NEW ORLEANS – The Historic Faubourg Tremé Association (HFTA) conducted a survey to gain the voice of New Orleans residents–both inside and outside of Tremé–about the proposed plan by Mayor Latoya Cantrell’s administration to relocate City Hall to the Morris F.X. Jeff Sr. Municipal Auditorium. 53% of the 225 survey participants noted that they reside in New Orleans but outside of Tremé, showing this to be a citywide concern and matter of interest. Supported by empirical data, HFTA is in strong opposition to the proposed plans and will work with the community to ensure the relocation does not happen.
HFTA polled the New Orleans community surrounding whether one is in favor, not in favor, or undecided about relocating City Hall to the Morris F.X. Jeff Sr. Municipal Auditorium; construction of new city government buildings; and construction of a new multi-level parking garage. HFTA is privileged to announce that an overwhelming majority of survey participants–80%–are not in favor of City Hall’s relocation to Tremé. 10% answered in favor, and 10% answered undecided. Participants expressed the impacts on the overall neighborhood culture, on the quality of life (including traffic patterns), and on Congo Square and Armstrong Park as their most important concerns.
As it pertains to the construction of new city government buildings and a parking garage, survey participants were even more decisive as 85% and 88% are not in favor of such plans, respectively.
Jarrett Cohen, President of HFTA, “Representing the Tremé neighborhood, we wanted to gain the thoughts and positions of our constituents and neighbors to inform our position on this controversial topic. The survey results clearly oppose the relocation. If the Cantrell administration continues to move forward with their plans, it only reflects their self-serving interests and complete disregard for the people of New Orleans, especially Black people. The livelihoods of Tremé residents have been historically and consistently uprooted for public initiatives. After the global outcry following George Floyd’s murder and the various disparities brought to light during the pandemic, it is equally unfathomable and appalling that a sitting Black mayor is pushing such an agenda in the oldest Black neighborhood in the country. The racial injustices at play here are not lost upon HFTA and Tremé residents who have seen this story play out time and again.”
Land-Use Chair of HFTA, Andrew Grafe, “In addition to the fact that the city has not adequately explained how it will finance this plan, the notion that a public park space–which was created by bulldozing blocks upon blocks of generational homes and historic buildings–is an appropriate location for government buildings is not only bad land use policy, it is disrespectful to Tremé. One only needs to look at Duncan Plaza across the street from the current City Hall to see what could be in store for Armstrong Park and Congo Square. And keep in mind that the neighborhood where City Hall and Duncan Plaza sit was also bulldozed and stolen from New Orleanians too. For too many years, mayoral administrations in this city have ignored and abused the citizenry, particularly in Tremé with the demolition to create the park and the evisceration of Claiborne Avenue with the construction of the I-10 overpass. HFTA and our neighbors are tired of it and urge the mayor and her administration to rethink this plan and come up with a better option that doesn’t involve putting City Hall in Tremé.”
HFTA is a member of the SAVE OUR SOUL (SOS) Coalition and fully supports the group’s mission to stand together in opposition to the aforementioned plans. HFTA has a responsibility to its constituents – residents of the historic area of Tremé, as defined by the Historic District Landmarks Commission (HDLC), who would be directly and negatively impacted by the City Hall relocation if followed through with. HFTA will do whatever it can to fight these initiatives including joining the SOS Coalition on Thursday, June 17, 2021, with their peaceful protest march from Congo Square to City Hall. The rally begins at 5PM CST, and the march begins at 6PM CST.
A copy of the survey results with associated comments from participants can be downloaded below.
The Historic Faubourg Tremé Association is a neighborhood organization that was founded in 2006 after Hurricane Katrina to support the architecture, culture, and history of Tremé and improve the quality of life for its residents.