Fulfilling the expectations raised when she recently resigned her seat as judge on the New Orleans Municipal Court, Desiree Charbonnet publicly announced her intent to run for mayor Monday night to supporters gathered at a downtown hotel.
Charbonnet’s announcement pits her against City Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell, as well as Judge Michael Bagneris and businessman Frank Scurlock. Other possible candidates weighing a run include state Sen. J.P. Morrell and state Rep. Walt Leger.
For details about Charbonnet’s announcement, see the news release from her campaign below:
Former New Orleans Municipal Court Judge Desirée Charbonnet announced her candidacy for Mayor of New Orleans on Monday, May 22, 2017. Friends, family and supporters congregated at the Sheraton New Orleans for the official announcement. The program included appearances from Louisiana State Senator Troy Carter; former WDSU-TV personality Norman Robinson; Pastor C. S. Gordon, Jr., Pastor of New Zion Baptist Church and President of the Louisiana Missionary Baptist State Convention; Cabrini High School students Samantha Petitfils and Gabrielle Taylor; and Desirée’s niece Skylar Marie Jones, a Lusher Charter School student.
During her speech, Desirée addressed some of New Orleans’ most pressing issues, including public safety, infrastructure, housing and education. These are issues that she has extensive experience with and that will be the platform of her mayoral campaign.
“In a city where 25 percent of our adults can’t read beyond a 4th grade level, unemployed parents struggle to nourish their hungry children, and non-violent defendants are thrown into a prison and court system designed to punish and profit off of the most vulnerable in our community, it is impossible for me to sit on the sidelines. It’s just not in my DNA. And when I think of the compassionate citizenry that united under Hurricane Katrina, I know we can all do more – together. That is why today, in my native city, I am compelled and proud to announce my candidacy for Mayor of New Orleans,” Desirée said.
A lifelong resident of New Orleans, Desirée’s family traces their New Orleans roots back to the 1790s. Desirée graduated from Cabrini High School, and went on to Loyola University for both her bachelor’s degree and juris doctor. She is a judge nationally known for her thoughtfulness, and a public servant whose career has been one of “firsts.” Desirée was the first woman elected to serve as Recorder of Mortgages for the parish of Orleans, where she served for 10 years. Her office was one of the first to reopen after Hurricane Katrina, providing desperately needed property records to the city’s displaced residents. Desirée was the first woman elected to the bench of Municipal Court in New Orleans, and the first to be elected Chief Judge. As a judge, she has taken a special interest in cases involving domestic violence, mental illness, prostitution and human trafficking. She was also among the first in the country to try alternatives to incarceration.
“I was honored to be the first woman elected to these positions. I now ask for your vote so that together we make history as we elect the first female mayor – not only because I am a woman, but because I am the right woman and the right person at the right time,” Desirée said to the enthusiastic crowd. “Together, God willing, we will prevail – because failure is not an option!”
Outside of public service, Desirée has also given back to the community by serving as President of the Board of Directors for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southeast Louisiana, on the board of directors for My House, and as a member of the Louisiana State Bar Association.
For more information, visit www.DesireeCharbonnet.com, or follow Desirée on Facebook and Instagram @DesireeCharbonnet, and on Twitter @DesiCharbonnet.