Fox in the Hen House

Neighbors First for Bywater’s board has voted to write Mayor Cantrell in opposition to her hiring of Peter Bowen to head a newly created entity to help make New Orleans “the world’s best city to do business” (and by business they seem to be talking, basically, about tourism, despite concerns by many people to broaden the base of the New Orleans economy). Mr. Bowen is a former executive with Sonder, perhaps the biggest Airbnb platform operating in the city. His new position would give him oversight in regulating Airbnbs as well having a finger in many other pies critical to our neighborhoods. Gilbert Montaño, the city´s CAO, refers to “neighborhoods as businesses in my mind,” so that may give you an idea of his approach. The Office of Business and External Services, the new entity which Mr. Bowen will head, will have 233 employees and a budget of $20.8 million. 

We urge you to write the mayor and cc the Council to protest this highly inappropriate hire and the creation of an entity which concentrates a great deal of power in the hands of one man. Below I am enclosing a link to an article in The Lens and the relevant emails. I am also including references to several petitions now circulating in regard to this action that are now circulating. Remember: a letter, even a short one, is always more effective than signing a petition. Do both.;;;;;;;

We plan to hold a virtual general meeting of NFB on the first Wednesday in September (September 2) at 6 pm. Candace Newell, our newly elected state representative will be present and will take questions. These questions should be emailed to us ahead of time (, but we will give you more information closer to the event. 

In the meantime, thank you for your attention and help. 

Stay strong,


Julie Jones, President


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