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District "E" Newsletter - June 2018

June 27, 2018

CM Gisleson Palmer
Dear Friends and Supporters, 
My first month on the New Orleans City Council has been an incredible experience, and I am truly honored to have this opportunity to serve the City of New Orleans and my constituents in District “E” as this Council’s first-ever Vietnamese-American representative. In such a short time, my colleagues and I have implemented several historic policy changes, as well as new processes and procedures to better serve you, the people of this great city. 
As I look forward to the remainder of this year and my term as Councilmember, I am more committed than ever to my people in District “E” and throughout the entire City of New Orleans. While we’ve accomplished so much in our first month, there is much more work to be done. I will remain steadfast in my commitment to bringing about change and fighting against the issues that have plagued the East for far too long. Together, we will make District “E” and all of New Orleans a better place to work, live, and play this generation and many more to come. 
On behalf of my incredible team, we are so excited to work with each and every one of you as we move our district forward. As we continue on this journey, we will work together to provide the utmost transparency to ensure you are informed and engaged in everything that we do. For information and updates, please sign up for our monthly newsletter here

Cyndi Nguyen

Terrie Guerin, Chief of Staff
Terrie Guerin is the Chief of Staff for Councilmember Cyndi Nguyen and a lifelong resident of New Orleans East. As the Chief of Staff, she advises the Councilmember and provides extensive professional assistance and recommendations on District E issues, performs administrative work covering a broad range of municipal activities and oversees the Councilmember’s staff and exercises direct supervisory responsibility over staff. She was the Program Manager for the Clerk of Criminal District Court in Orleans Parish. She is the owner of Guerin Investment Management, which has rental properties and handles property management issues. She is an NxLevel Instructor, at Southern University in New Orleans, assisting students with writing a business plan, calculating startup cost for a small business, analyzing business strategies and tactics in operating a small business. She is active in the community as a resident and entrepreneur. 
Vanessa Gueringer, Director of Constituent Services 
Vanessa Gueringer, a life-long resident of the Lower Ninth Ward, who became an advocate for the Lower Nine following Hurricane Katrina. She is uniquely qualified to address those quality of life issues that continue to plague our district. As Director of Constituent Services for Councilwoman Cyndi Nguyen, her determination, commitment and capacity to organize and engage the community is vitally important to rebranding our district and reestablishing it as the jewel it once was. 
Kelly M. Derbigny, Director of Special Projects 
Kelly M. Derbigny has been a resident of Eastern New Orleans for over 27 years. She has always known what hard work and determination is from owning a business for 25 years with her mom and dad. Being the Director of Special Projects won’t be an easy job, but she is up for the challenge. She is a devoted wife and mother and is ready to get working on making District E the best district in the city. She has determination and leadership in her DNA. Revitalizing District E to the “paradise “ it once was is her main objective. “I want my son to love this district as much as I love it. So I plan on putting everything I have into this job,” she says. “My son and every child in this district’s future depend on it.” 
Pierre Roberts, Director of Economic Development 
Pierre Roberts is a resident of District “E,” residing in New Orleans East. Pierre has a background in organizational and business development through his many years of service. Having opened and grown sales centers for Comcast Business and Cox Home Life across the country, he is excited to be on the team and helping District “E” Councilmember Cyndi Nguyen create and maintain a lasting legacy. 
Monica Rainey, Executive Administrative Assistant 
Monica Rainey is the Executive Administrator for District “E” Councilwoman Cyndi Nguyen. She was born and raised in New Orleans, and is a current resident of District “E”. She has over ten years of clerical and administrative experience. Her family and friends would describe her as loving, loyal, helpful and patient with a positive attitude. She’s honored for the opportunity to assist, serve, and be a part of a team that is committed to bringing about positive change to New Orleans East, Lower 9th ward, and Venetian Isles. 
Desmond LeBlanc, Student Intern 
Desmond LeBlanc is a student Intern in our District E office. Desmond is a resident of District “E,” residing in New Orleans East. He is a sophomore at The University of Southern Mississippi majoring in Legal Studies (Pre-Law) with a minor in Political Science. Desmond has been around Councilwoman Cyndi Nguyen since he was eight years old and was delighted when he found out that Councilwoman Nguyen was elected to City Council. He reached out to her willing to help out in any capacity that he could. He is excited to be on the team and helping District “E” staff create and maintain a legacy for the district. 

The Fresh Food Pantry provides FREE, healthy supplemental groceries once a month to households in need. Located at 5200 Dauphine St. (Dauphine and Lizardi). The pantry is open on Wednesdays from 2 - 5:00 p.m. by appointment only. 
What is needed to apply: 
1. Photo ID 
2. Proof of Address (Bill or letter addressed to you) 
3. Proof of Income (Letter, check-stub, SSI, SNAP, or FITAP) 
Income Guidelines: 
The income guidelines are the same as SNAP (formerly Food Stamps). If you currently qualify for SNAP, you will also qualify for Sankofa Fresh Food Pantry. For more information, click here.

The Building Active Stewardship in New Orleans (BASIN) Summer Program, which kicks off July 16, introduces school-aged children to the vocabulary and skills required to promote the wise stewardship of our urban build environment and participate in our growing green sector. This free program will take place from July 16 - 20 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Sojourner Truth Neighborhood Center and is open to children aged 8-12. 
BASIN combines dynamic speakers, hands-on activities, and field trips to explore ways we can all be good stewards of ourselves, our families, our community, and our city, with a focus on “water civics.” For the first time, BASIN has received funding from the EPA, which will enable them to incorporate fun but rigorous water quality testing activities as part of this year’s program. 
For more information, click here.

I will be hosting a Coffee & Conversation event for District “E” residents every third Saturday of the month as part of my commitment to ongoing community engagement. 
• New Orleans East Library from 10a.m - 11:30 a.m. 
• Martin Luther King Library from 12noon - 1:30 p.m. 

The City Council recently announced the 2018 Committee Meeting Schedule and membership. I am excited to be serving on the following committees: 
• Budget, Audit, and Board of Review Committee  • Community Development Committee • Criminal Justice Committee • Economic Development and Special Development Projects Committee, Chairperson • Governmental Affairs Committee • Transportation and Airport Committee 
Boards and Commissions: 
• French Market Corporation Board of Directors • Mosquito, Rodent and Termite Control Board 
For more information on the Council’s various committees, please visit our website hereFor any issues and concerns, please email To request a proclamation, please email Terrie Guerin at

The U.S. Small Business Administration is providing online government contracting training throughout the month of June. Just like a class you’d attend in person, courses are taught by a live instructor on a scheduled day and time. The online instructor-led training experience has much in common with the classroom equivalent. Students: 
• Receive course materials in advance 
• Participate in real time using a broadband connection 
• Interact directly with the instructor and their peers 
From your computer, you’ll link to an instructor in a live, real-time, interactive learning experience. You’ll become part of a virtual classroom where you can ask questions, seek guidance and participate in class discussions and interactive exercises. 
Self-Certification 7(J) Eligibility is required. For course details and to register, visit

The District “E” office is currently accepting applications from qualified constituents to serve on one of more of the following committees: Community Advisory, Special Projects, Economic Development Advisory and Illegal Dumping and Parking Taskforce. Your service and commitment will be an excellent example of the devotion and dedication we need to make District “E” the place to be! Those interested may submit applications and relevant materials by Friday, July 6.
Apply to volunteer here.
To view the July 2018 District E newsletter in its entirety, click here.

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