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Community Workshop for the Rebuilding of New Orleans - Saturday, October 8, 9-12

This was sent by one of our members, Micah Walker from New Orleans.  Please read and make plans to attend and help.
-Jeff Shaw
  

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

We hope that this email finds you safe and well.  The Alliance is still going strong, albeit with our staff, board, advisory committee and members spread out across the nation.  We are contacting you to let you know about an important campaign that the Alliance is launching and to invite you to participate. 

In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, we have a historic opportunity to improve our city and the lives of its residents by rebuilding with a focus on sustainability – energy efficiency, renewable energy, green building, and smart growth principles while making a loud and clear call to restore our protective coastal wetlands and to stop global warming, which many scientists believe is creating stronger storms.  We want to make sure that this opportunity isn’t wasted and that locals’ voices are heard in the planning process.  Please read more below. 

We plan to hold a series of community workshops and hope that you can attend.  The first is planned for Oct. 8th in Baton Rouge at the Parish Hall at 1st United Methodist Church at 930 North Blvd from 9am-12pm.  For a map of this location, Click on the following link - http://www.mapquest.com/maps/map.adp?address=930%20North%20Blvd&city=Baton%20Rouge&state=LA&zipcode=70802%2d5728&country=US&title=930%20North%20Blvd%20Baton%20Rouge%2c%20LA%2070802%2d5728%2c%20US&cid=lfmaplink2  

Please respond (mwalker@all4energy.org) asap to let us know if you are interested in participating in the workshops and being kept informed.  (Also, feel free to let us know if you wish to be removed from this listserve.)

We have experienced a tragedy, but together can build a better New Orleans and a better Louisiana!

Best wishes,

Alliance Board and Staff

 

Sustainable Redevelopment of the New Orleans Region after Hurricane Katrina

 

Alliance For Affordable Energy

New Orleans, Louisiana

www.all4energy.org

 

Linda Stone, Executive Director, lstone@all4energy.org, 210-885-6879

Micah Walker, Program Director, mwalker@all4energy.org, 504-258-1247

 

The Alliance for Affordable Energy, a nonprofit, grassroots membership organization, has been creating fair, affordable and environmentally responsible energy solutions for New Orleans and the nation for 20 years.

 

Rebuilding New Orleans—A Model for the Gulf Coast

Guiding Principles for a Green, Just and Safe City

 

The post-Katrina rebuilding of the New Orleans region is an historic opportunity to restore what is unique and wonderful about the Crescent City, while improving on persistent problem areas. Many elements of a “sustainable” city can already be found in New Orleans. The city’s tree-lined neighborhoods, two-story homes with porches, and shops within walking distance are exactly what much of the country is trying to return to. While honoring that model, we can enhance damaged homes with energy efficient features. We can build “green” homes that mirror the classic raised doubles with high ceilings and transoms that work so well for hot humid climates. We want to see a New Orleans that retains its rich and diverse heritage, but that serves its people better. Renovating and rebuilding the estimated 200,000 homes damaged or destroyed by the hurricane is expected to cost upwards of $100 billion. Spending this money wisely will ensure that the buildings are affordable and durable, the neighborhoods comfortable and safe, jobs plentiful and accessible, and the region’s culture retained. It will also provide a national model of sustainability and a catalyst for energy-efficient and renewable technologies and community-based economic development.

 

To ensure that the New Orleans region becomes the shining example President Bush has promised, the Alliance for Affordable Energy calls for rebuilding to be guided by the following six principles.

 

1.     Accountability to and participation by the New Orleans community: Unprecedented governmental resources are expected to be invested in rebuilding the New Orleans region.

v      Strong and independent oversight is essential to ensure that the money is spent fairly and effectively.

v      Local workers and local businesses must be partners in the rebuilding, at fair wages.

v      In addition, workers involved in the cleanup, rebuilding and restart of industry must be protected.

v      Louisianans must be given a strong voice in the rebuilding process.

 

2.     Mixed-Use, Accessible Neighborhoods: Modern-day American land use is characterized by low-density, single-purpose uses connected by underutilized mass transit, if any. “Smart Growth” upends this pattern by emphasizing a range of housing types; walkable, architecturally distinctive neighborhoods; community participation in decision making; mixed land uses; "predictable, fair, and cost-effective" development decisions; a plurality of transportation modes; compact building styles; and revitalization of existing communities.

v      New Orleans is already a community of neighborhoods and we will work to enhance beneficial qualities and improve troublesome areas.

v      We can harness the skills and knowledge of local green builders, architects, energy raters, planners and others to rebuild sustainably.

 

3.     Sustainable renovation and rebuilding: Per capita energy consumption is six times higher in America than in the rest of the world. In New Orleans energy inefficiency has traditionally been manifested in poorly maintained and unweatherized homes. Energy efficient construction creates jobs and results in monthly savings that go back into the local economy. Green building also incorporates water efficiency, indoor air quality, environmentally friendly materials and beneficial siting. Green buildings generally have longer lives and are built specifically for their geography and climate, making them more appropriate for a region that undergoes extreme weather events.

v      New Orleans’ redevelopment can be a model for our country by maximizing energy efficiency and incorporating “green” building principles.

v      Clearly, construction must be avoided in certain low-lying and particularly vulnerable areas. 

 

4.     Distributed power generation and alternative fuels: Generating power in diverse locations from a variety of sources including renewable resources and powering vehicles with alternative fuels reduce dependence on fossil fuels and foreign oil, increase reliability, and diminish global warming.

v      Solar panels are already being installed in New Orleans in the aftermath of Katrina, and we can heighten our campaign for solar energy along with high-efficiency combustion turbines, wind power, fuel cells, and cogeneration systems.

 

5.     Coastal restoration and safeguarding from storms: Each year Louisiana loses thirty-five square miles of coastal wetlands which constitutes 80 percent of America's total annual wetlands loss. Since 1932 Louisiana has lost 1,900 square miles of wetlands (an area nearly the size of Rhode Island), and an additional 700 square miles is projected to be lost by 2050. Because wetlands act as a storm buffer, redevelopment of New Orleans and surrounding parishes must provide for re-establishing delta marshes and barrier island systems.

v      We must push for full funding of "Coast 2050," an integrated set of restoration projects with an estimated price of $14 billion over 30 years.

v      At the same time, more effective pumps, levees and other barriers must be installed to protect the region from future inundations.

 

6.     Understanding and working to reverse global warming: Long before Katrina, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change identified New Orleans as the North American city most endangered by global warming. Both sea level rise and higher ocean temperatures are caused by the warming of our atmosphere. Over the last several years, the Alliance has become steadily more focused and vocal about the city’s vulnerability and our responsibility to lead the nation in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Awareness is growing that New Orleans is sinking and losing its barrier islands and protective wetlands, thereby becoming increasingly at risk from the higher intensity storms caused by warmer waters in the Gulf of Mexico. The Alliance has been advising the region’s leaders and general public about the catastrophic local effects of global warming and the need for actions to reverse the trend.

v      We must step up our efforts to educate our elected officials, the public, and the rest of the nation about catastrophic global warming and to push local leaders to implement measures to decrease greenhouse gases.

 

With Your Help, We Can Do It!

What The Alliance Offers to the Rebuilding Effort:

 

The Alliance is distinctly qualified to co-ordinate the many diverse sectors of the New Orleans community in moving the sustainable rebuilding effort forward. New Orleans is a complex network of talented and opinionated individuals who are fiercely loyal to their City and its heritage. The Alliance works with community leaders on a daily basis. Countless newspaper articles and the collective memory of New Orleanians attest to the advances the Alliance has made on the community’s behalf, the latest being the passage by the City Council of the New Orleans Energy Efficiency Program (NOEEP), a comprehensive program to bring energy improvements to the entire community.

 

v      The Alliance office was unharmed by Katrina and staff members are already working around the country while preparing to return to New Orleans.

v      The Alliance staff, board and advisory committee come from every sector of the New Orleans community, and will use this diversity and connectivity to bring the city together as hurricane recovery continues.

v      The Alliance possesses tremendous in-house expertise and resources, and understands which energy-efficient and sustainable technologies are suited to the humid Gulf Coast climate.

v      The Alliance will call upon a national network representing the full spectrum of sustainable development issues including energy efficiency, green building, smart growth, global warming and transportation.

v      The Alliance has 20 years experience conducting outreach campaigns, and can bring this knowledge to bear in our most important campaign ever: the healthy and rapid rebuilding of the Crescent City.

 

The Alliance owes its high level of achievement to many dedicated, ethnically and economically-diverse volunteers, interns, board members and advisory committee members who augment the work of the five person staff. Our annual budget is raised through individual contributions (10%), consulting services (20%), grants (60%) and corporate contributions (10%). The Alliance is adept at stretching its funding through leveraged grants and is seeking funding to support these efforts.  To donate securely online, please visit our website www.all4energy.org and click the “Donate Now” button.

 

Thank you for your help!

 

 

 

Micah Walker Parkin

Program Director

Alliance for Affordable Energy

1001 S. Broad Street

New Orleans, LA 70125

(504) 525-0778 or (504) 258-1247 (mobile)

(504) 525-0779 (fax)

www.all4energy.org

mwalker@all4energy.org

 

 
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