Positions for life on post-Katrina levee authority?

Mere weeks after the levee breaches during Katrina – while New Orleans was still underwater – a small group of business-people had a plan crafted and ready. Using full-page newspaper ads and paid-media releases, the group quickly convinced a traumatized populace that it needed “levee board reform.” 

In the chaotic environment of February 2006 – years before levee investigators concluded that the US Army Corps of Engineers was responsible for the flooding – the Louisiana legislature approved this reform followed by the passage of a Constitutional Amendment by voters in September of that same year. And it turns out that the two new authorities, the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority (SLFPA) East and West, have no authority to oversee or directly influence the Corps.

However, the SLFPA East and West do control how nearly $60 million of taxpayer money gets spent every year.* The “levee board reform” took control of who gets to award lucrative contracts out of the governor’s hands and gave it to a small group of people.

This small group is the SLFPA Nominating Committee and they have their positions for life. There are no term limits. And this committee – at the end of the day – controls who is appointed to spend $60 million of taxpayer dollars annually. And are at least indirectly responsible for protecting multiple parishes from flooding.

This doesn’t sound like good governing to Levees.org. So we support Rep Patrick Connick’s HB266 that would require term limits for all members of the SLFPA Nominating Committee.

* Produced with data from page 17 of SLFPAE’s financial report and page 13 of SLFPAW’s financial report for fiscal year ending June 2016.



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Sign up for New Levee Breach Bike Tour

Register today for our New & Better Levee Breach Bike Tour!

WHEN: Sat, April 22, 2017
TIME: 9:30 to 11 a.m.
WHERE: Tour departs from City Park
NOTE: You must provide your own bike.

The 90-minute guided tour is a healthy way to find out more about the worst civil engineering disaster in U.S. history.

Beginning at City Park, cyclists will ride along scenic Bayou St. John to the Levee Exhibit Hall & Garden and Relic Flooded House at the east breach of the London Avenue Canal. Next is several points of interest and a second breach site on the west side of the canal, and then a permanent pump station.

Our 6th annual Levee Breach Bike Tour is improved from previous years because 1) it has additional sites of interest, and 2) it’s a third less cycling time.

To see the bike tour created on Google maps, click here:

To register, click here.

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Levees.org speaks to visitors from Indonesia organized by US State Department

Levees.org founder Sandy Rosenthal speaks to visitors from Indonesia

This week, Levees.org Founder Sandy Rosenthal gave a presentation to an Anti-Corruption Efforts Group from Indonesia.

Rosenthal spoke about  Levees.org’s grassroots role in an effective public campaign to hold the Army Corps accountable for the levees’ failure.

The group visited the Levee Exhibit Hall and Garden at 5000 Warrington Drive in Gentilly.

The New Orleans Citizen Diplomacy Council is a nonprofit organization that arranges professional appointments and cultural activities for over 500 international leaders sent to New Orleans annually by the U.S. Department of State International Visitor Leadership Program and other programs. As one of approximately 90 councils nationwide, and the only council in Louisiana, the NOCDC aims to promote cross-cultural relationships and mutual understanding.

Among the thousands who have participated in the IVL program since its inception are numerous distinguished leaders from the public and private sectors including: Nicolas Sarkozy; Margaret Thatcher; Frederik W. de Klerk; Oscar Arias Sanchez; Tony Blair; Anwar Sadat; Morihiro Hosokawa; and Boutros-Boutros Ghali.

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