#NOLA #HoZone They have buses that will be parked & waiting at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome (free parking will be provided at the Superdome), potentially paid participants, and red "TOURISM MATTERS!" T-shirts.
I think we have one bus, folks who are showing up to speak in opposition voluntarily, and I have to go move my car today so it doesn't get towed during tomorrow's always fun residents' game of parking musical chairs due to street-cleaning on Thursdays.
Last time, there were 18 people present to speak in opposition and no organized (or even observable) support present when Sen. Murray breezed in and withdrew the bill from that day's agenda.
They cannot argue public support for this, as we're still not even sure what the "final version" of the bill will be... we may be hearing about it tomorrow for the first time. And there hasn't even been one meeting with the residents of the affected neighborhoods where our elected officials also deigned to be present.
PLEASE take five minutes, cut-and-paste these addresses into an email, and send off your expression of pposition to the Hospitality District Legislation LA SB 573:
email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
We are a COMMUNITY - not a COMMODITY. Pick one (or more):
* Oppose the fact that 2/3rds of the funds derived from new taxes will be for marketing to tourists (and only 1/3 to infrastructure and services).
* Even without this legislation, tourism leaders should want to put the best shine on our city, because it's in their own financial interests to do so. After all, they're the ones who want to increase the number of visitors per day to the historic heart of our city from 24,000 to 37,000 by 2018 (increasing from 8.75 to 13.7 million annual visitors).
* There is no reason to rush this legislation through -- everything needed can be accomplished during the next Legislative session, including adding citizen participation in the process.
* City-provided services could be decreased in the long run. It is impossible to guarantee that future city administrations will not decrease general spending funds once dedicated money is available from this new taxing resource.
* Even if you don't live within the boundaries of the proposed "Hospitality Zone," it doesn't mean that you're safe. If your neighborhood is deemed to have value to the hospitality and tourism industries, it could be zoned in the future.
* Trust is built with open dialogue and transparency -- not by filing bills in the Legislature without citizen participation and input.
* The reported last-minute changes to this bill have not been made available for consideration by the general public.
* To date, there has not been one public meeting regarding this bill where both the general citizens of the city and our elected representatives (particularly those who support this bill) have been present.