E-alert 21: LA Speaks Polling Period Will End this Saturday  

Louisiana Speaks Administration

Louisianians Urged to Speak Up on Regional Vision Today

BATON ROUGE, LA (February 7, 2007)- Today Louisiana Speaks representatives are urging residents from across South Louisiana to seize this once-in-a-generation opportunity to 'weigh in' on South Louisiana's future by completing the LA Speaks poll online at www.louisianaspeaks.org or by calling 1-888-PLAN-2050 (1-888-752-6205).

"The unprecedented disasters of Katrina and Rita have given us a historic opportunity to re-plan the future for generations to come," said Donna Fraiche, Chair of the LRA Long Term Community Planning Task Force. "Today, we are at a crossroads. We can inherit the future by default, or we can choose to plan where we want to go. Where will our children live and work? How can we make them safer from storms? How much of our coast will be left for them to enjoy? Now is the time to decide."

Louisiana Speaks, a long-term planning initiative of the Louisiana Recovery Authority, is supported with private funds made possible by the LRA Support Foundation.

"Over the last couple of weeks, we've heard from thousands of residents across Louisiana. But we want to hear from everyone, including you," said Elizabeth "Boo" Thomas, President of the Center for Planning Excellence. "If you have not weighed in on the Louisiana Speaks Regional Vision, we urge you to do it today!"

Now through February 10, residents across South Louisiana have an opportunity to weigh in and help decide the future of our region.

+ Visit www.louisianaspeaks.org 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.

On January 22, 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.

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.

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 LRA Support Foundation, which was established through the Baton Rouge Area Foundation, works with the LRA to fund research and planning initiatives, serve informational needs and provide support capacity to develop plans according to best practices.

The Center for Planning Excellence (CPEX) was created to serve as a resource for residents, community organizations, developers and elected officials to provide information on best practices for planning and urban design. This organization educates, inspires and encourages quality control in planning and development. The Center for Planning Excellence is the liaison between the LRA Support Foundation and the consultant team during the Louisiana Speaks planning process.

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Louisiana Speaks is a multifaceted planning process, endorsed by the Louisiana Recovery Authority, to develop a sustainable, long-term vision for South Louisiana in the wake of the destruction caused by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
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