Letter from The 2018 Chairman
Sean M. Bruno
A Bright Future Ahead for East New Orleans
I would like to start by thanking the residents of East New Orleans and the East New Orleans Business Development District Board members for making our first annual Linen Night such a success. The turnout exceeded my expectations and is an indication of the support that the residents provide for community events and to East New Orleans. The venue, the newly opened Joe Brown Nature Center, was the perfect place for such an event as it illustrates the resiliency of our community. The Joe Brown Nature Center was once shuttered since Hurricane Katrina but is now a vibrant community jewel. Just as the Nature Center has come back to life, so will the rest of East New Orleans. East New Orleans is full of many diamonds in the rough.
East New Orleans Business Development District is on a mission to highlight and showcase existing community jewels and to attract new ones to East New Orleans. These special gems of East New Orleans consist of those businesses that remained in the area through adversity — when others did not. They include large employers such as Walmart, NASA, the National Finance Center, Banner Chevrolet, Folgers Coffee Company, Lowe’s, Home Depot, Air Products, the Premier Automotive Group and Crescent Crown Distributing, just to name a few. Also included are small businesses such as Papa John’s Pizza, Universal Printing, Castnet Seafood, Walker’s BBQ, Ace Hardware and Star Physical Therapy. There are so many opportunities here for growing new business through those undeveloped resources such as the old Six Flags property, the former Plaza site, the former site of Lincoln Beach and the vast amount of undeveloped property waiting for projects. East New Orleans has a lot to offer to the City of New Orleans and the region. Any significant development must come through East New Orleans.
Our next major initiative is to work with community leaders and our elected officials in developing our East New Orleans Economic Development Plan. The plan must consist of bringing new businesses to East New Orleans, which will then spur a resurgence of retail development. This can only be accomplished if we work together with other East New Orleans Community Organizations, residents, and elected officials. I look forward to reaching out to all stakeholders in getting this accomplished.
I would like to thank Councilman James Gray for all of his arduous work over the years for the residents of East New Orleans. Without him working tirelessly for our community, there may not be a Walmart, Nature Center, or New Orleans Hamburger and Seafood here. Councilman Gray is a resident of East New Orleans and has always fought to better our community. Again, thank you, Councilman Gray, for a job well done.
I would also like to say congratulations to our Council-elect Cyndi Nguyen. I have had the pleasure of working with Mrs. Nguyen as a board member of East New Orleans Business Development District for the last two years. The energy that she brings to the board makes us all better members. I expect Ms. Nguyen to deliver the same energy to the New Orleans City Council. Ms. Nguyen has worked hard for East New Orleans through her work at a local non-profit organization serving the Michoud Community and through her role in the East New Orleans Business Development District. I expect nothing but extraordinary initiatives from Ms. Nguyen.
Last, but certainly not least, I would like to congratulate the City of New Orleans Mayor-elect, Latoya Cantrell. I have known Mrs. Cantrell for more than two decades and have always known her to be a hard worker, fighting for the rights of her community. In her position as councilwoman, we have discussed the needs of East New Orleans and how this part of the parish so hugely impacts the City of New Orleans. I trust that as mayor of the City of New Orleans, Mrs. Cantrell will work with our community to improve conditions and increase the quality of life for our residents.
Sean Bruno, Chairman