Commentary: Smart and honest on crime

Reducing crime requires more than hiring more cops and paying them more
By any metric, there are too many nonviolent people in Louisiana jails — and putting them there has not reduced our state's violent crime rate in any measurable way. We have roughly the same rate of violence as our neighboring states; we just incarcerate more nonviolent offenders.

Commentary: The Gambit ballot

Gambit's recommendations in the Oct. 14 elections
New Orleans is about to elect its first new mayor in eight years, along with at least three new City Council members and two judges. Also on ballots are Orleans Parish School Board millage renewals, a new council member for Jefferson Parish District 4, two transportation millage renewals in Jefferson, a statewide treasurer's race and three statewide constitutional amendments.

Commentary: To Sen. Cassidy — physician, heal thyself

After seven years of toting 'repeal and replace,' congressional Republicans delivered neither
As the latest rushed attempt to end the Affordable Care Act (ACA) collapsed last week, it took with it another casualty: U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy's reputation. Cassidy, a mild-mannered physician, had insisted for months that he would hold President Donald Trump to his campaign promise that any health care replacement would have to be affordable, cover pre-existing conditions and insure more people.

Commentary: Our endorsements in fall 2017 elections

Early voting starts Sept. 30
Early voting starts Saturday, Sept. 30, across Louisiana — but nowhere is that date more important than in metro New Orleans. Voters in New Orleans will elect a new mayor, at least three new City Council members and two judges.

Commentary: Catching up on catch basins

All drainage responsibility should be under one agency at City Hall
Last week's news that the New Orleans Office of Inspector General (OIG) would begin monitoring contractor performance in catch basin cleaning was welcome. The Department of Public Works (DPW), which is responsible for clearing catch basins, clearly needs a watchdog in that role — having failed miserably to clean the basins after the City Council appropriated several million dollars for that purpose last year.

Commentary: A mild political season

We encourage readers to meet candidates face to face and hear their plans for New Orleans
Southeast Louisiana is in the throes of a very hectic hurricane season, and we're barely halfway through it. In recent weeks, storms seemed to line up in the Atlantic like Mardi Gras floats on Napoleon Avenue — except no one hereabouts wants to see them "parade" anywhere near metro New Orleans.

Commentary: To Houston, with love

Houston was there for us after Katrina. Let's pay Texas back — with interest, and with love
So much water. So much pain.

Commentary: After Charlottesville

And how New Orleans police and protesters handle white supremacists
Watching the images and hearing the words out of Charlottesville, Virginia last weekend was depressing, sickening, infuriating — and necessary. Necessary because the country got a good look at the people who call themselves the "alt-right," which is their sanitized term for neo-Nazis, white supremacists, Ku Klux Klansmen and other haters who feel emboldened in America today.

Commentary: A not so dry run

There was bound to be flooding, but the Sewerage & Water Board's response was bound to be poor
When Joseph Becker, general superintendent of the New Orleans Sewerage & Water Board, began answering questions from the New Orleans City Council Aug. 8, it was clear the S&WB's original story about its performance during the Aug. 5 storm was taking on more water than a Lamborghini stranded in Lakeview. Just before the council's special meeting, S&WB Executive Director Cedric Grant announced he would retire by the end of the year.

Commentary: Paging Dr. Cassidy — move on

If Cassidy can’t improve upon the ACA, he should turn his hand to something else in Washington
Congressional Republicans began trying to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) literally the day after it was passed in 2010. The GOP-controlled House has voted to repeal it many times in a series of completely symbolic exercises that tossed red meat to their supporters without actually accomplishing anything.

Commentary: Issues that matter

Progressive groups are framing New Orleans' fall election discussion
If you're interested in the citywide elections in New Orleans, now is the time to pay attention and attend a forum or town hall. By the time the televised debates begin, much of the agenda will be set — but already community groups are framing the discussion.

Commentary: Demagogues taking pot shots at New Orleans

Those who aspire to lead our state should not falsely besmirch its largest and most economically important city
U.S. Sen. John Neely Kennedy was in New Orleans last week — not for a town hall or public constituents' meeting, which he has yet to hold in the state's largest city since he took office six months ago. No, he was here to talk with WWL-TV about the city's crime problem, which he once again said could turn New Orleans into "the next Detroit."

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