Commentary: Nov. 8 ballot propositions in New Orleans

Election Day, Nov. 8, is now just three weeks away — and early voting starts next Tuesday, Oct. 25. The ballot in Louisiana features much more than hotly contested presidential and U.S. Senate races.

Commentary: What a difference a governor makes

Last week, Louisiana took one more step toward common sense when the state Office of Motor Vehicles (OMV) began issuing REAL ID-compliant drivers' licenses and identification cards. The federal REAL ID law requires applicants to present more stringent forms of identification than in years past (such as a certified copy of a birth certificate, a Social Security card and proof of residence) to get a state-issued license or ID card.

Commentary: taking on whole-home short-term rentals

In May, when we last examined New Orleans' largely illegal short-term rental (STR) market — fueled by online companies like Airbnb and VRBO — there were an estimated 3,621 STRs in the city. By June (the latest month for which statistics are available), there were 4,316 — an increase of more than 600 in just one month (and that's just Airbnb).

Commentary: Good fiscal stewardship

In 2010, one month after former Mayor Ray Nagin left office, new Mayor Mitch Landrieu announced that the city budget shortfall — which had been estimated between $25 and $30 million — was far worse than expected: New Orleans would have to cut nearly $100 million to balance its budget. The city had been on shaky financial ground since Hurricane Katrina and the levee failures of 2005, after which the credit rating agency Standard & Poor's (S&P) had lowered the city's bond rating to "B" — a non-investment grade or "junk bond" rating.

Commentary: Flood victims still need your help

A month after devastating floods swept through parishes on the Northshore and around Baton Rouge, the urgency of providing help for affected Louisianans has eased. In the days after the floods, people around metro New Orleans pitched in with money, food and supplies — but now that the waters have receded (and many in the national media have moved on), the need doesn't seem as great.

Commentary: the real “sanctuary city”

We hear a lot of noise these days about immigration, but not a lot of objective information. Let's start with the basics: Immigration is a federal matter, not a local one.

Commentary: rejecting hate

David Duke is poisonous. His political views are racist, anti-Semitic and white nationalist — and they poison America's political environment.

Commentary: New Orleans gives back

The disasters wrought by the "thousand-year flood" that hit Baton Rouge and 19 other Louisiana parishes will take months — if not years — to ameliorate, but if there's one bit of good news, it's that just about everyone involved in the first response did their jobs well. Gov. John Bel Edwards' administration was steady and strong.

Commentary: A closer walk with Pete

Pete Fountain, who died Aug. 6 at 86, wasn't just a New Orleans musician. He was one of the city's greatest cultural ambassadors of the 20th century, in a league with Louis Armstrong and Paul Prudhomme.

Commentary: It’s no joke

By virtually any yardstick, Louisiana women are second-class citizens
Our cover stories this week complete a multi-part series that brings into sharp focus the precarious status of women in Louisiana. By any yardstick — financial, legal, medical or other quality of life indicators — Louisiana women are treated as second-class citizens.

Commentary: In America, unity rises

"The hopes and dreams that unite us are greater than the fears that drive us apart." Anyone watching the Republican National Convention two weeks ago could easily get the impression that America is coming apart at the seams, particularly if one happened to catch Donald Trump's acceptance speech on July 21.

Commentary: Pay attention to local races

While the presidential race and Louisiana's contest for the U.S. Senate will dominate local political news cycles between now and Nov. 8, there are plenty of other important elections on the ballot — in fact, there are hundreds of them spread among the state's 64 parishes. All six congressional seats in Louisiana are contested, and two of them are "open" because the incumbents in those districts are running for the Senate seat that will be vacated by two-term U.S. Sen. David Vitter, R-Metairie, early next year.


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