Board Candidate Statements

The following FANA members submitted statements and are asking for the membership’s consideration to serve on the board of Faubourg Avart Neighborhood Association. 

Christine Harvey

Hi. My name is Christine Harvey. I have lived on Soniat Street since 2009 with my husband and two children, who are 5 and 9 years old. I was born in New Orleans and grew up in Metairie.

I am a former reporter for The Times-Picayune and previously worked at newspapers in Indiana and Mississippi. I primarily covered local government, planning and development, economic development and environmental issues.

I have spent the last few years renovating my own home and others, and volunteering at my childrens’ schools. I graduated from Loyola University and attended graduate school at LSU in journalism.

I am running for a seat on the FANA board because I want to work to maintain the integrity of our neighborhood while preserving the rights of property owners. Despite its grand heritage, Faubourg Avart is a living, breathing community, and we must not lose sight of that fact as we look to the future. I promise to treat all matters that come before the board with kindness, an open mind and an even hand.

I also would like to work to foster greater relationships between us, as neighbors. I believe that neighbors who are friends will watch out for one another, which leads to safer and more inclusive places to live. We can achieve this through regular neighborhood socials, a stronger presence on social media and strong support of our local businesses. In addition, I would like to develop a community service project that would benefit Faubourg Avart residents with the greatest of needs.

I learned through my years as a journalist that communication is key to solving any problem. I am here to listen and learn, help when needed and keep Faubourg Avart moving in the right direction.

Stephanie Bruno

Thanks to all of you for affording me this opportunity to introduce myself and express my deep and abiding commitment to Faubourg Avart and to you, my neighbors.

I have lived in the neighborhood my entire life, in the same house my parents bought in the 1940s. I confess to having had “affairs” with other houses (I bought, renovated and sold them), but that is because I have known from an early age that the Chestnut Street centerhall house is my first and forever home. I love it and our neighborhood so much that I raised my two sons – now 22 and 27 – there.

Why the devotion? I think it’s all about the people in the neighborhood. I love walking my dog Poppy (Ladybird’s successor) and running into  neighbors. I like to keep an eye out for issues (like the lake on my corner) and happy developments (a home renovation, say, or a new baby). It is this spirit that I believe is important in a neighborhood board member.

Likewise, my experience working at the Preservation Resource Center for 12 years taught me important lessons about how neighborhood associations work and the vast range of programs and services they provide their members. Some have elaborate web sites, some track real estate transactions, others put out newsletters. One neighborhood had a “Help Thy Elderly Neighbor” team who performed volunteer chores for seniors and other vulnerable folks. Most take stands on demolitions and on proposed new developments. Others object to illegal paving and other violations. Some have block parties or plant swaps or house tours. I am eager to share ideas with the board and membership to set a course for Faubourg Avart.

The city looks to the “official” neighborhood group to weigh in on matters including zoning, blight, demolition, new developments, short term rentals etc. I want ours to be an active group that participates in shaping our future.

Another benefit of my years at the PRC is that I understand city government and how it works. I understand zoning, the blight ordinance, etc. and know many of the people in city hall who make decisions that impact us.

I hope you will afford me the opportunity to serve you as a new Faubourg Avart board member. It would be such an honor.

Lyle Luquette

My name is Lyle Luquette.  I’m originally from the New Orleans area.  I attended Archbishop Rummel and received a degree in Political Science from Tulane University in 2000.   After serving 7 years in the United States Army, I returned to New Orleans to help with the Katrina disaster.   I worked for Citizens Insurance and was the proprietor of Rocco’s Tavern.  In 2013, I left Citizens Insurance and opened up Krewe du Vieux, a catering and staffing company.

I moved to Faubourg Avart in 2013 and currently live with my girlfriend and dog.  I love this neighborhood and the people in it.  I would like to join the FANA Board, to work with the citizens of this neighborhood, to preserve its charm in a modern world.  I believe that we must keep our neighbors safe and continue to maintain a thriving, desirable neighborhood for all.  I want to be a voice for our neighborhood and help our community resolve issues within.  A united neighborhood association is the most powerful voice when it comes to these concerns.  I hope to join the FANA Board and do my best to serve our community.  Thank you for your consideration.

Mark Tullis

I am a New Orleans native, having grown up in Parkview in Mid-City. I am married and have two young sons. We bought our house in Faubourg Avart in 2009.

It was an honor to have been one of the founders of FANA and to have served on the Board since FANA’s creation. The main reason we founded FANA in 2011 was because at the time this was one of the few neighborhoods in Uptown without an active association. The boundaries that were chosen for FANA matched that of the original Faubourg Avart as far out as Prytania.

One of the original goals of FANA was to build fellowship amongst neighbors – to host meetings and event where neighbors could get together and discuss common concerns and interests. This remains a goal, and while meetings are held regularly, it is a long-term goal to host community events like picnics and perhaps even a home tour.

Another goal was to use these meetings and events to get a better understanding of which issues most concern the neighborhood as a whole. That is to find those issues that we have most in common and to work on those issues together toward a common solution.

Regarding specific issues that need to be addressed, one that stands out is drainage. Much of the neighborhood has inadequate or non-existent subsurface drainage, and ordinary rain showers lead to significant flooding of sidewalks and streets. A plan needs to be implemented to address this problem. This is an issue I am interested in putting my efforts behind.

We are all fortunate to live in a very stable neighborhood with very few problems compared to much of the rest of the City. And because of that some have asked why then do we need a neighborhood association. But things can change quickly and neighborhoods can be presented with enormous challenges. So if you have in place already a well-structured and active neighborhood association you are better equipped to address any problems that arise.

Nancy Kirkeby

Hello, my name is Nancy Kirkeby and I’ve served on the board of FANA for almost two years. I’d like to continue to serve our neighborhood and neighbors, and to further some of the initiatives we started.

I moved here just over three years ago, and I currently live in the 4900 block of Coliseum, between Robert and Upperline. I researched and specifically chose this neighborhood because of its walk-ability and accessibility to the rest of the city. I love that I can do everything I need within walking distance or easy local transportation, including lots of fabulous restaurants & bars, and local stores. But what I really appreciate most is the great neighbors and friends I’ve found in this little corner of the city. The neighborhood association was one of the first organizations I sought to join as I believe that neighborhood associations are the building blocks and agents for the kinds of issues that people care about the most deeply, those that affect our daily lives.

In an effort to educate myself about City issues, I participated in the Civic Leadership Academy last spring. It’s a fascinating look at who does what, and yes, I learned a lot more about potholes and drainage and how to get those issues addressed at the City level. I also completed JLNO’s Get On Board to learn about how to be on a board, including parliamentary procedure, legal and accounting issues. I loved learning from others’ perspectives on organizations in the community.

And last but not least on a practical note, I maintain the FANA website, created the PayPal and Square accounts and deal with tech stuff. I wrote a Procedures Manual so that we have a working document for those going forward. My day job is in tech so I bring those skills to the Board as well.

Going forward, in addition to the above I’m most interested in creating reasonable standards for how we respond to demolitions and developer’s requests for input, creating a short but regular electronic newsletter, and in continuing to diversify our membership (especially with more residents from the river-side of Magazine) — I believe that while these seem like small steps, each connection between neighbors strengthens our community.

I’ve very much enjoyed working with neighbors on the issues that matter to them most, and I’d like to continue to serve my community in this way.

Diane Sinclair

My name is Diane Sinclair and I am running for re-election to the FANA (Faubourg Avart Neighborhood Association) Board. FANA is small area who’s boundaries are Upperline, Tchoupitoulas, Valmont and Prytania. FANA was organized in 2011 when a group a neighbors realized no neighborhood association existed in our area. The previous neighborhood association for this area had been inactive for quite some time. I am one of the original 4 board members.
As for my background, I presently live at 1305 Soniat where I have lived for the last 13 years. I have a daughter, Maggie and son, Nathaniel. My husband, Randy Smith, has lived in our home for over 25 years. I have lived within a half a mile radius of my present home for over 35 years and love this community. I was born in New Orleans, however, my parents moved to Covington in the 60’s for my fathers work. After graduation from high school I moved to New Orleans to attend collage. I graduated from Charity Hospital School of Nursing the 80’s and worked as an ICU nurse at Tulane. After a few years, I entered LSU Medical School in New Orleans. I am presently a MD specializing in Pediatrics and Internal Medicine.
I love this community and would like to continue serving on the board of our neighborhood association. I feel we live in a very special neighborhood and would like to see the integrity of neighborhood preserved. We have some continuing problems which plague many areas of New Orleans, such as drainage issues, street conditions, traffic, blight and crime. I would like to continue serving on the board of FANA as we continue to work to resolve some of these issues. After the drainage work by Sewage and Water Board is complete, we can address our street conditions and have a traffic study done. We will continue to work to rid our neighborhood of blight. I am personally concerned about the increase in recent crime. I was held up at gun point outside my home on Camp Street in the 80’s with a 6 month old baby. I do not ever want our neighborhood to return to that level of crime. I will work hard to make our neighborhood a safe, happy place to live.
I hope to see everyone at your next FANA meeting. We hope to continue to recruit new members and to have the entire community involved in our association. Please vote to reelect me to the board.