Sep 292019
 

The Loyola University New Orleans College of Law Advocacy Center hosted a debate for the candidates seeking to be elected in Louisiana’s 91st and 98th House Districts on Thursday, Sept. 26.

The candidates were questioned by moderators who know the job well; they’ve been representing the Uptown districts in the state House for the past decade. Continue reading »

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Sep 262019
 

The mayor’s affordable housing meeting for District B filled Ashe Powerhouse Theater in Central City on Wednesday. (Jesse Baum)

By Jesse Baum, Uptown Messenger

Mayor Latoya Cantrell told a meeting on affordable housing Wednesday that she wants to push New Orleans to 65 percent homeownership, well above the current percentage of around 46 percent.

Cantrell made an Uptown stop on her affordable housing tour at the Ashe Powerhouse Theater. The affordable housing tour has been a way for the Cantrell administration to go into different communities around the city and explain different affordability programs that are already in place. Continue reading »

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Sep 252019
 

House 98 candidates Max Hayden Chiz, Kea Sherman, Marion “Penny” Freistadt, Carlos Zervigon, Ravi Sangisetty, Aimee Adatto Freeman and Evan Bergeron.

The seven Democratic candidates for Rep. Neil Abramson’s seat in the Louisiana Capitol representing House District 98 were mostly in agreement at a forum on Monday night, addressing issues such as Medicaid expansion, civil rights and criminal justice reform. The public education system in New Orleans, however, brought out some differences among the candidates.

Max Hayden Chiz, Kea Sherman, Marion “Penny” Freistadt, Carlos Zervigon, Ravi Sangisetty, Aimee Adatto Freeman and Evan Bergeron took the stage at the St. Charles Avenue Baptist Church for a forum and debate held by the Carrollton Area Network, a coalition of neighborhood organizations along Carrollton Avenue. Continue reading »

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Sep 242019
 

The Carrollton Area Network held its second candidate forum for the upcoming state House elections on Monday, this one for the District 98 candidates: Max Hayden Chiz, Kea Sherman, Marion “Penny” Freistadt, Carlos Zervigon, Ravi Sangisetty, Aimee Adatto Freeman and Evan Bergeron. The seven candidates are vying for the seat that will be vacated by the term-limited Rep. Neil Abramson. Continue reading »

Sep 202019
 

Aimee Adatto Freeman, Kea Sherman, Carlos Zervigon, Max Chiz, Ravi Sangisetty, Marion “Penny” Freistadt (Danae Columbus, Uptown Messenger)

The race to fill the important House District 98 legislative seat being vacated by the term-limited Rep. Neil Abramson is perhaps the most exciting contest in this election cycle because of an outstanding field of highly qualified candidates.

In passionate presentations laced with personal stories that added depth and color to their well-thought-out plans, six Democratic contenders vied for an endorsement last night from the Orleans Parish Democratic Executive Committee. Attorney Kea Sherman won the endorsement. Continue reading »

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Sep 192019
 

House District 91 candidates Carling Dinkler, Shawn “Pepper” Bowen Roussel and Mandie Landry at the Carrollton Area Network forum. See below for a video of the forum.

The four candidates for the open District 91 seat in the Louisiana House of Representatives — Carling Dinkler, Shawn “Pepper” Bowen Roussel, Mandie Landry and Robert McKnight — answered questions posed by the Carrollton Area Network about health care, taxes, criminal justice and other issues in a forum on Monday, Sept. 16.

A video of the entire forum is below.

Continue reading »

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Sep 122019
 

The PRC exhibit at 923 Tchoupitoulas St. shows the lifestyle Pontchartrain Park residents enjoyed in the 1950s and ’60s. (Danae Columbus)

The Preservation Resource Center opens a new exhibit tonight on the history of Pontchartrain Park, the city’s first suburban-style subdivision for middle-class and affluent African-American residents.

Featuring historic neighborhood ads and newspaper clippings, information about architectural style and neighborhood design, as well as incredible personal family photos and stories from some of Pontchartrain Park’s founding residents, the exhibit is being mounted as a celebration of a joint submission to the National Register of Historic Places. The PRC and the Pontchartrain Park Neighborhood Association collaborated on the application for designation. Continue reading »

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Sep 052019
 

Wages for many working-class residents have not risen, hurting their ability to pay higher property taxes. (Danae Columbus)

In an effort to reduce their 2020 property tax bills, thousands of New Orleanian property owners will begin pleading their cases for tax relief to the New Orleans Board of Review on Sept. 17. Homeowners who filed a property tax appeal by Aug. 22 should receive letters next week indicating their appeal date. According to Councilman Jared Brossett, who chairs the council’s review process, the hearings are set for Delgado Community College’s Lac Maurepas Meeting Room in the Student Life Center, 916 Navarre St.

Baring a national disaster, it is fairly common for the value of houses and vacant land to increase every year, certainly every four years. A large number of New Orleanians can ill afford a property tax increase because they have not amassed wealth. Simply put, wages are not rising. Perpetual low-paying jobs or a lack of training that could lead to better opportunities holds our citizens back. Increased costs of everything from milk to diapers make for tighter budgets. In addition, our large community of renters is also impacted whenever landlords raise monthly fees to cover additional taxes. Continue reading »

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Aug 222019
 

U.S. Rep. Ralph Abraham, second from the right, with JoAnn Paulin, Kirk Williamson and Nina Roland at the Home Defense Foundation meeting. (Danae Columbus)

Gubernatorial candidate and U.S. Rep. Ralph Abraham told a New Orleans audience last week that he would move Louisiana in the right direction by cutting spending, changing the tax structure, building the economy and creating jobs. The pledge was made during remarks to the Home Defense Foundation, a nonprofit that supports the right of citizens to bear arms in their homes as well as gun safety and training.

Abraham didn’t spend a minute talking about banning assault weapons or universal background checks. Why? Because the room was filled with Second Amendment advocates — men and women already committed to taking personal responsibility to defend themselves and their families. I believe their philosophy is the wave of the future. Background checks and assault weapon bans won’t keep criminals away from guns.  Continue reading »

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Aug 092019
 

Incumbent Sen. Karen Carter Peterson (at left) has drawn three challengers for the Uptown-based District 5 seat: “Fox Rich” Richardson (left), Allen Borne Jr. and Ronald Brown Jr. (not pictured). (via candidate Facebook pages)

In the final hours of qualifying on Thursday, the already-crowded field of contenders for about a dozen seats representing New Orleans in the state legislature swelled again to nearly 40 candidates — including the entry of three challengers to Sen. Karen Carter Peterson and a fifth candidate for House District 91.

District 91 candidates Pepper Bowen Roussel, Carling Dinkler, Mandie Landry and Robert McKnight. Not pictured: John Perry III. (via candidate websites)

Continue reading »

 Comments Off on Sen. Karen Carter Peterson draws three challengers on last day of qualifying; House District 91 field grows to five
Aug 082019
 

Term-limits on a number of state legislators elected after Hurricane Katrina brought an initial flurry of candidates to newly-vacant seats in the first two days of qualifying this week, but no new contenders joined the crowded field on Thursday morning as only a few hours remained before the afternoon’s deadline for the Oct. 12 election. Continue reading »

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Aug 082019
 

Former Zulu King Adonis Expose (photo at left) swears to the accuracy of his qualifying documents. Candace Newell (center) signs her qualifying papers with supporters including City Councilman Jay H. Banks and Barbara Lacen-Keller. L. Jameel Shaheer (right), a former New Orleans firefighter poses with his family and Criminal Clerk of Arthur Morrell. (photos by Danae Columbus for UptownMessenger.com)

Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus, opinion columnist

State Sen. Wesley Bishop’s surprise announcement last Friday that he would not seek re-election has set the stage for a power struggle between two former Zulu kings — 2017 Zulu King Adonis Expose and 2016 Zulu King Jay Banks, a popular member of the New Orleans City Council and powerbroker of the BOLD political organization. After Bishop’s decision became public, State Rep. Jimmy Harris — whose current house district overlaps portions of Bishop’s Senate District 4 — staked his claim on Bishop’s seat rather than running for re-election in House District 99.

Expose, a businessman and community organizer, quickly stepped up for what could have been an easily, winnable contest against L. Jameel Shaheer, a former firefighter with limited resources who had previously declared his candidacy to “help the community.” Instead, lawyer and long-time government operative Candace Nikeia Newell arrived at qualifying with several member of the BOLD political organization including Councilmember Banks. Clearly the battle lines were drawn. Continue reading »

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Aug 072019
 

District 91 candidates Carling Dinkler, Mandie Landry and Robert McKnight. Not pictured: John Perry III. (via candidate websites)

District 98 candidates Evan Bergeron, Aimee Adatto Freeman, Ravi Sangisetty, Kea Sherman and Carlos Zervigon. Not pictured: Max Hayden Chiz and Marion “Penny” Freistadt. (via official websites)

Four more candidates joined the hunt for two open seats representing Uptown New Orleans in the Louisiana state House of Representatives on Tuesday afternoon, bringing the total to 11 contenders for the two positions. Continue reading »

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Aug 062019
 

District 91 candidates Carling Dinkler, Mandie Landry and Robert McKnight. (via candidate websites)

Several seats in the Louisiana state legislature will be vacant this year because their representatives are term-limited, and a crowd of contenders showed up Tuesday morning for the first day of the official qualifying period for the Oct. 12 election.

District 98 candidates Evan Bergeron, Aimee Adatto Freeman, Ravi Sangisetty and Kea Sherman. (via official websites)

Continue reading »

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