Commentary: Our questions for the next mayor

Eighteen candidates are running. Here’s our list of top issues for New Orleans’ next leader
In three months, New Orleans will elect its 51st mayor, who will inherit all the improvements and problems left behind by Mayor Mitch Landrieu's eight years in office. While much attention has focused on the Confederate monument controversy in the last few months, the city still struggles with many of its generational problems — combined with new challenges such as short-term rentals.

Commentary: Of legacies and Landrieu

We measured the mayor's efficacy in playing the hand he was dealt when he took office
Last week's cover story, "The Landrieu Legacy on Crime" — an analysis of crime statistics during Mayor Mitch Landrieu's two terms of office, written by a locally based, nationally noted crime analyst — drew more attention than many of our other recent cover stories. Landrieu himself asked for space to respond about his record, which we were happy to offer him (see opposite page).

Commentary: Truly honoring our veterans

If Maness persists with his talk of a boycott, New Orleanians should return the favor if he ever runs for statewide office again
Imagine a scenario in which a candidate for U.S. Senate urges people to boycott the largest city in his or her state. That's what retired U.S. Air Force Col. Rob Maness, who twice lost races for the Senate, did last week by suggesting in a radio interview that American veterans avoid New Orleans in response to the removal of four Confederate- era statues.

Commentary: 'Smart on crime' a bipartisan success

Despite Louisiana's "lock-'em-up" political culture, legislators passed crucial criminal justice reform
Rookie state Rep. Joe Marino of Gretna emerged as the unlikely hero of criminal justice reform efforts. "Public safety is our main goal," Marino says.

Commentary: Out of tragedy, common purpose

Scalise and the need for empathy in tragedy
There were many thoughtful statements of sympathy following the shooting of House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-Jefferson, and four others during a baseball practice in a Virginia park last week. Perhaps none was more thoughtful than that of former Arizona Congresswoman Gabby Giffords, who was shot and nearly killed at a constituent event in 2011 (six people died in that attack).

Commentary: No way to treat a friend

Is that the way America treats an ally and friend who has experienced a misfortune?
On June 3, when seven people in England were killed in a terrorist attack on and around London Bridge, New Orleans saw a mass shooting on Tulane Avenue that killed three people and injured two others. The shooting total for that day around our city: 13 people.

Commentary: Start preparing for hurricane season

Now is the time to review hurricane preparations and make sure friends, relatives and neighbors have a plan as well
The Atlantic hurricane season officially began June 1, even though the first named storm of the season (Tropical Storm Arlene) formed April 19, one of only two named storms to form in April since at least the 1960s. Forecasters at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Climate Prediction Center have forecast a second consecutive above-normal hurricane season for the Atlantic, with 11 to 17 named storms, five to nine of which could become hurricanes and two to four Category 3, 4 or 5 hurricanes.

Commentary: Anybody here seen our old friend John (Kennedy)?

Sen. Kennedy has yet to hold a face-to-face town hall anywhere in Louisiana
Shortly after taking office in January, U.S. Sen. John Kennedy told The New York Times, "There's this feeling among many in America that it's harder than ever to get ahead in our country, that it's easier than ever to do nothing. There's a feeling that the people in Washington don't listen and they don't care.

Commentary: Pass criminal justice reform

End Louisiana's dubious status as the world's leading jailer
Of all the "bad" rankings for Louisiana, one stands out on a global scale: Our state has the highest rate of incarceration (816 per 100,000 residents, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics) in the world's most jail-happy nation. That makes Louisiana the world's incarceration leader.

Commentary: It didn't have to come to this

We need a clear path forward and we need it now
The ongoing tensions surrounding the fate of four Confederate-era monuments in New Orleans recently reached the national stage — and the local boiling point. On May 7, the last day of tourist-heavy Jazz Fest, a rowdy group of out-of-town white supremacists hijacked a demonstration by local monument supporters at Lee Circle.

Commentary: Remembering Deborah 'Big Red' Cotton

Fearless, fierce, compassionate, and taken far too soon
  "With each second line that rolled down Ursulines Avenue, New Orleans lured me from my dark brooding funk and tossed me into the fire of dancing Black folks and brass instruments bobbing down the street, burning, sweating, marching from one end of town to the other. This went on for months until one day, between the parades and sessions with my shrink and onset of Spring, I began to feel alive again.

Commentary: Abolish the death penalty

Death penalty opponents raise moral and fiscal arguments, and convincingly so
Nineteen states and the District of Columbia have abolished the death penalty. If some state lawmakers have their way, Louisiana will become the 20th state — but they face strong opposition.

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