Filed Under:  Local, Politics

December 8 runoff recommendations

3rd December 2012   ·   0 Comments

In the December 2008 runoffs, after reaching historic highs just a month before for Barack Obama, minority turnout plummeted. So much so that the Second Congressional District, one of the most Democratic-leaning Congressional seats in the United States, elected a Republican; (though, admittedly Bill Jefferson’s legal problems played a role in Joseph Cao’s victory as well.)

Barack Obama may have been re-elected to a second term, but hopefully, that fall in turnout will not also repeat. Our editors remind the electorate that two very competitive Orleans Council races remain, and not to vote is to betray those heroes who sacrificed to gain the franchise for all, regardless of skin color or national origin.

Fight the apathy. Vote on December 8, 2012.

New Orleans City Council District B: LaToya Cantrell

As we did in the primary, our editors decided to stand behind the “the Savior of Broadmoor,” LaToya Cantrell.

Ms. Cantrell would be first to give credit to others in her Broadmoor Improvement Association, yet the fact remains, when the Urban Planners planned green space for the neighborhood, it was LaToya Cantrell’s call to action and her tireless coordinating efforts that brought back New Orleans’ first integrated neighborhood to vitality.

She has been a leader in the recovery, fighting City Hall and apathy, whenever necessary to help people get back in their homes. Her “main street program” ideas could bring much-needed retail commerce back into District B.

It is a sign of her work that third-place finisher Eric Strachan, the former District B incumbent Councilwoman Stacy Head, the Alliance for Good Government, the local Democratic and Republican Parties, all have decided to support Cantrell’s candidacy. So should you.

New Orleans City Council District E:
James A. Gray II

District E, from the Ninth Ward to the East, is at a crossroads over seven years since Hurricane Katrina. This most devastated region of New Orleans must go from post-storm triage to a return to normalcy. This means increased retail presences, and a restoration of those quality-of-life elements that make neighborhoods grow.

In the view of our editorial board, James Gray has demonstrated a unique ability to work across political and business boundaries to create progress. In his legal and public careers, few people can boast of the civic accomplishments that Gray can.

The former Marine and first African-American law professor at LSU is also an expert in a crisis, helping those with nowhere else to go. During the Haitian refugee crisis, his work on behalf of many refugees, even fostering one of the children in his home, brought widespread acclaim.

PW Communication Dist. 911 Service Charge – CC: Vote NO

This measure is a substantial tax increase on some of our poorest citizens, as much as $30 per year on the general cell phone bill.

The rate increase would hike from $1 to $2 the monthly fee assessed on residential land line telephone users for emergency calls, and from $2 to $3 for commercial land line service, not to exceed 100 lines per company.

Moreover, it would introduce a new tax rate for wireless service, not now assessed for the 911 calls, would be $1.26 a month. A new fee of $2 a month would be imposed on residential broadband service and $3 for commercial broadband service.

City officials have argued that the increase would raise about $4 million more for the communications district and allow the police officers and firefighters who handle calls to return to their agencies where they can be better utilized. But, they have not actually specifically specified where the new revenues would be allocated to prove better public safety, nor have they done much of case to sell this tax increase to the public.

Our editors are not against all tax increases. But, rate increases on the poorest of our citizens, many of whom can barely afford a cell phone as their only means of communication without any specification of where the money will go is a step too far—especially since the rate will apply only for Orleans Parish, and not elsewhere in the metro area.

Police protection does not stop at parish borders. That alone makes this rate increase worthy of voting against.

This article originally published in the December 3, 2012 print edition of The Louisiana Weekly newspaper.

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