The other day my 10-year old says aloud to me as I scrawl something somewhere with my trusty ink pen, “Hey, I have that pen too!” I respond quickly, if not a little gruff, “You do? Well, it’s mine, so give it back to me.” To which she closes me down, “Well, it has my name on it soooo – – – ” She spins her (my) pen in her hand and holds it horizontally toward me, and sure enough there’s her full name spelled out. And there you have it! Possession remains 9/10ths of the law big, beautiful world. Lap it up! Ahhhhh, rules! That one’s going to be a lawyer I tell you; her mother and I have always said this.
Enter campaign season. Enter campaign signs. Enter yet another rousing game of “find the campaign sign on the blight.” Less obtrusive than last season (for now) but somehow still irresistible the blighted line-of-sight markers often on highly trafficked corners are creeping up. And look! It has the candidate’s name on it! Next to the graffiti and overgrown landscape that hopefully has a lien or three attached to title. As it has in the past, this behavior – yes, it is a behavior – makes me want to vomit all over policy and checks and balances too. I know the city is actively grappling blight, but some one spank these candidates please!
At the very least they should automatically know this ain’t the way to gather the vote or communicate with a potential voting base. Yes, campaign signs strategically placed can effectively engage the wandering eye, but for sake of sakes, placing campaign signs on blight should be a measurably punishable offense. Like $75 per citing, with the third citing ratcheting up the grease to include published apology in The Advocate or Gambit. Okay, maybe the T-P too. Let’s be clear, voters. Tell these candidates either the old-fashioned way with a letter, possibly a tweet, but definitely your vote: adorning blight with your name ain’t on the ballot this or any other election year.
Jean-Paul Villere is the owner of Villere Realty and Du Mois Gallery on Freret Street and a married father of four girls. In addition to his Wednesday column at UptownMessenger.com, he also shares his family’s adventures sometimes via pedicab or bicycle on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.