WHEREAS, the State of Louisiana has a significant population of disadvantaged residents, especially in its urban areas;
WHEREAS, these disadvantaged citizens have special health, safety, and socio-economic concerns which most citizens of the State of Louisiana will never experience;
WHEREAS, these special concerns must be addressed before the quality of life for these inner-city dwellers will be enhanced and improved; and
WHEREAS, efforts to improve the quality of life for Louisiana's disadvantaged urban citizens can be coordinated, directed, and monitored more effectively from an office established within the Executive Department, Office of the Governor, rather than from an outside source;
NOW THEREFORE I, KATHLEEN BABINEAUX BLANCO, Governor of the state of Louisiana, by virtue of the authority vested by the Constitution and laws of the state of Louisiana, do hereby order and direct as follows:
SECTION 1: The Office of Urban Affairs and Development (hereafter "Office") shall be re-established within the executive department, Office of the Governor.
SECTION 2: The duties and functions of the Office shall include, but are not limited to, the following:
A. Coordinating, directing, and monitoring all efforts to enhance the quality of life of the disadvantaged urban residents of the State of Louisiana;
B. Providing, promoting, and coordinating enabling legislative initiatives to improve their quality of life;
C. Providing, promoting, monitoring, and overseeing economic development programs and activities for disadvantaged urban residents;
D. Disseminating information to various private agencies and state agencies which serve to enhance the health, safety, and socio-economic welfare of the disadvantaged urban residents of the State of Louisiana;
E. Advising the Governor on all issues relative to the affairs of Louisiana's disadvantaged urban citizens;
F. Assisting the Office of the Governor in providing constituent services to these urban dwellers;
G. Assessing grants recipients based on the criteria established in the grant application process; and
H. All other duties and functions requested by the governor.
SECTION 3: The Office shall be directed by a member of the executive staff, Office of the Governor.
SECTION 4: The Office shall have the necessary staff and resources to fulfill the duties and responsibilities specified in this Order.
SECTION 5: All departments, commissions, boards, agencies, and officers of the state, and any political subdivision thereof, are authorized and directed to cooperate with the Office in implementing the provisions of this Order.
SECTION 6: This Order is effective upon signature and shall continue in effect until amended, modified, terminated, or rescinded by the governor, or terminated by operation of law.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have set my hand officially and caused to be affixed the Great Seal of Louisiana, at the Capitol, in the city of Baton Rouge, on this 22nd day of April, 2004.
Kathleen Babineaux Blanco
Secretary of State