Your Voice E-Letter - October 2008  

Louisiana Speaks News, Actions & Updates for October 2008

Note:  Technical problems delayed this edition of the Louisiana Speaks Your Voice e-letter. You may have received a blank e-mail as a result of these problems. Please accept our apologies. 

Louisiana Speaks Plan, CPEX honored by Gulf of Mexico Program
The non-profit Center for Planning Excellence (CPEX) was honored with a 2008 Gulf Guardian Award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Gulf of Mexico Program.  In a ceremony held October 29 in New Orleans, CPEX received a Third Place Award in the Civic/Non-profit Category for its work on the groundbreaking Louisiana Speaks Regional Plan.  In honoring CPEX for its work on the Louisiana Speaks project, the Gulf of Mexico Program praised the Louisiana Speaks Regional Plan for being “a model for large-scale comprehensive planning, incorporating issues such as storm protection and coastal restoration, land use patterns and transportation systems, and economic development and housing.” Click here to read more.

Louisiana Speaks Champion Dangerfield passes away
Louisiana Speaks Champion Dr. Peter W. Dangerfield passed away on September 29. He was 65. Dangerfield was a civil rights activist and the long-time executive director of Total Community Action, a New Orleans social service agency.  Total Community Action was founded in the mid-1960s as the lead local agency in administering President Lyndon Johnson's "war on poverty." Dr. Dangerfield was named the agency's acting executive director in 1978 and its permanent director in 1979.  Dr. Dangerfield was born in New Orleans but grew up in Baton Rouge. He earned a bachelor's degree in political science from Southern University in Baton Rouge; master's degrees from the University of Southern California, Loyola University and Tulane University; and a doctorate in public administration from Southern Cal, with a concentration in citizen participation in public policymaking. Find out more.

Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Louisiana funds new Toolkits
Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Louisiana generously agreed to print 3,000 new copies of the Louisiana Speaks Planning Toolkit for distribution by the Center for Planning Excellence and Louisiana Speaks. The books will be used to help provide technical assistance to cities and parishes across the state that are pursuing planning projects. Blue Cross & Blue Shield was also a sponsor of the Center for Planning Excellence’s “Livable Louisiana: A Summit on Smart Growth.” For more about the Toolkits, visit the Louisiana Speaks homepage.

Commission receives grant to study New Orleans-Baton Rouge rail link
The Federal Railroad Administration awarded a $667,000 grant to the Southern Rapid Rail Transit Commission to evaluate the feasibility of linking New Orleans and Baton Rouge via passenger rail. The commission will use proceeds to develop detailed ridership and revenue forecasts, a business plan with capital and operating costs, an economic impact analysis, and engineering and environmental assessments. In addition, the Southern Rapid Rail Transit Commission was recently renamed Southern High-Speed Rail Commission. For more information or updates on the Southern High-Speed Rail Commission, visit its homepage
 
LRA to FEMA: Cut "red tape," provide temporary housing for Cameron Parish, others
FEMA should employ creative solutions and waive guidelines to allow temporary housing units to be placed in coastal Louisiana, particularly in Cameron Parish, where some people have resorted to living in tents in the wake of Hurricane Ike, Louisiana Recovery Authority Executive Director Paul Rainwater requested last week.  For more, visit the LRA Web site.

News & Notes
*
David Goldberg, communications director for Smart Growth America is interviewed in the latest edition of Mother Jones magazine. The full text of the interview is available here.
* St. Charles Parish's efforts to develop a new comprehensive master plan were recently featured in the New Orleans Times-Picayune. Read the full story here.

Did You Know?
A 1996 study found that workers in the ten "densest" states were 25 percent more productive than those in the least dense states. Researchers attributed most of the difference to the density of economic activity, rather than other factors, such as population size. In 2000, another study confirmed these findings and extended them, demonstrating that compact, “accessible” cities with efficient transportation links were more productive than more dispersed places.*
* Source: Smart Growth America Web site.

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