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Thursday, August 25, 2016
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Panelist Bio


Walter Brooks
Executive Director of the Regional Planning Commission for Jefferson, Orleans, Plaquemines, St. Bernard and St. Tammany Parishes

Mr. Brooks is the Executive Director of the Regional Planning Commission for Jefferson, Orleans, Plaquemines, St. Bernard and St. Tammany Parishes. He has been with the Commission since 1976 and holds degrees from Tulane and the University of New Orleans.

As the Metropolitan Planning Council, the RPC has been very active in the Post-Katrina re-building effort. Mr. Brooks is a member of the Louisiana Recovery Authority's Infrastructure Task Force and was co-chair of the Land Use Committee of the Bring New Orleans Back Commission. RPC continues to provide technical assistance to federal (FEMA), state (Louisiana Speaks), and local communities in the planning and recovery efforts. Mr. Brooks' current activities have been directed to securing FHWA Emergency Relief funds for the restoration of transportation infrastructure damaged by Hurricane Katrina.

Prior to coming to the Commission, Mr. Brooks worked as a District Planner for the Boston Redevelopment Authority serving the neighborhoods of Charleston, South Boston and East Boston. Mr. Brooks directs RPC's unified planning work program activities in transportation, infrastructure, economic development and environmental areas. His work involves extensive outreach and coordination with business, civic, and governmental entities at the local, state, and federal levels.

Mr. Brooks is active in the New Orleans community. He is a member of the New Orleans Regional Business and Industrial Park Board, ex officio member of the Jefferson Parish Chamber of Commerce Board, and a member of the World Trade Center's Intermodal Committee. He is a past Director of the Metro New Orleans Section of the American Planning Association; past President of the Louisiana Planning Council; and a former board member of the New Orleans Chapter of the American Public Works Association.

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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»»» View all Topics!
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Thursday, August 25, 2016
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