No to Bowen + No to OBES!

Mayor LaToya Cantrell, Chief of Staff John Pourciau, CAO Gilbert Montaño, CAO Chief of Staff Chad Brown

No_bowen_no_obes

In July 2020, the City of New Orleans under Mayor Cantrell hired Peter Bowen as Deputy Chief Administrative Officer of the newly created Office of Business and External Services.

Mr. Bowen is a former executive at Sonder, a San Fransisco-based real-estate company. During his tenure there, he engineered the "blitz-scaling" of AirBnb properties here in New Orleans. His profit-seeking while at Sonder was directly responsible for the evictions of many hard-working residents, as he scaled that company's holdings of short-term rental properties to over 1,000 units in 2018. We think it is a recipe for disaster for an eviction-friendly former executive to oversee both land use and economic development.

Tell the Mayor that we oppose the hiring of Peter Bowen as a DCAO for the city and the creation of the OBES!

Sign this petition! Then go one step further and email + call the targets below!

Email the key targets here:

Mayor Latoya Cantrell: mayorcantrell@nola.gov

Cantrell's Chief of Staff John Pourciau: john.pourciau@nola.gov

Chief Administrative Officer Gilbert Montaño: gilbert.montano@nola.gov

Montaño's Chief of Staff Chad Brown: cjbrown@nola.gov


Phone/Text here:

Mayor Cantrell: 504-658-4900

Mayor’s text line: 504-370-8052

Sample call/text:

Mayor Cantrell, I'm reaching out to oppose the hiring of Peter Bowen and the creation of the Office of Business and External Services. Short-term rentals should be fairly regulated to protect housing for New Orleanians, and a former STR executive is not an appropriate choice for a top regulator of city land. I stand with residents in demanding a city with affordable housing options, not mass evictions in the name of a “business-friendly” New Orleans.



Petition by
Frances Gill
NEW ORLEANS, Louisiana
Sponsored by

To: Mayor LaToya Cantrell, Chief of Staff John Pourciau, CAO Gilbert Montaño, CAO Chief of Staff Chad Brown
From: [Your Name]

To: Mayor LaToya Cantrell, Chief of Staff John Pourciau, CAO Gilbert Montaño, CAO Chief of Staff Chad Brown

In July 2020, the City of New Orleans under Mayor Cantrell hired Peter Bowen as Deputy Chief Administrative Officer (DCAO).

Mr. Bowen is a former executive at Sonder, a SF-based real-estate company. During his tenure there, he engineered the "blitz-scaling" of AirBnb properties here in New Orleans. His profit-seeking while at Sonder was directly responsible for the evictions of many hard-working residents, as he scaled that company's holdings of short-term rental properties to over 1,000 units in 2018.

Mr. Bowen has now been hired by the Cantrell administration to oversee both Safety & Permits and Code Enforcement as the DCAO. He is also being tasked as the "founding entrepreneur" for the newly created Office of Business and External Services (OBES): a project of Gilberto Montaño, the city's current Chief Administrative Officer. We oppose Mr. Bowen’s appointment and the creation of the OBES.

We think it is a recipe for disaster for an eviction-friendly former executive to oversee both land use and economic development. The city is still reeling from the dysfunctional governance that allowed greedy developers to skirt oversights and led to the collapse of the Hard Rock Hotel, tragically killing three workers. Following that horrific event, a building inspector was indicted for taking $65,000 in bribes, and two building inspectors were suspended for falsely claiming multiple inspections.The last DCAO left the position in a wake of scandals that were based around big business dodging city regulations. The City already has an oversight problem and has now hired an individual who is full-throated in his opposition to regulation.

Furthermore, City Hall has failed in its duties to regulate the short-term-rental industry. By appointing a former executive who lobbied against STR regulations to a position that oversees them, our city government makes it even more clear that it is catering to corporations and absentee landlords at the expense of New Orleans locals.

The creation of OBES signals a larger shift towards a divided City Hall: in combining the various existing city departments under Bowen’s new administrative portfolio, these departments are being pulled directly from the City Hall building and relocated into privately-leased office space on Poydras Street. This is the physical manifestation of one City Hall for business and one for “the rest.”

The needs of our city residents come before the profits of wealthy developers, especially during a global health and economic crisis, during which thousands of residents could face evictions.

We oppose the hiring of Peter Bowen as a DCAO for the city and the creation of the OBES. We demand that Gilberto Montaño step down as CAO and that City Hall make good on its promise to regulate the STR industry fairly.