Notes from meeting with city about Jackson Square issues

Jackson Square meeting

Scott Hutcheson, Asante Salaam, and city attorney had a second meeting with folks interested in maintaining Jackson Square as a dynamic public space.
Artist, musician and psychic spokespeople were in attendance and spoke convincingly about their wish for a viable community space in Jackson Square. Here are my notes from the meeting: in the notes below, the statements were made by the artists, musicians and readers that attended the meeting. SH is Scott Hutcheson, Mayor’s Advisor on Cultural Economy and is the city staff person who responded during meeting, and his responses are in italics. Overall, it was a very amiable meeting.

SH has talked to Farmers Market Corporation (FMC)
FMC security may start patrolling the Square
City can do in-depth training with FMC security personnel
FMC has 11 security personnel, 3 full-time, the rest part-time

Psychic org: fine with that, but no one will still have permit oversight.

Recently, readers leaving set-ups 24 hours a day.

Vendors illegally chalking their spaces to hold, including artists.

Out of control artists ignoring rules and entreaties from peers to follow rules; video on YouTube of artist on Square passed out with needle in arm.

Can licenses be in jeopardy when they ticket?

NOPD has said in past that they will not enforce the rules, they have just woken people up and told them to stay awake.

SH said they ticketed Thursday before FQF

Ticket should go to revenue dept, rather than municipal court to relate the infractions back to license.

All artists should have to show licenses. Some scofflaws leave a homeless person with their stuff so it is “attended”.

Guidelines before Katrina were clear and enforceable, need to go back to that.

Pre-Katrina: Set up more than an hour was unattended, the setup would be moved by NOPD or other readers or artists.

SH: not sure it’s legal to do that, have to be clear about codified law versus standards of conduct

Illegal activity is widespread and unenforced.

Calling emergency services is almost impossible as they want street addresses.

Extra space when big events for artists? State museum says yes, but FQF says no.

Want to talk to French Market about using more space.

Dutch Alley, used to be an open spot, street entertainers still get run off.

SH: FMC asks street performers only to “register”, although it says “permit” on it.

SH: No such thing as a street performer permit in the city.

dba licenses, can anything be done? (No says city attorney)

Enforce before 6 pm on St. Peter and St. Ann that readers cannot hold spaces.

FMC security already has oversight over Jackson Square: can manage city owned property.

FMC demanded FMC permit for Decatur reader

Illegal vending happens on Jackson Square and artists/readers are powerless to stop.

Vieux Carre church sets up table and does ceremonies illegally.

Segways in the square are problem.

Stanchions-have a hard time getting them unlocked in emergencies and locked to stop cars and trucks.

Slope of the entryways is problematic for older people, needs to be textured.

Loading zone tickets are given to musicians and artists even though they have been told they can use them to unload and load.

NOPD says artists and musicians can unload in the “curve” but only informally.

Barkers are working illegally, overwhelming honest vendors.

Street performers with amplifiers are a problem.

Television from museum plays constantly and loudly.

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About DW

New Orleans resident, writer, activist. Public market consultant.

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