Feb 212017

The newborn association revised its action plan meant to reduce crime and engage the community.

By Claire Byun

The Mid-City Tulane Banks Neighborhood Association revised its action plan meant to eliminate blight and reduce crime within its boundaries at their monthly meeting.

The newborn organization drew more than 20 people to its second meeting earlier this month where the group discussed setting up a neighborhood watch and working with “trouble” businesses to reduce crime in the area.

Mallory Leblanc, organizer, said TBNA is hoping to work with the New Orleans Police Department to light up “hot spots” in the area. Organizers are planning to establish a crime sheet and keep a list of all the surveillance cameras within the group’s boundaries.

“Sometimes [police] don’t know there’s a problem, so if we can gather and get that info to them it’ll help,” LeBlanc said.

The organization also revised its action plan for the next month to include specific steps that feed into their four main goals. The newborn organization set four major goals at their initial meeting last month and reviewed progress during their February meeting, while also establishing new objectives over the next month.

The goals reach from blight eradication to a total reduction in crime, and officials hope to contact at least 30 percent of homeowners within TBNA’s boundaries.

To meet that goal, TBNA members are asked to identify registered members from each block as “block captains” and participate in trash pickups and social hours, according to documents posted on the organization’s Facebook page.

Officials also plan to create a “what to do if…” document with numbers, resources and information for members and gauge interest in a neighborhood kickball league.

One of the four major goals involves eradicating blight around the association’s boundaries, and organizers plan to report each identified
property to 311 and collect all information needed to track city progress by mid-March. But first, officials need to draft a blight compliance letter and to do that, need the help of someone with real estate experience.

“If you know any real estate lawyers that want to donate their time and expertise in exchange for a few cocktails, let us know,” organizer Josh Capdeville said on the group’s Facebook page.

Organizers are also planning a neighborhood trash pickup and social hour before their March meeting, though the exact date is scheduled for sometime after the busy Mardi Gras season. As for the group’s loftiest goal, TBNA is betting on no reports of crime within its boundaries for a whole month.

Members are asked to register their cameras with the city’s SafeCam program and survey broken street lights, while organizers meet with the Mid-City Security District and provide NOPD unlimited access to cameras in hot spots. The group is also planning to create a “crime sheet”
for progress monitoring and to see crime at a glance.

“Use crime stoppers and be specific with details and description. It’s unfortunate, but make this a part of your daily routine! Send every tip as you see it,” Capdeville posted.

The organization isn’t planning to take positions on land use or political issues at first, since there’s just not enough manpower or resources to devote time to those issues, Capdeville said. Officials are planning to actively engage New Orleans City Council candidates and host info sessions for the upcoming election – especially since the Tulane Banks swath is represented by two different council members.

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