Mitch Landrieu

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Landrieu: New Orleans is "fully compliant" under Jeff Sessions' "sanctuary" definition

Posted By on Tue, May 23, 2017 at 5:56 PM

New Orleanians marched against President Donald Trump's immigration orders in January. - PHOTO BY KAT STROMQUIST
  • New Orleanians marched against President Donald Trump's immigration orders in January.

Mayor Mitch Landrieu said New Orleans "is not and has never been a sanctuary city" following a memo from U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions that clarifies President Donald Trump's executive order to crack down on so-called "sanctuary" policies prohibiting local cops from working with federal immigration authorities. Sessions' definition of "sanctuary" policies appears to keep New Orleans out of federal scrutiny, for now.

"It appears that the Attorney General and the Secretary of Homeland Security heard the call from mayors and police chiefs — that our local police should be focused on fighting violent crime and building trust with the communities they serve,” Landrieu said in a statement.

Landrieu has repeatedly ensured New Orleans' compliance with the feds in regards to people living in the country illegally — the New Orleans Police Department (NOPD), under a federal consent decree with the U.S. Department of Justice, does not ask about an individual's immigration status, but the department is not explicitly prohibited from working with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents. Landrieu sent a letter to Sessions last month detailing NOPD's policies and urging the feds to "stay focused on the real problem and stop scapegoating the immigrant communities and cities."

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Friday, May 19, 2017

With the removal of Robert E. Lee's statue, what's next for the monuments and New Orleans

Posted By on Fri, May 19, 2017 at 10:00 PM

Robert E. Lee's statue was removed from its pedestal May 19. - PHOTO BY ALEX WOODWARD
  • Robert E. Lee's statue was removed from its pedestal May 19.

At 11 a.m, a single PA speaker packed into a wagon blasted Ginuwine's "Pony" and Blackstreet's "No Diggity" as a small crowd gathered outside Lee Circle to watch a fourth Confederate-era monument come down.

Robert E. Lee's statue —  16 feet tall, 8,000 pounds, in his Confederate uniform, arms crossed, facing north — would remain on his pedestal, where the statue stood since 1884, for only a few more hours. At a few minutes after 6 p.m. May 19, a crane lifted Lee off the tower to cheers from a growing crowd.

At 3 p.m., Mayor Mitch Landrieu addressed an invitation-only crowd inside Gallier Hall, his period at the end of a nearly three-year sentence arguing for the removal of Confederate-era monuments from New Orleans' public space. In his impassioned 20-minute address, Landrieu challenged the city to acknowledge and reconcile its ugly past while building a more inclusive society. If not, he said, "then this will all have been in vain." Meanwhile, two members of the construction crew tasked with their removal placed the crane's hook to the straps wrapped around Lee's statue.

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Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Beauregard monument is removed from pedestal outside City Park

Posted By on Wed, May 17, 2017 at 4:51 AM

A monument fo P.G.T. Beauregard is removed early May 17. - PHOTO BY ALEX WOODWARD
  • A monument fo P.G.T. Beauregard is removed early May 17.

The peripheral block party scene at Confederate-era monument removals and demonstrations has become a nearly-weekly ritual. During the seven-hour stretch from when removal crews arrived and when a statue of Confederate Gen. P.G.T. Beauregard was lifted from its pedestal outside City Park, people kayaked on Bayou St. John to get a closer look, pulled up beach chairs along the water, popped Champagne, brought beer and coolers, and then a brass band showed up.

The New Orleans Police Department (NOPD) separated the crowd with a series of barricades at Moss Street and Esplanade Avenue facing Beauregard. Barricades stretched from across the bridge down Esplanade in front of the Shell gas station on Moss, with more around City Park, stretching across Carrollton Avenue. On one side of Esplanade were a couple dozen monument supporters, who draped Confederate flags over the barricades and waved several others, including a half-Stars and Stripes and half-Confederate flag, a flag that said "President Trump," and two flags symbolizing the 3 Percenters. Supporters chanted "where's Mitch?"

A saw cut into the statue's base where it meets the pedestal as crews hovered above in cherry pickers to strap Beauregard to a crane using yellow straps.

Among people in the crowd: musicians Terrence Blanchard and Nicholas Payton, as well as Angela Kinlaw, Michael "Quess" Moore and Malcolm Suber with Take 'Em Down NOLA.

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Monday, May 15, 2017

Y@ Speak: taking them down, part 3

Posted By on Mon, May 15, 2017 at 7:10 PM

This week: The lingering sunscreen fog of Jazz Fest dads, a monument to the specter of slavery gets yellow suspenders and a green bubble wrap diaper, and a ton of people roasted it completely. Also, Sen. John Kennedy got some embarrassing national attention.

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Thursday, May 11, 2017

Jefferson Davis comes down, second of four Confederate-era monuments removed in New Orleans

Posted By on Thu, May 11, 2017 at 6:20 AM

A crane lifts a statue of Jefferson Davis off its pedestal May 11. - PHOTO BY ALEX WOODWARD
  • A crane lifts a statue of Jefferson Davis off its pedestal May 11.

Just after 5 a.m. May 11, the city removed the statue of Jefferson Davis from its pedestal overlooking Canal Street in Mid-City. The monument to the former president of the Confederacy — captured 152 years and one day to the date of the statue's removal — is the second of four Confederate-era monuments scheduled for removal by the city. Crews removed the Battle of Liberty Place obelisk last month.

Dozens of law enforcement surrounded Canal Street and Jefferson Davis Parkway, blocked in all directions as construction crews brought in a crane, a Budget rental truck with materials, and other equipment. Crews wore dark clothing, helmets and body armor, as they did during the Liberty monument removal.

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Wednesday, May 10, 2017

New barricades go up across from the Jefferson Davis monument

Posted By on Wed, May 10, 2017 at 3:17 PM


The New Orleans Police Department (NOPD) has erected new barricades — reminiscent of the ones put up on Lee Circle this weekend — on the neutral ground across Canal Street from the Jefferson Davis statue. Temporary "No Parking" signs also have gone up on Canal Street and Jefferson Davis Parkway near the statue, in effect through May 12.

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Sunday, April 30, 2017

New York Times mentions Mitch Landrieu as a possible Democratic contender for president in 2020

Posted By on Sun, Apr 30, 2017 at 11:06 PM


President Landrieu?

In a story tonight, The New York Times examines the Democratic heavy hitters who may be lining up to challenge Republican President Donald Trump in 2020 — former Vice President Joe Biden, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders — before looking at the undercard:
Competing against the Democrats’ senior cohort is a large and relatively shapeless set of younger candidates who span the ideological spectrum: governors, senators, mayors, wealthy executives and even members of the House.
Among them: New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu:

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Friday, April 28, 2017

Today in Confederate camping: Flag vs. Flag

Posted By on Fri, Apr 28, 2017 at 2:57 PM


The ongoing Confederate-defense encampment at the Jefferson Davis statue in Mid-City is beginning to exert its own weird, Endymion-like fascination (though with more Auld Dixie flavor and less spray-painted territoriality).

Spotted today: Six statue defenders joined by one fellow in a rainbow-flag cape and a sign reading "NOT MY PRES" — while what look to be AirBnB Jazz Festers wait on the neutral ground for the streetcar and the folks at Holy Ground bar across the street get a free show.

Happy Friday, New Orleans.

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Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Federal judge blocks Trump's order to pull funding from "sanctuary" cities

Posted By on Tue, Apr 25, 2017 at 6:08 PM

Protesters in New Orleans march against Trump's immigration orders in January.
  • Protesters in New Orleans march against Trump's immigration orders in January.

As Mayor Mitch Landrieu and other U.S. mayors met with Attorney General Jeff Sessions over "sanctuary" cities, a federal judge in California halted an order from President Donald Trump that threatens to withhold federal funds from those cities.

U.S. District Judge William Orrick granted a preliminary injunction in two lawsuits against Trump's order to halt funding to cities with so-called "sanctuary" policies that prevent local law enforcement from complying with federal immigration authorities over immigration issues. New Orleans was listed among nine jurisdictions targeted by the Trump administration, despite Landrieu and other officials repeatedly assuring the city's compliance with the feds. Santa Clara County and San Francisco said billions of dollars in funding could be at stake; New Orleans similarly relies on several million federal dollars annually for citywide funding.
Trump is unable to withhold federal funding "that bears no meaningful relationship to immigration enforcement ... merely because a jurisdiction chooses an immigration enforcement strategy of which the President disapproves," according to the ruling.

"These constitutional violations are not limited to San Francisco or Santa Clara, but apply equally to all states and local jurisdictions," the ruling says. "Given the nationwide scope of the Order, and its apparent constitutional flaws, a nationwide injunction is appropriate."

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Monday, April 24, 2017

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