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Recommendations for November 18 Runoff Election

13th November 2017   ·   0 Comments

The next Mayor of New Orleans will arguably set the course of the Crescent City for the next two generations. As we exit the era of post-Katrina recovery, we enter our tricentennial, so it is incumbent upon Orleans Parish’s next Chief Executive to create for us a vision that transcends settled cliches of the “Big Easy” and to lead us into the city of opportunity as well as culture in the decades to come. That takes a special type of leader.

Equally, the next New Orleans City Council will have the task of finding the money to make this dream fulfilled and yet still stand as a bulwark for the neighborhoods and communities impacted by change. Moreover, Louisiana has a real chance of electing the first African-American State Treasurer on Saturday.
It’s often said that elections are important, but our choices this weekend will set the stage for the next century. Give our home city a 300th birthday present. Invest in her future. Please vote on November 18, 2018.

Treasurer of the State of Louisiana: Derrick Edwards

The Pelican State has a chance to vote into office a brilliant and accomplished gentleman who has demonstrated eminent qualifications for the office, exceeding those several of the recent incumbents.

Derrick Edwards also has endured a near-heroic personal story. A paraplegic, Edwards overcame his disability with the brilliant application of his mind. His dedication to overcome no matter the odds would stand as an inspiration in office to countless young people. If elected, he would serve as the highest-ranking African American to hold state office since Gov. P.B.S. Pinchback during Reconstruction. As the state’s oldest continuously published Black newspaper, we honor our own best potential leaders. Vote Derrick Edwards.

Mayor of New Orleans: LaToya Cantrell

In the contest for Mayor, there is only one candidate who matches current political experience with a deep connection to the neighborhoods and communities of our city.

LaToya Cantrell made her name saving Broadmoor from destruction post-Katrina. She garnered private monies to rebuild its library and community center, and innovated a new form of neighborhood specific, community millage that can only be used for programs or improvements to that specific neighborhood.

Cantrell proved residents are willing to support their community if the financial focus is hyper-local, and local homeowners are involved in the solutions.

She carried that neighborhood-based resolve onto her tenure on the City Council, where Cantrell achieved advances both in economic development and community preservation. Her campaign to ban indoor smoking made national news, with major publications wondering if Cantrell’s next stop was the Mayor’s office.

LaToya Cantrell needs no on-the-job training. She is an outsider-reformer with an insider’s expertise. She can begin working on behalf of the beleaguered people of New Orleans on Day One, with no delay—an essential requirement thanks to the budgetary and public safety challenges the next Mayor must confront.

Council — District B: Jay Banks

Jay Banks has dedicated a lifetime of service to Central City. Through his work for and with the Dryades YMCA, Banks has offered hope to countless young people from desperate backgrounds. Jay Banks is one of the few people who can truly represent the diversity of District B, which goes from the poorest blocks in Central City to the mansions of the Garden District. As a Councilmember, he can bring together the rich and the poor, but isn’t that a job worthy of a King?

Council — District E: James Gray II

The veteran statesman of the City Council, his expertise is essential. James Gray represents the largest geographic district in the city. Some areas still feel the aftermath of Katrina even a decade later, and the residents need a councilman who can get them answers immediately. A Councilman with the influence and gravitas not to accept excuses, but demand results. James Gray is such a Councilman.

PW HRC Amendment – Sec. 3-115 & Sec. 6-201 – CC: VOTE YES

This Parishwide Home Rule Charter Amendment Proposition is common sense and long overdue. It would establish a “Savings Fund” in case of emergencies that could only be accessed a two-thirds vote of the City Council. By law, the City Council would to ensure a Savings Fund balance of at least five percent (5%) of the average of the previous five years of actual general fund expenditures, so that if a future Hurricane shuts down the city, there is money to keep the lights on.

Neighborhood Security and Improvement Propositions: VOTE YES

The following neighborhoods have proposed to tax themselves to provide greater police patrols or specific services or beautification to their communities. The Editorial Board of this newspaper has always supported efforts by neighborhoods to improve their standard of living, especially if the homeowners and residents have a chance to make their will heard. Please “Vote Yes” for the Audubon Area Security District, Lake Carmel Subdivision Imp. Dist., Lake Terrace Crime Prev. Dist., Lake Willow Subdivision Improv. Dist., Lakewood E. Sec. and Neigh. Imp. Dist., Spring Lake Subdivision Imp. Dist., University Neighborhood Sec. & Improv. Dist., and Upper Audubon Security District.


PW School Dist. No. 1 – 8.45 Mills – SB – 10 Yrs.: VOTE YES

This millage increase would raise the property taxes of a $200,000 home by $105 per year in Jefferson Parish. Normally, our editors would be skeptical of such an increase without a corresponding new institution or construction. However, this money, dedicated to teacher and employee raises, is essential, mainly because of how much more Orleans Parish is paying its teachers.

The Charter System in New Orleans has increased teacher pay to such an extent, that these schools are wooing the best educators from Jefferson to cross the parish line. If Jefferson does not match these salaries, the exodus of teachers will continue. And, with educator pay constantly increasing in St. Charles and St. Tammany, and in most cases already higher, there is a real danger if Jefferson does not keep pace.

This article originally published in the November 13, 2017 print edition of The Louisiana Weekly newspaper.

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