HB 576, by Representative Leger, will be heard tomorrow by the Committee on Municipal, Parochial and Cultural Affairs.
Among other things, the bill renames "GNOBEDD" something far more in line with what its more commonly known as - BioDistrict New Orleans.
There's been some discussion by folks in the know here in New Orleans about other aspects of the bill and what they will ultimately mean for the city and for the historic neighborhoods that stand to be impacted by the district.
For one, I'll note that the BioDistrict has attempted to mollify critics by providing some neighborhood representative seats. That sounds nice, but the new representatives would not be on the Board of the BioDistrict itself...rather, they're seats on an advisory committee... that is clearly heavily controlled by parties favorable to the Board. Additionally, the new reps must be appointed by the mayor - and the current mayor has shown he's bought the BioDistrict hook line and sinker. Furthermore, those two reps come from a list submitted by the local legislators...who are all in the bag as well when it comes to setting up and supporting the BioDistrict.
So, the supposed injection of resident input is mere window dressing - not substantive change that gives meaningful representation to the thousands of people who will be affected by the district. Resident input is mediated and muted at least three different ways by the provision as written.