May 312017

Seth Bloom (submitted photo)

Jay Banks (submitted photo)

Seth Bloom and Jay Banks, long considered two prominent potential contenders for the District B seat on the New Orleans City Council, have each set dates in the coming weeks to make official public announcements about their candidacies.

Banks, director of the Dryades YMCA School of Commerce and a recent king of the Krewe of Zulu, will make his announcement Tuesday, June 6, at New Zion Baptist Church at 2319 Third Street in Central City. The church is known as the location where the Rev. Martin Luther King founded the Southern Christian Leadership Conference during the civil-rights era, and was pastored by the Rev. A.L. Davis, New Orleans’ first black City Councilman.

Bloom, a defense attorney who served as a member of the Orleans Parish School Board from 2008 to 2016, released a video Tuesday morning announcing his candidacy.

Bloom’s announcement focused on his work on the school board and promised to focus on quality-of-life issues in District B.

Bloom considers finding innovative solutions to reduce the recent increase in crime to be our most important issue. He will also focus on quality of life issues that impact citizens every day – street light and road repair, and safety and permitting issues. And, as a small business owner, he understands the importance of economic opportunities.

“I am a good listener and a problem solver. As School Board President, I spearheaded the search for a new superintendent who has brought new focus and direction to public education. I helped develop new fiscal policies that resulted in improved bonds ratings, and I broadened the OPSB’s anti-bullying provisions to protect all students. I also worked closely with the Juvenile Justice System to enact new educational programs to get disengaged students back on a traditional educational path,” Bloom said.

Bloom will hold a public kickoff event at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 14, at the Martine Chiasson Gallery, 727 Camp Street in the Central Business District.

Timothy David Ray (submitted photo)

Eric Johnson (via

Two other candidates have also announced plans to run for the seat. Dr. Eric Johnson, an urban development specialist, and Timothy David Ray, a political organizer, both began campaigning in April.

The District B seat is expected to be open because LaToya Cantrell is running for mayor. The formal qualifying period is July 12 through 14, and the election is Oct. 14.

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