamline the process and make it more equitable. I would also be willing to work with the CVB and NOTMC to find funding sources and matching monies for these events so that the entire burden is not placed on our smaller Social Aid and Pleasure Clubs.

Palmer: We can address this through the permitting structure at City Hall. This is a huge issue in District C as the vast majority of special events and second lines are held here. I will work with the various departments that are in charge of permitting to streamline the process and make it more equitable. I would also be willing to work with the CVB and NOTMC to find funding sources and matching monies for these events so that the entire burden is not placed on our smaller Social Aid and Pleasure Clubs.

Palmer:  I do not support the Security Plan as proposed. I would keep the plan to install brighter LED lighting in the Vieux Carre, and I would change aspects of the Command Center and what information it collects.

Palmer:  I do not support the Security Plan as proposed. I would keep the plan to install brighter LED lighting in the Vieux Carre, and I would change aspects of the Command Center and what information it collects.

Palmer:  My City Council track record demonstrates a commitment to supporting neighborhood bars, music venues, and small cultural businesses. I helped ensure that small venues were “legalized” in the permitting process so they would not be at risk of being shut down. Examples of this are: Candlelight Lounge, Mother In Law Lounge and Bacchanal. In addition, I worked with new businesses so they could open, such as Golden Feather, Siberia, Faubourg Wines and Second Vine. Furthermore, I worked with the Frenchmen Street merchants and Jan Ramsey to assist and facilitate any concerns they had.

Palmer:  My City Council track record demonstrates a commitment to supporting neighborhood bars, music venues, and small cultural businesses. I helped ensure that small venues were “legalized” in the permitting process so they would not be at risk of being shut down. Examples of this are: Candlelight Lounge, Mother In Law Lounge and Bacchanal. In addition, I worked with new businesses so they could open, such as Golden Feather, Siberia, Faubourg Wines and Second Vine. Furthermore, I worked with the Frenchmen Street merchants and Jan Ramsey to assist and facilitate any concerns they had.

Palmer:  Yes, as long as all street performers, artists, and other entertainers are treated equally and all stakeholders are included in the decision-making process.

Palmer:  Yes, as long as all street performers, artists, and other entertainers are treated equally and all stakeholders are included in the decision-making process.

Palmer:  When I was on the council, I created citizen-led committees that assisted in crafting any legislation that would be impactful (from the Sustainable Transportation Advisory Committee for transit issues to the Algiers Blight Committee to committees that oversaw the development of Crescent Park and the St. Roch Market). I will continue to do this when I am in office and will also include groups such as MACCNO when any legislation or issues come up that could affect the cultural economy. This was also demonstrated when we were crafting a sound ordinance. I ensured that all stakeholders had representation at the table, from musicians, to Mardi Gras Indians, to artists to resident groups. A shared goal amongst these groups was the desire to base this legislation in science - to that end, we hired an acoustical engineer (who also worked as a musician) to conduct a study. Through this process, sound complaints became decriminalized, and enforcement responsibilities were removed from NOPD and given to the Health Department. Moreover, we created open dialogue between diverse groups. In addition, when I was on the Council I was a member of the Governmental Affairs committee, chaired by Councilmember Susan Guidry. This was a time when there was conflict between NOPD and Mardi Gras Indians in terms of parading without permits, and interfering with the cultural traditions of the Indians. Our committee brought the various Indian Tribes together with NOPD district commanders to find a solution. Together, an NOPD policy manual was created to educate officers in our cultural traditions so as to respect the parading traditions of the Indians

Palmer:  When I was on the council, I created citizen-led committees that assisted in crafting any legislation that would be impactful (from the Sustainable Transportation Advisory Committee for transit issues to the Algiers Blight Committee to committees that oversaw the development of Crescent Park and the St. Roch Market). I will continue to do this when I am in office and will also include groups such as MACCNO when any legislation or issues come up that could affect the cultural economy. This was also demonstrated when we were crafting a sound ordinance. I ensured that all stakeholders had representation at the table, from musicians, to Mardi Gras Indians, to artists to resident groups. A shared goal amongst these groups was the desire to base this legislation in science - to that end, we hired an acoustical engineer (who also worked as a musician) to conduct a study. Through this process, sound complaints became decriminalized, and enforcement responsibilities were removed from NOPD and given to the Health Department. Moreover, we created open dialogue between diverse groups. In addition, when I was on the Council I was a member of the Governmental Affairs committee, chaired by Councilmember Susan Guidry. This was a time when there was conflict between NOPD and Mardi Gras Indians in terms of parading without permits, and interfering with the cultural traditions of the Indians. Our committee brought the various Indian Tribes together with NOPD district commanders to find a solution. Together, an NOPD policy manual was created to educate officers in our cultural traditions so as to respect the parading traditions of the Indians

Palmer: I will ensure that NORD receives the necessary resources to expand their youth programming with an emphasis on utilizing our city’s unique cultural assets. I envision city officials, the non-profit community and our culture bearers cooperating to design and implement the curriculum for this programming. Additionally, I will advocate for increased funding for nonprofits (like the Arts Council) whose core competency is art and cultural programming. Each year I was on the council, I fought for and received funding for the Arts Council - especially their art granting program which affects artists and cultural outreach throughout the city. Many of these grant recipients worked with children and young adults in afterschool programs.

Palmer: I will ensure that NORD receives the necessary resources to expand their youth programming with an emphasis on utilizing our city’s unique cultural assets. I envision city officials, the non-profit community and our culture bearers cooperating to design and implement the curriculum for this programming. Additionally, I will advocate for increased funding for nonprofits (like the Arts Council) whose core competency is art and cultural programming. Each year I was on the council, I fought for and received funding for the Arts Council - especially their art granting program which affects artists and cultural outreach throughout the city. Many of these grant recipients worked with children and young adults in afterschool programs.

Palmer:  I support arts-based curriculums for schools (I was a board member of the Homer Plessy School that is arts-based and all of my children attended arts-based schools). I saw firsthand the importance of fostering the arts and cultural traditions for our children. While I was in office I supported groups such as Roots of Music, Treme Community Education Program, The New Orleans African American Museum and other similar organizations. I will continue to advocate and support through discretionary funding sources for programs in and out of schools that connect our young people with their cultural history and traditions.

Palmer:  I support arts-based curriculums for schools (I was a board member of the Homer Plessy School that is arts-based and all of my children attended arts-based schools). I saw firsthand the importance of fostering the arts and cultural traditions for our children. While I was in office I supported groups such as Roots of Music, Treme Community Education Program, The New Orleans African American Museum and other similar organizations. I will continue to advocate and support through discretionary funding sources for programs in and out of schools that connect our young people with their cultural history and traditions.

Palmer: Yes

Palmer: Yes