Mitch Landrieu

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Your reactions: City Council votes 6-1 to remove Confederate monuments

Posted By on Thu, Dec 17, 2015 at 2:17 PM

screen_shot_2015-12-17_at_1.26.37_pm.png
After two hours of public comment and some emotional speeches by councilmembers, the New Orleans City Council today voted 6-1 to declare four Confederate monuments on public land to be a "nuisance," clearing the way for their removal.

Mayor Mitch Landrieu, who has been pushing the ordinance for months, spoke to the council about his reasons and engaged in a testy back-and-forth with Council Vice President Stacy Head, who ended up being the sole 'nay' vote on the matter.

Meanwhile, New Orleans Twitter was atwitter with comment after the vote. Some of your reactions:



Continue reading »

Tags: , , ,

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Guest editorial: How New Orleans should compromise on the Confederate monuments

Posted By on Tue, Dec 15, 2015 at 3:53 PM

click image Lee Circle. - CREATIVE COMMONS/INFROGMATION
  • CREATIVE COMMONS/INFROGMATION
  • Lee Circle.

The following is a guest editorial by Quin Hillyer in response to the New Orleans City Council's upcoming vote on whether to remove four Confederate monuments on public land.


The Battle of New Orleans Monuments should come to an end through compromise. Mayor Mitch Landrieu should promote the compromise and thus become a uniter and a healer, rather than a divider and bully.

The compromise must include the continuation of Robert E. Lee’s perch above the circle bearing his name, with an appropriately worded new display (more about which later in this column). The other three monuments at issue, even as historically significant as they are, might best be moved off of public property (to the consternation of many well-intentioned citizens) and donated to a legitimate historical/preservationist group or museum.

Continue reading »

Tags: , ,

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Final public meeting on Confederate monuments ignites explosive debate

Posted By on Thu, Dec 10, 2015 at 9:55 PM

Police escort a speaker from the podium at another contentious meeting on the fate of Confederate monuments in New Orleans.
  • Police escort a speaker from the podium at another contentious meeting on the fate of Confederate monuments in New Orleans.

A final public hearing over a controversial ordinance to remove four Confederate monuments erupted in fiery debate and passionate reflection over the future of New Orleans and its relationship to the symbols those statues represent. 

Over nearly four hours, dozens of people approached the podium in a packed New Orleans City Council Chambers on Dec. 10 in support of the ordinance — which goes to a vote before the City Council on Dec. 17 — and against it, with many people wearing "All History Matters" stickers. Rev. Shawn Anglin of First United Methodist Church (which sits on Jefferson Davis Parkway) seemed to take the temperature of the room: "If there's one thing we learned today, it's that symbols have power."

Two people were removed by police — one, gallery owner George Schmidt, waved a middle finger to a crowd who were vocally upset with Schmidt comparing the monuments' removal to the actions of Muslims. Another man was removed after he shouted "We have to fight them" during another speaker supporting the monuments. He also blasted City Council President Jason WIlliams for pulling his turn to speak when the majority of monument supporters had left.

Williams — who had asked the crowd to respect one another's statements, despite disagreements — grew weary as the crowd remained unruly throughout nearly the entire meeting. Williams banged his gavel: "We are better than this!"

Continue reading »

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

As New Orleans City Council prepares to tackle Confederate monument issue, opponents suggest alternatives

Posted By on Tue, Dec 8, 2015 at 6:30 PM

The Monumental Task Committee opposes plans to remove four Confederate landmarks in New Orleans. - ALEX WOODWARD
  • ALEX WOODWARD
  • The Monumental Task Committee opposes plans to remove four Confederate landmarks in New Orleans.

More than 30,000 people have signed petitions opposing the removal of four monuments to Confederate leaders and events. The Monumental Task Committee (MTC) — a volunteer group that has led efforts to prevent the City of New Orleans from removing the statues —  has sent the signatures to City Hall as the New Orleans City Council prepares its final meetings on an ordinance that considers the monuments' removal under a "nuisance" law, which says a public statue can be removed if it "honors, praises, or fosters ideologies which are in conflict with the requirements of equal protection for citizens" or "suggests the supremacy of one ethnic, religious, or racial group over any other, or gives honor or praise to any violent actions taken wrongfully against citizens of the city to promote ethnic, religious, or racial supremacy of any group over another."

The four monuments include statues honoring Jefferson Davis, P.G.T. Beauregard, Robert E. Lee and the Battle of Liberty Place, an uprising from the Crescent City White League against Reconstruction efforts after the Civil War. Mayor Mitch Landrieu said a private donor is willing to pay for the cost of their removal. MTC President Pierre McGraw said Landrieu "has chosen to railroad" a decision on the monuments during a busy holiday season, and he questions the legality of their removal.

McGraw said despite public meetings held by the Historic District Landmarks Commission, the Human Relations Commission, the Vieux Carre Commission and other parties, there has not been significant public discussion about the monuments' future. (Those city agencies support their removal.) MTC's invitations to Landrieu and City Council members to attend MTC forums were not returned, McGraw said.

Continue reading »

Tags: , , , ,

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

New Orleans City Council members oppose parking meter hikes

Posted By on Wed, Nov 11, 2015 at 1:40 PM

New Orleans City Council members largely oppose the city's plan to increase downtown parking meter fares. - KEVIN ALLMAN
  • KEVIN ALLMAN
  • New Orleans City Council members largely oppose the city's plan to increase downtown parking meter fares.

New Orleans service workers have criticized the city's plans to increase parking meter rates — doubling them downtown — and expanding times as a slight to the service industry. In this week's Gambit cover story, the city's Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB) called it "an attack on the service industry workers who serve us."

Those complaints (which included a petition that gathered more than 1,300 signatures) made their way to the New Orleans City Council, which asked city officials and the Department of Public Works (DPW) why the rate hike is necessary. "Look at the uniqueness of areas you’re talking about," said Councilmember Nadine Ramsey, whose District C covers the French Quarter. "A lot of our workers use that for parking ... It’s not people who are coming down with extra income to shop or go to restaurants."

Downtown meter rates were raised in 2010 from $1.25 per hour to $1.50. In 2016, the city plans to raise rates and extend hours in spots from Mississippi River to Claiborne Avenue and from the Pontchartrain Expressway to Elysian Fields Avenue. Rates will double from $1.50 an hour to $3 an hour, and meter times will extend from ending at 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. The change is expected to bring in several million dollars to the city's general fund.

Deputy mayors Cedric Grant and Andy Kopplin, as well as DPW Director Mark Jernigan, said it's a matter of supply and demand. Speaking at the DPW's budget hearing Nov. 11, Kopplin said those spaces are "a finite and valuable resource" that are meant in part to create turnover for businesses. Grant said the city has lost 1,000 parking spots over the last five years with the construction of every apartment, restaurant and hotel. "We’re at this tension point of use of curb space and use of public right of way," he said. "We’re at capacity ... It’s not as much revenue as it is a public safety measure to keep traffic moving."

Continue reading »

Tags: , , ,

Friday, November 6, 2015

New Orleans officials celebrate opening of Lafitte Greenway

Posted By on Fri, Nov 6, 2015 at 1:00 PM

Mayor Mitch Landrieu, Sophie Harris of Friends of the Lafitte Corridor and members of the New Orleans City Council cut the ribbon to the Lafitte Greenway on Nov. 6. - ALEX WOODWARD
  • ALEX WOODWARD
  • Mayor Mitch Landrieu, Sophie Harris of Friends of the Lafitte Corridor and members of the New Orleans City Council cut the ribbon to the Lafitte Greenway on Nov. 6.

Mayor Mitch Landrieu handed Sophie Harris the blue ribbon wrapped around the sign announcing an ambitious 3-mile park that links Mid-City with the French Quarter, a project imagined over decades and completed nine years after residents — the Friends of the Lafitte Greenway (FOLG) — started planning how to make it reality.

"It took a village," Harris, director of FOLG, told Gambit on Nov. 6 after city officials formally opened the Lafitte Greenway. The LED-lighted bike and pedestrian path stretches from Mid-City at Bayou St. John to the edge of the French Quarter, with gardens, parks, soccer fields and other community spaces planned along the trail. FOLG has led the planning process since 2006, and the group didn't lose hope despite canceled projects and delayed construction starts. In 2011, the U.S. Department of Interior announced a prioritized commitment to the park, and the city began construction last year. The Greenway was set to open this summer — with November's 80-degree weather, District A City Councilmember Susan Guidry (who joined the FOLC before her election to the City Council) joked, "Does it at least feel this way?"

Continue reading »

Tags: , , , , ,

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

New Orleans CVB, downtown workers concerned about City Hall plan to double parking meter fees and extend hours

Posted By and on Wed, Nov 4, 2015 at 8:16 PM

A parking meter on Dumaine Street in the French Quarter. The city plans to increase parking rates in the Quarter and CBD to $3 per hour, and extend hours of meter operation until 10 p.m. - KEVIN ALLMAN
  • KEVIN ALLMAN
  • A parking meter on Dumaine Street in the French Quarter. The city plans to increase parking rates in the Quarter and CBD to $3 per hour, and extend hours of meter operation until 10 p.m.

Would you pay $3 per hour to park in the French Quarter, CBD and Warehouse District?

Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s administration is banking on it.

Early in the New Year, the city plans to hike parking meter rates across the city, particularly downtown. Rates would double in the tourism and nightlife district, and meter hours there would be extended from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. — a plan which Stephen Perry, president and CEO of the New Orleans Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB), calls “an attack on the service industry workers who serve us.”

Konrad Kantor is one of those not happy with the plan. He’s the co-owner of El Libre, a Cuban cafe that opened in the Quarter in mid-September. “Over the last five or six years,” Kantor says, “I’ve paid about $4,000 in parking tickets, fines and towing.”

The owner of a corner bar in the Upper Quarter, who didn’t want to give his name, told Gambit he was concerned about the extra cost to his staff. “My customers, they take cabs or Uber, or they factor in the cost of parking,” he said. “But it’s really going to hit my employees.”

“My concern is not just the service industry — that’s just an inconvenience,” Kantor says, adding he’s worried about the effect on tourism, as well as people who drive into the Quarter from elsewhere in the city and from neighboring parishes. “The thing that’s a little disturbing is that it’s not a vote," he adds.

Indeed it's not. Sarah McLaughlin, communications director for Mayor Mitch Landrieu, clarified to Gambit that the rate hike will not require New Orleans City Council approval.

“Where is the money going to go?” Kantor asks.

Continue reading »

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Friday, October 30, 2015

No surprise: Mitch Landrieu endorses John Bel Edwards for governor

Posted By on Fri, Oct 30, 2015 at 3:10 PM

State Rep. John Bel Edwards is touting an endorsement in the gubernatorial race by Mayor Mitch Landrieu.
  • State Rep. John Bel Edwards is touting an endorsement in the gubernatorial race by Mayor Mitch Landrieu.


State Rep. John Bel Edwards' gubernatorial campaign sent out an email this afternoon touting the endorsement of several Louisiana mayors —  Mayor Mitch Landrieu among them:
"John Bel Edwards will be a partner with local governments and will help turn the state budget around. With public safety and criminal justice as my top priority, I also know that John Bel will help us in our fight against violent crime. He has the support of the law enforcement community, and he will also be an honest and hardworking governor that will put the people of our state first."
Though Landrieu is a Democrat and Edwards was the only major Democratic candidate on the ballot, Landrieu had hung back before the primary election, choosing not to endorse anyone. "I need to hear from all four candidates," he told The New Orleans Advocate. "Tell me how New Orleans isn't just your whipping boy." 

Continue reading »

Tags: , , , , ,

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Landrieu unveils New Orleans' $593 million budget for 2016

Posted By on Thu, Oct 15, 2015 at 3:36 PM

Mayor Mitch Landrieu. - CHERYL GERBER
  • CHERYL GERBER
  • Mayor Mitch Landrieu.

Mayor Mitch Landrieu's top priority is making New Orleans safe, he said as he unveiled his proposed $592.7 million budget this morning. NOPD is set to be funded at $140 million, an 8 percent ($10.5 million) budget increase from 2015, and $31 million more than it received just six years earlier. "Fighting crime and making the city safe is always our No. 1 priority," Landrieu said.

New Orleans isn't cash-strapped — the city's proposed 2016 budget is $50 million higher than the 2015 budget, and it's nearly $100 million stronger than its 2010 budget. 

But the city also is on the hook for millions of dollars to pay New Orleans firefighters in an ongoing battle over pensions — and then there's funding the new jail, two consent decrees, and committing to a well-funded criminal justice system, including new infrastructure, pay raises and new hires within the New Orleans Police Department (NOPD) to combat the city's ongoing crime issues.

Landrieu said "the big takeaway" from citywide public budget hearings this summer was "that people of New Orleans want solutions, real plans" to make this city safe and to create jobs, fix streets and offer more affordable housing. Those solutions in Landrieu's 2016 budget are among other "laser focus" priorities that the mayor has targeted, from fighting blight to ambitious capital projects and transportation infrastructure.

Continue reading »

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Friday, October 9, 2015

Landrieu promotes NOPD's "Operation Relentless Pursuit"

Posted By on Fri, Oct 9, 2015 at 7:15 PM

screen_shot_2015-10-09_at_5.21.59_pm.png
"Operation Relentless Pursuit" is the New Orleans Police Department's (NOPD) crime-reduction strategy, which encompasses several familiar efforts under an umbrella that Mayor Mitch Landrieu is calling a "tougher, smarter" plan to fight crime.

In an email promoting the plan today, Landrieu says "we must be a city of peace, a place of safety for all our citizens and visitors" adding that New Orleans "must be united, relentless and fierce in our response" when crime "threatens our neighborhoods."

Landrieu and NOPD chief Michael Harrison spoke with businesses and neighborhood groups about the plan in meetings today. The plan, Landrieu says in the email, will work alongside Landrieu's NOLA for Life initiative, not as its replacement. "We'll protect our neighborhoods by strengthening our communities, not tearing them down," he continues. "Well do it by partnering with community leaders, local businesses, community centers, and religious institutions across our city. We'll do it by partnering with you and your neighborhood because we're all in this together."

Continue reading »

Tags: ,

Submit an event Jump to date

Recent Comments

© 2016 Gambit
Powered by Foundation