Nov 222018
Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus, opinion columnist

Thanksgiving is more than the traditional turkey dinner with all the trimmings. It’s also a time when we should recognize, appreciate and be grateful for all the riches we have received. Today, take a minute to say thanks to the people in your life – friends, family, neighbors, and co-workers.

Together, we make a better New Orleans.

I’m thankful that Gov. John Bel Edwards agrees that taxes generated from tourism should be used to fuel tourism growth.

I’m thankful that Tammy Savoie, Mimi Methvin, Lee Ann Dugas, and Andi Saizan had the courage to run for Congress against strong incumbents.

I’m thankful that the Port of New Orleans’ cruise ship business is so robust that the world’s largest ship – the Norwegian Breakaway – wanted to call at our Port.

I’m thankful for all the airlines – large and small – that keep adding nonstop flights to New Orleans, which helps our airport set new records annually.

I’m thankful that Planned Parenthood provides much-needed services in the Gulf Coast region.

I’m thankful that women still have the right to choose in Louisiana – although with more restrictions.

I’m thankful to the Louisiana SPCA, Spaymart, the Humane Society and others for helping the animals.

I’m thankful that Mayor LaToya Cantrell has prioritized fixing the problems at the Sewerage & Water Board with the help of skilled professional Ghassan Korban.

I’m thankful that Orleans Parish School Board Superintendent Henderson Lewis is making changes at low-performing charter schools. Every New Orleans child deserves the highest quality education possible.

I’m thankful for all the construction in the CBD and the jobs it is creating. The Downtown Development District must be allowed to continue offering the full range of services currently available using funds collected from property owners.

I’m thankful that Archbishop Aymond released the names of some area priests who were found to be sexual predators, but wish he had released all the names.

I’m thankful for the work the Greater New Orleans Sports Foundation has done to attract and support world class sporting events in New Orleans.

I’m thankful that Drew Brees and fellow team members have brought the Saints back on top.

I’m thankful that Dixie Beer will be brewed in New Orleans again.

I’m thankful that City Park could finally receive a dependable income stream from the city of New Orleans.

I’m thankful for Ron Forman’s wisdom in knowing how to share.

I’m thankful that Bridge House, Unity for the Homeless, Covenant House and the New Orleans Mission are able to serve those in need.

I’m thankful that the Republicans and Democrats will have to work closer together in Washington during 2019 and 2020.

Finally I’m thankful that the federal courts and Congress have not allowed President Trump to totally eliminate immigration. I would not be here today if the borders had been closed when my family came to America in the early 1900s.

Thanksgiving is an ideal time for people of different cultures and religions to give thanks together for all the riches America has offered since the Pilgrims and Native Americans held that first harvest feast in 1621. Happy Thanksgiving weekend!

Meet Secretary of State candidate Gwen Collins-Greenup Thursday, Nov. 29

Very few New Orleanians have had the opportunity to meet Gwen Collins-Greenup, who earned a slot against interim Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin for the Dec. 8 runoff election. A lawyer, accountant and minister from East Feliciana Parish who also has roots in New Orleans, Collins-Greenup will be feted Thursday from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 at the Esplanade Avenue home of Kathy Felton and Jim Thorns. Co-hosts are Sandra Herman, Eugene Green, Kea Sherman, Melanie Oubre, Morris Kahn and Aylin Maklansky. Collins-Greenup is being supported by the Louisiana Democratic Party. Contact Maria Tio at 504-236-3806 to donate or for more information.

Maritime industry leaders to host fundraiser for Rep. Elijah Cummings

Shipping executive Gary Chouest and others will be hosting a fundraising breakfast for Maryland Congressman Elijah Cummings, a strong supporter of the maritime industry, on Tuesday, Nov. 27, 7:30 a.m., at the New Orleans Marriott. A powerful Democrat, Cummings is the ranking minority member of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, ranking minority member of the Select Committee on Benghazi and the senior member of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Committee serving on the Subcommittee on the Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation. Chouest’s company, Edison Chouest Offshore, has been a frequent contributor to Cummings.

Quilt exhibit set for Saturday Nov. 24 at Dryades Market

New Orleans, European, African and African-Caribbean inspired quilts and related handbags, sleep masks and placemats will be on display – and available for purchase – on Saturday, Nov. 24, Small Business Saturday, at the Dryades Market, 1307 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd., from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. Organized by CANO’s Jeanne Nathan, the show features the works of skilled quilters Cecilia Pedescleaux, Susan Charles and Edith Gross.

Danae Columbus, who has had a 30-year career in politics and public relations, offers her opinions on Thursdays. Her career includes stints at City Hall, the Dock Board and the Orleans Parish School Board and former clients such as District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro, City Council members Stacy Head and Jared Brossett, City Councilwoman-elect Helena Moreno, Foster Campbell, Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne, former Sheriff Charles Foti and former Councilwoman Cynthia Hedge-Morrell.

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