New Orleans City Council

Monday, July 24, 2017

Youth who commit misdemeanors could receive warnings or summonses under proposed ordinance

Posted By on Mon, Jul 24, 2017 at 5:45 PM

New Orleans youth who commit misdemeanor offenses could receive warnings or summonses to appear in court with a guardian, under a proposed ordinance aimed at preventing young people from entering, and often re-entering, the criminal justice system after an arrest.

The ordinance was supported by the New Orleans City Council's Criminal Justice Committee July 24, and it also has the support of Orleans Parish Juvenile Court judges and, for the most part, Mayor Mitch Landrieu. It now heads to the full City Council for approval.

Committee chair and District A Councilmember Susan Guidry said "police have no alternative but to handcuff the child [who commits minor offenses]. I mean that is a serious, traumatic event.”

Under the ordinance, youth who have committed a status offense (truancy, running away, displaying "ungovernable behavior") would receive a juvenile warning notice (JWN). Police also would write JWNs or issue summonses for 11 types of misdemeanor crimes — including simple assault and simple possession of marijuana, misdemeanor theft, criminal mischief and criminal trespassing — at the officers' discretion.

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Wednesday, July 19, 2017

LaToya Cantrell would ban traffic cameras if elected mayor, she clarifies after some conflicting messages

Posted By on Wed, Jul 19, 2017 at 8:14 PM

LaToya Cantrell announcing her mayoral candidacy at the New Orleans Jazz Market July 18.
  • LaToya Cantrell announcing her mayoral candidacy at the New Orleans Jazz Market July 18.

At her formal mayoral campaign announcement last night, District B Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell drew some of the biggest cheers of her speech when she announced, "We don’t know if traffic cameras are making our streets safer. But we do know those cameras are costing our residents money that could be spent on their families. As your mayor, I will suspend the use of the cameras until it can be proven that they actually work as intended." (In a departure from prepared remarks that had been provided to reporters, Cantrell speculated that the traffic cameras could be redeployed as crime cameras in drug-plagued neighborhoods.)

Later, though, in a short scrum with reporters, Cantrell seemed to walk back that statement at least in part, saying, "Based on the feedback from the community, it would only be those cameras that have been recently installed" — indicating that she supported the removal only of the cameras that were put in place in early 2017, leaving in place those that had been installed earlier.

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Friday, July 14, 2017

Wide field of candidates qualifies for mayoral, City Council races

Posted By on Fri, Jul 14, 2017 at 5:22 PM


Eighteen people filed to run for New Orleans mayor, and another 34 qualified for the seven seats on the New Orleans City Council as qualifying at the Orleans Parish Clerk of Court's office wound down this afternoon.

Among the expected mayoral candidates were a few surprises, including a visual artist who made his announcement via a rap video; a longtime French Quarter sommelier who founded the "Krewe of Cork"; and perennial mayoral candidate Manny Chevrolet Bruno, whose never-out-of-date slogan is "A Troubled Man for Troubled Times."

Several of the council seats have no incumbent running due to term limits, though no seat went uncontested. The race with the fewest entrants is in District C, where incumbent Nadine Ramsey will face off against former District C councilwoman Kristen Gisleson Palmer, who represented C from 2010 to 2014.

The primary election is three months from today — Oct. 14 — while a runoff, if necessary, will be held Nov. 18. Also on the ballot will be state treasurer (seven people qualified), along with several judgeships, Orleans Parish coroner, Orleans Parish assessor, clerk of Criminal District Court and Orleans Parish Sheriff. The only race that attracted no challengers was that of Clerk of Civil District Court, held by Dale Atkins.

As of 4:30 p.m., here were the candidates who had qualified for mayor and City Council and were officially registered with the Louisiana Secretary of State:

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Friday, July 7, 2017

Landrieu adopts plan to combat effects of climate change in New Orleans

Posted By on Fri, Jul 7, 2017 at 1:30 PM

A March for Science in New Orleans on April 22 brought attention to climate change and other environmental and health issues. - PHOTO BY KAT STROMQUIST
  • A March for Science in New Orleans on April 22 brought attention to climate change and other environmental and health issues.

New Orleans will aim to reduce emissions by 50 percent in 2030, as Mayor Mitch Landrieu and city officials commit to the international agreement on climate change from which President Donald Trump has withdrawn the U.S.

After declaring the dramatic effects of climate change on south Louisiana an "existential threat" facing New Orleans, Landrieu unveiled an ambitious "Climate Action for a Resilient New Orleans," which proposes 11 strategies and 25 actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions citywide. He also signed an executive order committing to the goals as guided by the action plan.

"Climate change is one of the greatest threats to our coastal communities, nation and world,” Landrieu said in a statement. “In New Orleans, we face a triple threat: subsidence, coastal erosion and sea level rise. If unchecked, New Orleans, like many coastal cities, will be forced to retreat. This strategy will help us transition to a low-carbon economy that not only helps manage our climate risk, but also creates new businesses, jobs, and wealth.”

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Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Mayoral candidate Cantrell launches 'LaToya Listens' campaign tonight

Posted By on Tue, Jun 13, 2017 at 1:31 PM

LaToya Cantrell.
  • LaToya Cantrell.
LaToya Cantrell, the District B City Councilwoman who was one of the earliest entrants in the mayoral race, tonight will begin a 12-night, 12-stop "LaToya Listens" tour in 12 city neighborhoods. The first stop is in her home of Broadmoor.

In a statement, Cantrell said, “If we are to move past a tale of two cities, we need to meet the people where they are. Every New Orleans neighborhood has engaged and concerned residents, and we have to listen to them. As mayor, I will always be out listening to the people and connecting citizens to their government.”

Cantrell is one of four announced candidates in a race that was expected to be much more heaty by this time; qualifying is just a month away. Besides Cantrell, the other announced candidates former Civil District Judge Michael Bagneris, former Municipal Court Judge Desiree Charbonnet, and businessman Frank Scurlock.

Below the jump: Cantrell's schedule:

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Monday, April 24, 2017

What people are saying about the overnight Confederate-era monument removal in New Orleans

Posted By on Mon, Apr 24, 2017 at 11:28 AM

Let's get the stupidest out of the way first, wth a comment by a fellow who is running for governor in Virginia ...


At First Draft, New Orleans blogger Adrastos has a more nuanced take:
I wish that the city had NOT done so under cover of darkness but the Mayor has said that there were death threats against the work crew. Unfortunately, I believe him. BUT since other security measures were taken, I still think it should have been done during the day. I, for one, am proud of this action, which is why I don’t think we should be sneaking around. It gives the appearance of wrongdoing when they’re doing the right thing. Celebrating hatred and racism is unacceptable.

I also wish Mayor Landrieu would stop calling them Confederate monuments. The one that was removed this morning, the so-called Liberty monument, honors the triumph of white supremacy during Reconstruction. The remaining three statues honor Confederate dignitaries-only one local-and were erected in celebration of white supremacy, which is why I use that term.

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Wednesday, April 19, 2017

New Orleans Political Woman Forum April 25 takes on the "glass ceiling"

Posted By on Wed, Apr 19, 2017 at 10:20 AM

State Rep. (and upcoming New Orleans City Council candidate) Helena Moreno.
  • State Rep. (and upcoming New Orleans City Council candidate) Helena Moreno.

A panel April 25 hosted by Voters East of the Industrial Canal (VEOTIC) focuses on women's issues in politics, including political literacy, gender gaps in voting and overall women's rights. The event is notable for its guest list, which includes every female member of the current New Orleans City Council (councilwomen Nadine M. Ramsey, Stacy Head, Susan G. Guidry and newly declared mayoral candidate LaToya Cantrell), plus State Rep. Helena Moreno, who will run for the council seat being vacated by Stacy Head. Veteran organizer Timolynn Sams Sumter moderates the discussion.

Political involvement and activism led by women is fast becoming a powerful force in both local and national politics, particularly on the left. A recent Slate article credits the surprise success of dark horse Democratic candidate Jon Ossoff, who will advance to a runoff to represent Georgia's historically-Republican Sixth District, to women organizing on his behalf. The organization EMILY'S List, which supports progressive women as political candidates, has reported a dramatic uptick in the number of women who have reached out to express interest in running for office. These are encouraging signs for proponents of women's rights in Louisiana, where women have historically been underrepresented in the legislature and beyond.

The event, which takes place at St. Maria Goretti Church Community Center, begins at 6:30 p.m. It's free to attend.

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Friday, March 31, 2017

LaToya Cantrell is running for mayor

Posted By on Fri, Mar 31, 2017 at 1:03 PM

City Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell speaks at the Women's March New Orleans in January. - KAT STROMQUIST
  • City Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell speaks at the Women's March New Orleans in January.

As was widely speculated, District B Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell will be running for mayor in the municipal election this fall. A spokesman for Cantrell confirmed today that an announcement will be coming soon.

Though Cantrell has made no formal announcement, she's dropped hints over the past few months about feeling a “call to serve.” Today a slick election website was unveiled seeking donations and highlighting her accomplishments as a Broadmoor community leader and city councilwoman.

The only other announced candidate is former Judge Michael Bagneris, though many familiar names are expected to join the race. Among the possibilities: State Rep. Walt Leger, State Sen. JP Morrell, State Sen. Troy Carter, Councilman At-Large Jason Williams, Judge Desiree Charbonnet and real estate developer Sidney Torres.

Qualifying takes place in July.

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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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