May 022019
 

Danae Columbus, opinion columnist

The Orleans Parish Democratic Executive Committee will soon be electing two people to join its ranks due to Council District B vacancies created by the deaths of longtime members Felicia Kahn and Rev. Samson (Skip) Alexander. Under OPDEC’s rules, only the remaining twelve members of the District B caucus are eligible to vote. They include Mayor LaToya Cantrell and her husband Jason along with Dana Peterson, husband of State Senator Karen Carter Peterson.

OPDEC is the local arm of the state’s Democratic Party. Its members are usually elected once every four years by a vote of all registered in the council district. One man and one woman will be elected.

Winning one of the coveted seats would boost the campaign of any candidate running in the fall races or planning to run in the future. Amongst those who have expressed an interest are Robert McKnight, Timothy David Ray, Ronald Coleman, Gregory Phillips and Tyra T. Forest. McKnight has announced for State Rep District 91. Ray previously served as Clerk of First City Court. The election will be held on May 14.

NEW GENERATION OF CANDIDATES AND STAFF STEPPING UP FOR FALL ELECTIONS

Even though qualifying is still 60 days away, dozens of fresh, younger candidates have already popped up for the fall elections, bringing with them a new generation of campaign consultants and staffers. With more than a dozen races on the ballot, candidates are holding events where college-age interns do the heavy lifting. It’s a generational shift. Experienced consultants are guiding the campaign teams which are often filled with new faces more than happy to soak up knowledge but prefer to make their own decisions. Even former Congressman Cleo Fields, now a candidate for State Senate District 14, has hired a savvy 18-year-old campaign manager and two other Gen Z staffers. It’s definitely the wave of the future.

PRC WILL HOST SAVE BUDDY BOLDEN’S HOUSE BLOCK PARTY TONIGHT

The Preservation Resource Center will officially kick-off their efforts to restore legendary jazz musician Buddy Bolden’s former Central City home tonight with a block party at the intersection of First Street and Simon Bolivar Street. In disrepair for decades, the house is located at 2309 First Street. The party will be hosted by Grammy award-winning musician PJ Morton, the house’s owner, and will feature DJ G-Cue and a guest appearance by DJ Mannie Fresh. The event will be held from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. and is free and open to the public. The renovation is part of the PRC’s ongoing African-American Heritage Program.

VOTE SATURDAY, MAY 4 ON PARKS AND RECREATION INITIATIVE

Before heading to the Jazz Fest on Saturday, readers should consider a quick trip to the polls to vote in the millage election which would provide additional funding for the Audubon Institute, City Park, NORD, and the city’s Park and Parkways program. The polls open at 7 a.m. and close at 8 p.m.

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 Councilman Jared Brossett, City Councilwoman-at-large Helena Moreno, Foster Campbell, former Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne, former Sheriff Charles Foti and former City Councilwomen Stacy Head and Cynthia Hedge-Morrell.

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