New Orleans City Council

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Harrah's blames New Orleans nonsmoking laws for drop in local revenue

Posted By on Thu, Mar 23, 2017 at 6:58 PM

  • Harrah's New Orleans.

The smoking ban in New Orleans has driven Harrah’s customers away.

That was the argument March 21 from Caesar’s Entertainment, the global casino enterprise that owns Harrah’s New Orleans Casino & Hotel. Representatives testified to the state’s Riverboat Economic Development and Gaming Task Force a $70 million loss in gaming revenues since the parish implemented the ban two years ago.

Company president and CEO Mark Frissora, company South regional president Dan Real and task force chairman Ronnie Jones all acknowledged the correlation.

But 24 hours later, Cynthia Hallett, the president and CEO for Americans for Nonsmokers Rights, called those accusations “baseless.”

Real said Tuesday he does not expect the parish to repeal the ban, nor is the company actively lobbying against it. And Caesar’s Entertainment executive vice president of public affairs and communications Richard Broome said the company accepts the smoking ban.

“We don’t want to dwell on the smoking ban,” Broome said. “But it has had an impact on revenue. That’s incontestable.”

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Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Louisiana women won't receive equal pay until 2115, study predicts

Posted By on Wed, Mar 22, 2017 at 9:44 AM


According to new projections released today by the Institute for Women's Policy Research, the wage gap for women in Louisiana won't close until the year 2115. In the report, Louisiana joins just three other states — North Dakota, Utah and Wyoming — in failing to close the gap until the 22nd century.

The group's analysis considered the ratio of women's to men's earnings for full-time workers and how that ratio has changed over time since 1959. The wage gap can cost a woman many thousands of dollars over the course of her career and contributes to lifestyle issues such as difficulty saving for retirement — a serious problem for women, who typically live longer than men.

City and state officials often discuss the egregious pay equity problem statewide and recently have begun to make efforts to address it. The New Orleans City Council established an Equal Pay Advisory Committee and Mayor Mitch Landrieu called for a Civil Service Commission study about gender disparity on its own payroll. Gov. John Bel Edwards and Donna Edwards also hosted a summit earlier this month about pay equity in Baton Rouge.

Though such discussions are limited in their initial impact, it's heartening to know this pervasive issue is on elected officials' radar.

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Friday, March 10, 2017

Transgender community offers policy changes to city officials and NOPD

Posted By on Fri, Mar 10, 2017 at 9:30 PM

Jada Mercedes Cardona, left, leads a town hall meeting March 10 with New Orleans City Councilmembers Jason Williams and LaToya Canttell with NOPD's LGBT liaison Frank Robertson.
  • Jada Mercedes Cardona, left, leads a town hall meeting March 10 with New Orleans City Councilmembers Jason Williams and LaToya Canttell with NOPD's LGBT liaison Frank Robertson.

Jada Mercedes Cardona knew at 4 years old. "It felt right. I ran to my mom to tell her what I discovered, and what was going to happen now?" Cardona told a crowd at First Unitarian Universalist Church. "Instead of being received with hugs, kisses, understanding and love, I got beaten, and made to proclaim, several times, that I would never repeat those words to anyone again."

Cardona began transitioning at age 35, after living as a gay man, and was tortured by low self-esteem and "a cycle of hate I still struggle with today" — an "internalized oppression," she said, "so much so that you can't see anything good about yourself."

"Living in one's truth isn't easy," Cardona said.  "I lost everything from living in my truth."

Cardona founded the transgender advocacy group Transitions Louisiana, which hosted a town hall meeting March 10 following the recent deaths of three transgender women in Louisiana — including two people in New Orleans — after one of the most deadly years for transgender people in the U.S.

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Thursday, March 9, 2017

Judge says Liberty Place monument can come down

Posted By on Thu, Mar 9, 2017 at 9:40 AM

  • Photo by Kandace Power Graves
  • Liberty Monument.
A federal judge has ruled that New Orleans can remove a monument honoring a white supremacist uprising. It's likely the final thumbs up for city officials to begin removing four Confederate-era monuments after an appeals court ruling sided with the city to take down monuments to P.G.T. Beauregard, Jefferson Davis and Robert E. Lee. The Liberty decision comes just two days after that ruling.

The Battle of Liberty Place monument originally honored a revolt from members of the Crescent City White League against Reconstruction efforts and the city's integrated police force in 1874.

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Monday, March 6, 2017

Federal appeals court: Confederate monuments can come down

Posted By on Mon, Mar 6, 2017 at 6:13 PM

  • Photos by Derick Hingle & Kandace Power Graves

Nearly two years after Mayor Mitch Landrieu announced plans to remove controversial Confederate-era monuments in New Orleans, a March 6 ruling from a federal appeals court gave the city a green light to begin removing the statues..

In 2015
, the New Orleans City Council voted to take down monuments to P.G.T. Beauregard, Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee and the Battle of Liberty Place, but removal efforts stalled after a lawsuit from the Monumental Task Committee challenged the vote. Today's ruling from the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a lower court's ruling against the suit.

“This win today will allow us to begin to turn a page on our divisive past and chart the course for a more inclusive future," Landrieu said in a statement. "Moving the location of these monuments — from prominent public places in our city where they are revered to a place where they can be remembered — changes only their geography, not our history. Symbols matter and should reflect who we are as a people. These monuments do not now, nor have they ever reflected the history, the strength, the richness, the diversity or the soul of New Orleans."

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Wednesday, February 22, 2017

City Council defers vote on rental registry to March 9

Posted By on Wed, Feb 22, 2017 at 4:35 PM

New Orleans City Councilmembers LaToya Cantrell and Jason Williams at a press conference outside City Hall before debate over a proposed rental registry.
  • New Orleans City Councilmembers LaToya Cantrell and Jason Williams at a press conference outside City Hall before debate over a proposed rental registry.

The New Orleans City Council will delay a vote on a rental registry and inspection program to next month. At-Large Councilmember Jason Williams and District B Councilmember LaToya Cantrell sponsored a measure that would require landlords of most private rentals to register their properties with the city and subject them to inspections that must meet a checklist of health and safety requirements before they can be rented out. The City Council deferred voting on the measure last month, and it will defer the measure again to March 9 at its meeting on Feb. 23.

Cantrell and Williams will "continue to work on the legislation with their fellow Councilmembers and with New Orleans citizens to ensure the best ordinance going forward," according to the City Council's agenda announcement.

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Friday, February 10, 2017

New Orleans City Council votes to establish Equal Pay Advisory Committee

Posted By on Fri, Feb 10, 2017 at 10:45 AM

New Orleans City Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell.
  • New Orleans City Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell.

At a meeting held Feb. 9, the New Orleans City Council unanimously voted to create a new committee to provide the council with expertise on matters of pay equity and wage discrimination. It's part of a broader campaign by the Council and city officials to combat the dismal state of pay equity in Louisiana, where women make as little as 48 cents on the dollar to men's earnings.

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Wednesday, February 8, 2017

New Orleans City Council proposes resolution against immigration order

Posted By on Wed, Feb 8, 2017 at 4:40 PM

A protest at City Hall Jan. 29. - KAT STROMQUIST
  • A protest at City Hall Jan. 29.

New Orleans District C Councilmember Nadine Ramsey, with all six other members of the Council signing on, will introduce a resolution opposing President Donald Trump's executive order on immigration and refugee entry. In a statement, Ramsey says the resolution declares the order an "unconstitutional travel ban against people of Muslim faith, contrary to American ideals and values that poses a security risk to Americans at home and abroad." Ramsey will introduce the resolution at the Council's next meeting at 1 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 9.

"The United States has made similar mistakes in the past, which should not be repeated," Ramsey said. "This is a moment in history when an international and welcoming City such as New Orleans should not be silent."

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Sunday, January 29, 2017

Louis C.K., 'alternative facts,' a market for Marigny and other stories you may have missed this week

Posted By on Sun, Jan 29, 2017 at 9:00 AM


• FEST, FEST, FEST: The 2017 Jazz Fest lineup was announced. You people on Twitter had a few thoughts. And Aaron Neville is part of the just-announced French Quarter Fest lineup.

• COMING TO TOWN: Louis C.K. is coming to town this week for a couple of just-announced shows. The Pixies are coming later.

• LGBT NEWS: The LGBT Community Center is getting a new home. And a new eldercare group is launching a health care provider network for LGBT seniors.

• KRISPY KRUNCHY KING CAKE: Where you can eat king cake topped with crickets.

Lots more under the jump ...

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Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Landrieu, Brossett take on wage gap for women with new initiatives

Posted By on Wed, Jan 25, 2017 at 6:47 PM

Landrieu in 2012.
  • Landrieu in 2012.

In a Jan. 25 ceremony attended by pay equity advocates and outspoken women's rights champions State Sen. Karen Carter Peterson and State Rep. Helena Moreno, Mayor Mitch Landrieu signed an executive order designed to combat equal pay issues for women who are employees of the City of New Orleans. Though the order applies to just one segment of local working women, it speaks to a persistent regional problem: Louisiana is regularly recognized as the state with the largest pay gap for women, with women earning 65 cents on the dollar to men's earnings. The gap is larger for women of color, who earn as little as 48 cents on the dollar statewide.

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