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Panelist Bio


Marylee Orr
Executive Director of the Louisiana Environmental Action Network

Marylee Orr has led LEAN for most of its nineteen years. Marylee became an activist when her youngest son was born with a respiratory illness. Prior to working on environmental issues, she was involved with Head Start programs and owned a small business. She is one of the cofounders of LEAN in 1986. Marylee administers the organization's budget, manages its fundraising efforts through grants and membership development. She coordinates member groups, board, and staff activities.

Ms. Orr organizes member groups' participation in public hearings, coordinates its media strategies on the local, state and national level, and serves as the environmental community's voice with local, state, and federal agencies.

She organizes events related to issues of LEAN members, coordinates annual conferences for citizens, legislators, and other grass roots organization leaders on topics ranging from health issues to political activism. Ms. Orr was featured in Family Circle Magazine, the Lifetime movie of the week, Taking Back Our Town, and in numerous articles about successful environmental activists.

An EPA report credits LEAN and its executive director Marylee Orr with giving a voice to the people concerned about releases of toxic chemicals from local facilities. Marylee attributes her motivation to the constant positive pressure from the members, board, and staff to hold polluting facilities accountable.

Current Topic


08/16 - Louisiana Post-Katrina: A Decade of Difference (encore)

What difference has a decade made?

Due to severe flooding in Baton Rouge and the surrounding communities, the recording of “Black & The Blue,” which was to be the August episode of Louisiana Public Square, was cancelled. Instead we will be broadcasting an encore presentation of “Louisiana Post-Katrina: A Decade of Difference.” More information, including broadcast dates and times, is below.

“Louisiana Post-Katrina: A Decade of Difference”
Eleven years ago, Hurricane Katrina swept through Southeast Louisiana, triggering what would become the nation’s costliest disaster. Less than a month later, Hurricane Rita inundated Southwest Louisiana forever altering the landscape. The storms uprooted residents, while the rest of Louisiana and its neighboring states welcomed them with open arms.
What affect did the storms have on economic development along the I-10 corridor? Just over a decade later, how have public services changed? How prepared is Louisiana to handle hurricane evacuees? And how did the hurricanes change the demographics of the state?
This month Louisiana Public Square takes a look at where the state is now on an encore presentation of “Louisiana Post-Katrina: A Decade of Difference” airing Wednesday, August 17 at 7 p.m. and Sunday, August 21 at 11 a.m. on LPB HD.

The panelists are:
· Andy Kopplin, Office of New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu
· Paul Rainwater, Rainwater Consulting, LLC
· Stephanie Riegel, Greater Baton Rouge Business Report
· Nihal Shrinath, The Data Center

The program includes interviews with Jason El Koubi, One Acadiana; Chris Guilbeaux, Governor’s Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP); Kathy Kliebert, Secretary of the Department of Health and Hospitals; Allison Plyer, Executive Director of the Data Center; John White, State Superintendent of Education; and Christopher Bohnstengel and “Byrdie” Lane, owners of Byrdie’s Gallery and Café in New Orleans.

LPB CEO, Beth Courtney, and Kim Hunter Reed,Ph.D., who served in the Blanco administration during Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, moderate the discussion.
“Louisiana Post-Katrina: A Decade of Difference” will also air in New Orleans, on WLAE. It can also be heard on public radio stations WRKF in Baton Rouge; Red River Radio in Shreveport and Monroe; and WWNO in New Orleans. Check their station websites for schedule.

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05/16 - Louisiana Veterans Coming Home

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Coming Soon!


09/16 - Pass or Fail? Louisiana’s Education System

How well is the state’s public school system really performing?

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06/16 - Symbol or Statement? History in Public Spaces (encore)

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05/16 - Louisiana Veterans Coming Home

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How is Louisiana tackling this serious addiction epidemic?

»»» View all Topics!
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Friday, August 26, 2016
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