Filed Under:  Letter to the Editor, Opinion

Councilmembers not in opposition to Charter change

22nd October 2012   ·   0 Comments

In response to the “Clarkson and Head Both Oppose at-Large Charter Change” article published October 15, 2012, we would like to clarify that we are not opposed to a change in the city charter that would move New Orleans to majority voting for at-Large City Council seats. During the June 28th, 2012 City Council meeting, we both voted to put this decision to the vote of the people in the November 6th, 2012 election.

The way in which we elect our at-Large City Councilmembers, which represent the entire city, is a very important issue for New Orleanians. As such, this proposed charter change should absolutely be decided by a vote of the people. The fair and transparent approach would be to hold public hearings, which have been promised to constituents for many years, before taking it to a vote of the people. The citizens of New Orleans should have the opportunity to suggest multiple ways of changing the at-Large election process, as well as being informed about the process.

Because thorough public hearings did not take place, we are apprehensive about the election to change the charter. As with any public initiative that is advanced without enough sunshine, political agendas may very well be the motivation behind this charter change. The people of New Orleans will continue to distrust local government when decisions are made behind closed doors and the public is not informed.

The Hon. Stacy Head and The Hon. Jacquelyn Brechtel Clarkson
Councilmembers at-Large

This article was originally published in the October 22, 2012 print edition of The Louisiana Weekly newspaper

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