Friday, December 21, 2018

We love our cameras

Cyndi Nguyen and Kristin Palmer are bringing last year's narrowly scuttled mass surveillance ordinance back to life.
Less than a year after a similar measure was dropped, a proposal from members of the New Orleans City Council could require "nuisance" bars, clubs and liquor stores to install live-streaming video cameras inside and outside their businesses, part of a proposed ordinance that tightens restrictions for businesses that sell alcohol.

The proposed ordinance — which mirrors parts of a scrapped plan from former Mayor Mitch Landrieu — also gives the mayor’s office or New Orleans police superintendent the ability to revoke or suspend an alcohol license, if the city or its Alcoholic Beverage Control Board determines that the business “directly endangers the health, safety and welfare of the community.”
I still don't understand the universal enthusiasm for sticking cameras everywhere. Particularly since it obtains among a set of elected leaders who profess often to care very much about social justice. It's possible they all suffer an acute case of cognitive dissonance. Although Occam's razor, as always, suggests they're just full of shit.

More to the point, they're predisposed to be full of shit on account of the fact that so many of them have a personal interest in or close association with the real estate business. Which is why, for one thing, this ordinance is being carried by Palmer and Nguyen. More importantly it is why its major point of the ordinance isn't just about installing cameras. Rather the cameras are one piece of a plan that is really more about shutting down as many neighborhood bars as possible. 

Bars and music venues also can’t be built within 300 feet of a playground, church, public library or school — unless the owner has a sworn affidavit from 75 percent of property owners within a 300 foot radius.

They’d also be forbidden within “residential or park area,” and would grandfather in existing neighborhood bars, unless there’s a six month lapse in their permits and licenses.

MaCCNO also warned that real estate speculators and developers, including short-term rental operators with multiple listings, which proliferated in recent years, could abuse the complaint process to shut down area bars.

“This is an aggressively pro-gentrification ordinance and presents a clear and present danger to every small grocery, pharmacy, bar and music venue in the city,” MaCCNO said.
This ordinance is slated for committee discussion  on January 31. Between that and the Jan 10 motion on STRs, it's going to be a busy month.

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