Meet the Claiborne Corridor Ambassadors

Posted by Dan Favre on July 26, 2016 in Advocacy

The second cohort of Ambassadors hail from many different neighborhoods in New Orleans, and they all bring a strong desire to make their community and New Orleans a better place to live, work, and play.

The Claiborne Corridor Ambassador Program is working to understand community residents’ needs and desires for changes and improvements to their local streets and then amplify their voices through community-driven campaigns that advocate for safe, equitable, and affordable transportation options. The program aims to create a more inclusive process for public engagement, particularly with regards to decision-making processes concerning New Orleans’ public spaces, streets, and transportation options. Developed out of the Foundation for Louisiana’s Equity Caucus Transportation Working Group, the program is training a second cohort of 8 great Ambassadors to identify transportation problems and develop community solutions to promote walking, biking, transit, and livable streets in their neighborhoods.

Gwendolyn Cook

My name is Gwendolyn Cook. I’m 55 years old, with three sons 36, 27 and 23. I have been a hairstylist for 32 years and also barber stylist instructor. I love giving back to the community with my non-profit organization, Sisters in Shelters. I am from the Ninth Ward, born and raised on Piety Street. I’m involved in MLK Task Force, the Gretna Community, and just graduated from Parent Leadership and Parenting Class (PLTI) Cohort 4. I am part of this Ambassador Program to learn biking procedures and guidelines because I will be becoming a biker myself and will now be able to educate others!

David Meza

My name is David Meza. I’m originally from Chicago but have been living in New Orleans for the past 3+ years. I love this city and can’t imagine ever leaving it. I’m excited to be working in the CCAP to help give back to the communities that make this city such a unique and beautiful home. I spend most of my time biking or walking all around the city and neighboring communities and look forward to working within those communities to identify and improve concerns for residents.

Andrea McNeil

Andrea McNeil is from Chicago, Illinois and moved to New Orleans in 2003. Some of her fondest childhood memories include family bike rides to Lake Michigan with her father and two younger siblings. This 12 block ride allowed her family to have fun, exercise and learn bicycle safety together.

Ms. McNeil is interested in the Claiborne Corridor Active Transportation Advocacy Training Program because she hopes that children growing up in New Orleans also have the opportunity to learn how to bike safely throughout the communities.

Ms. McNeil is one of the founding members of the Women in Transportation Greater New Orleans Chapter and currently serves as the Vice-President. She hopes to help shape future public awareness and policy on bike, pedestrian and transit issues through education, advocacy and mobilization of the community. She looks forward to further investigating how the use of technology and marketing can help create community-driven campaigns that advocate for safe, equitable, and affordable transportation options.

Yordaan Hendee Bey

My name is Yordaan Hendee Bey. I’m born and raised in New Orleans. I work as a contract Bike Easy Instructor in the bike education program area. I also do community work for RUBARB Community Bike Shop. I believe I will benefit from this program by working with experienced individuals that will help me gain wisdom to carry out my community plans.

Janilyn Moore Johnson

My name is Janilyn Moore Johnson. I was born and raised in New Orleans. I live in Desire Projects in the upper 9th Ward. I’m a service-connected disabled veteran. My husband died on active duty in 1987 in Okinawa Japan. We have three children, three grand-children and twelve great-grandchildren.

I’m the inventor of board game Kangaroo Court for Kids, which deals with conflict resolution. Our motto is: “Uniting people through common goals, forward progress and changing attitudes.” I feel with my military leadership training, I will be a huge asset to the program. I feel I can truly make a difference not only in my community but others all over the city as well.

Andrew Wiseman

I am a musician and music teacher of African drums. This program is helping me be more active in the community. Lending my shoulder fully to the wheel of civic involvement helping the community move forward in the development of active transportation programs.

Scott Beckett

Scott Beckett is a man steeped in cycling. He bikes to work. He is a bicycle tour guide. He helps recover stolen bike, and generally speaking he loves bikes. He grew up high atop a mountain in Colorado and comes to New Orleans via Baltimore, Long Beach, and Portland. He has joined up with the CCAP to help make New Orleans the dream bicycle city that it is dying to become. He hopes to get more connected to Bike Easy and other groups helping to improve New Orleans civic life and growth.

Sinnidra Taylor

I’m Sinnidra Taylor, and I was born and raised in uptown New Orleans and proudly educated in New Orleans’ public schools, namely Andrew H. Wilson Elementary, Thurgood Marshall Middle Magnet, and McDonogh #35 respectively. My undergraduate and graduate work was completed at Xavier University of Louisiana with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science (concentrations of Mass Communications and Mathematics) and Master of Arts in Teaching with a focus on Special Education. I consider myself a lifelong learner and advocate for youth. God has blessed me with many gifts, and my goal is to use them for the benefit of my community with a special focus on disenfranchised minorities.

While I believed that I would never be an educator, learning from my mother’s experiences as a teacher of emotionally and behaviorally disturbed students, I was lead to a very similar path and learned first-hand why one should never say “never”. Nine years an educator, I have always been drawn to working with youth who experience barriers with regard to access to education, freedom, and rights. Before I leave this earth, I plan to live an active life that’ll make my ancestor’s proud.

For the most part, the Claiborne Corridor has been my home as my family home is in Broadmoor, and I also purchased my first home in Broadmoor. I am a founding member of Get Up N Ride and a business owner. All of my work is related to education in some form or fashion as I believe that “applied knowledge is power”.

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